Cheap Men and Expensive Women on Facebook

Facebook gender splitMen are cheap, women are expensive. It’s official. A new study courtesy of Kenshoo Social and Resolution Media has looked into gender differences on Facebook and discovered exactly that.

While the claims may be valid in everyday life (I couldn’t possibly comment), the study is actually based around ads on Facebook, and the findings could have important implications for companies who use this form of advertising.

Luckily, you needn’t read the entire white paper to find out the results. Here’s a handy infographic which breaks it all down for you:

Men are cheap infographic from Kenshoo Social and Resolution Media

The first thing to note is the gender split on Facebook. You might have assumed it would be 50/50, but there are actually more women using the social network than men (58/42). That doesn’t mean you should target your ads towards women for a greater audience; there are other factors to take into account.

Pricing for Facebook ads is either cost per click (CPC), which means you pay for your ads when someone clicks on them, or cost per thousand (CPM), which means you pay to have your ad shown a thousand times. On average, both these costs are lower for men than for women.

The data also shows that men are exposed to and click on more ads than women (they see 58% of ads and are responsible for 60% of clicks).

The research means you might be more inclined to advertise to men than women, or if you want to do both, you can probably afford to use lower bids for your male targeted ads.

So how does this compare with Google AdWords? Facebook ads are generally cheaper than Google, and the fact you can actually target a specific gender is really useful. It’s impossible for Google to target a specific gender because it doesn’t know what gender a particular searcher is (usually), whereas being a social network, Facebook has information about age and sex built in. In some cases searchers will have a Google account, though.

On the other hand, Google ads have a higher click through rate than Facebook. People searching on Google are more likely to want to buy something, especially if they’re searching for something like “cheap iPhone 5”. People on Facebook aren’t in the same mindset – they’re there to stay in touch with people, waste some time or stalk ex- girlfriends.

While the lack of gender targeting in Google ads might seem a problem, for certain searches this will take care of itself. If you’re selling Manolo Blahniks, people searching for them will inevitably be women. Mostly.

So should you use Facebook ads? That depends on your marketing strategy. There’s no denying advertising on social networks can be effective, and Facebook in particular is good for increasing brand awareness and getting exposure. While Google AdWords is more likely to get you an immediate return, Facebook can be a useful part of your overall approach, especially if you target men.

Confused about online advertising options? Give us a call and we’ll advise you what’s best for your business. We can even run the campaign, write the ads and let you know exactly where your money’s going.

About Russell Welch

Copywriter and digital marketing person. Russell used to be a History teacher, and likes gardening, martial arts and all things Japanese. Google+
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