On Facebook, Men Are Cheap

New study says men cost less to reach with ads

More women than men use Facebook, so marketers should target them, right? No, according to new research, men cost less to reach with ads on the social media site and respond better.

That surprising conclusion comes from an analysis of 65 billion Facebook ad impressions and 20 million ad clicks in a 12-month study called “Men Are Cheap” by Omnicom digital company Resolution Media using Kenshoo Social’s digital marketing technology.  While 58 percent of Facebook’s advertiser audience is female, the study found that overall male users  see and click through more ads. Guys, it turns out, have a click volume of 60 percent and an impression volume of 58 percent, compared to women with a 40 percent click response and 42 percent impression volume.

“Females use Facebook for maintaining existing relationships, academic usage and following an agenda more than males do," said Viji Davis, vp, marketing, Resolution Media. "Men use Facebook for making new relationships more than females.” 

In other words, guys are more focused on their activities when interacting on Facebook while women do more browsing, sharing and communicating with friends. Men, with shorter attention spans on Facebook, are more easily distracted and persuaded by relevant advertising messages. As a result, men click on Facebook ads at a higher rate than women who are more cautious relating to advertising on Facebook.

According to eMarketer, advertisers spent almost $4 billion on Facebook last year. Resolution found that its marketers spent 53 percent of their budgets targeting men. On average, those ads targeting guys are less expensive: The study found cost-per-thousand impressions were 16 cents for male Facebook users versus women at 20 cents, while cost-per-click spending was 51 cents compared to 68 cents for their female counterparts.

Even so, a key survey takeaway for marketers is not to overspend in going after male Facebook users, given the glut of inventory and lower rates to reach them.