Study: Women on Facebook Click More, Youth ‘Like’ More

And advertisers need to tailor to the segments

A Facebook ad proclaims your friend has "liked" a brand. Your options? Ignore it, "like" the brand yourself, or click on the ad to see what that brand is. According to a study released today from Facebook ad agency SocialCode, both men and women "like" brands equally, but women are 11 percent more"like"ly (get it?) to click on the ad before committing to an official "like."

“It shows a deeper psychological trend where women are more considered purchasers or actors,” SocialCode CEO Laura O’Shaughnessy said. SocialCode’s research is derived from four million data points from 50 of its clients in a range of industries.

The research also showed that younger users tend to "like" brands more often. Unsurprisingly, 18-to-29-year olds click "like" 9 percent more than their elders. While the 30-plus crowd may still be learning what exactly a thumbs-up entails, they’re more discerning about their "likes."

The lesson for advertisers is that when targeting a certain demographic on Facebook, they can tailor their campaigns to the user segment. “If you want to attract a younger male audience, you want to focus on text that gets users to ‘like’ within the ad,” O’Shaughnessy said. The inverse: When targeting the older set, or women, it's best to optimize the landing page to stimulate behavior after a click-through.

The question remains as to whether Facebook users young, old, male, or female actually like—and here we mean enjoy—brands infiltrating their social networks to begin with. Today a survey by Barkley, Service Management Group, and Boston Consulting Group revealed that just over half of 16-to-34-year-olds enjoy checking out a brand on social media sites. A third of those surveyed appreciate a brand more when it’s on the social media sites and 30 percent said they find brands in their Facebook and Twitter Feeds to be annoying. Fortunately for brands, there's no such thing (yet?) as a Facebook "dislike."