Facebook Ads Gender Analysis: Men are Clickers, Women are Investments

The way you target individuals on a site like Facebook matters tremendously.

Marketing to a general population, whether it’s an age demographic or a socioeconomic line, is really nothing more than a way to prolong the inevitable. The inevitable, in this case, being that your campaign will under-perform.

Why? It’s because of gender targeting. No matter how many people love to preach the “equal” line, the fact is that the genders are different in many ways, especially in how they act on Facebook.

This means that an effective marketing campaign should treat men and women, not as equals, but as different as Mars and Venus – with Venus pulling preferential treatment.

By 2014, more than $6 billion will be spent annually on Facebook ads. The misconception – and a very persistent one – is that men are easier targets and make up a higher percentage of impressions. But what this overlooks is the potential for female targeting, since women make up the majority of overall Facebook users. It overlooks the fact that women simply spend more.

What Makes Women the More Desirable Target

As a marketer, ask yourself a very serious question. Would you rather have 1,000 impressions or one customer? The answer is clear; customers count. While men are sure to click on ads and maybe follow your brand, could it be that women become real, paying customers at a higher rate?

By and large, marketing on Facebook seems to follow one of two lines. Men and women are either treated equally, or men are catered to directly with women being left out of the equation. Whether this is due to pigheadedness or sexism or just misleading numbers doesn’t really matter. What matters, is more people are realizing that targeting women is the more effective approach.

Take a look at the numbers, without the pseudo-intellectual spin (undoubtedly provided by male writers) to skew the information.

Women make up 58 percent of the Facebook population, and that number is expected to separate even more as Facebook becomes available in other parts of the world. Despite the number of women on Facebook, only 47 percent of advertising dollars are used to target women directly. Men being better targets is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, since so much is invested to market directly to them. Men receive more ads, thus men click on more ads. It isn’t rocket science.

The reason for this is that men are cheaper to advertise to. They’re not nearly as selective as women are. Men are click-happy in comparison, costing $0.04 less CPM and almost $0.20 less CPC.

But behind these numbers is the cold, hard facts that any business needs to focus on.

If you only want your ads clicked on, select men. If you want to invest the capital and specifically design material for women, you stand to gain more than mere impressions.

Women are more trusting of brands and return more as repeat customers. Women spend exponentially more money shopping online. Women use Facebook more frequently and in higher numbers, which means advertising by proxy increases dramatically when compared to men. Women review and recommend products and services at a higher rate than men.

For the long-term success and viability of a brand, women are needed desperately. For a short-term infusion, men will do.

The Bottom Line

Not to sound trite, but the bottom line here is your bottom line. It will cost more to operate a campaign that specifically targets women, but what you’ll receive in return are more legitimate customers, more repeat customers, a better brand reputation, a larger market share due to increased exposure, and more ad efficiency due to eliminating a lot of useless impressions.

The rub is this: As more women are targeted directly, women will assume men’s current role, and thus women will click more and drive rates down.

The only question is why a male-dominated world hasn’t bothered to perform the simple math yet to reach the logical, irrefutable conclusion.

This guest post was written by Stanna Johnson from Qwaya. Stanna is an online writer and a social media enthusiast who loves to write about the latest social media trends. Feel free to leave your questions and comments below and she’ll surely answer you.

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Stanna Johnson


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  • The challenge with Facebook Ads are that even the ones that do convert only convert at less that 0.5% making them a very ineffective way to attract customers.

    Facebook users don’t go to Facebook looking to buy, they go to Facebook to satisfy their social requirements not for retail therapy (the same way inversely we don’t go to Wal Mart for to fulfil our social and community needs).

    Even Facebook are realizing that Facebook Ads don’t work, that’s why the recent changes to Facebook terms and conditions pave the way for an ‘off Facebook’ advertising network, which will operate similar to Google Adsense, with Ads shown on websites you browse, taking data from your indicated interests and activities on Facebook.

    Controversial? Yes, but it’s on it’s way, and for marketers, Off Facebook advertising makes much more sense since you won’t be lounging, you’ll be looking to buy…