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Women may like Facebook more than men, as evidence by the fact that approximately 60% of the social network's population is female, but for marketers looking for consumers who like their ads, targeting men may be a more effective and cost-efficient approach.

That's according to a new study conducted by marketing software firm Kenshoo and Resolution Media which looked at 65bn Facebook ad impressions and 20m clicks over the course of the last year.

What their study found: despite the fact that they make up a minority of Facebook users (42%), men produce 60% of all ad clicks. They also cost less to reach as well, with the average CPM and CPCs for males being 16 cents and 51 cents, respectively, versus 20 cents and 68 cents, respectively, for females.

Marketers seem to be clued in to the male-female dynamic on the world's largest social network: they're allocating more of their Facebook budgets (53%) to males than they are to females (47%).

Why?

That men and women use technology differently is not a surprise. Previous research, for instance, has noted some interesting preferences around tablets and e-readers.

But why are women more elusive than men on Facebook?

According to Viji Davis, Resolution Media's VP of Marketing, the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus stereotypes hold true when it comes to social network. "Females use Facebook for maintaining existing relationships, academic usage and following an agenda more than males do. Men use Facebook for making new relationships more than females," he told Adweek.

Their less-focused use of Facebook apparently makes men an easier target for marketers, which is reflected in the fact that the ad exposure rate for men, at 8%, is much higher than it is for females at 5%.

What should marketers do?

According to Kenshoo and Resolution Media, the ad gap between men and women on Facebook means that marketers should segment their ads by gender. This includes creating separate ads, with different creative, for both groups.

And, as "men are cheap," the firms also have a message for marketers that might be a little bit too eager to reach consumers on Facebook: "Don't overspend trying to reach males given the glut of inventory and lower rates available for targeting men." As for reaching women? It's clear that marketers have some thinking to do.

Patricio Robles

Published 25 September, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2393 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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jared

That's actually surprising and I would think it would be the other way around.

almost 4 years ago

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Susan Brown

I wonder if this has more to do with positioning of companies or just a male trend for clicking what they like.

almost 4 years ago

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