In Q4 2011, US women on Facebook were 12% more likely than men to click on ads

Women have flocked to social sites, and marketers are eager to reach them there. Not only do they participate in a number of social media activities at high levels, but they are also more likely than men on such sites to click on ads, according to an April release by Facebook ad management solutions provider AdParlor.

Worldwide, AdParlor found that the average clickthrough rate for men on Facebook ads was 0.066% in Q1 of this year and 0.048% in Q2. Women, by contrast, clicked at rates of 0.073% in Q1 and 0.063% in Q2—differences of 10.6% and 31.3%, respectively.

Though click rates for both genders varied in each quarter, women consistently showed higher ad responsiveness. Meanwhile, costs per click, initially higher for females, dropped below that for males, though cost per thousands (CPMs) remained higher.

In the US, in almost every instance, costs per click and CPMs were higher for both genders than worldwide rates in each quarter of 2011, and clickthrough rates tended to be higher too. Similar to worldwide behaviors, differences between the clicking rates of men and women were pronounced in the US: During Q4, females’ click rate of 0.075% was 12% higher than males’ rate of 0.067%. In Q3 the difference was even starker, at 21.2%.

US Facebook Performance Metrics, by Gender, Q1-Q4 2011

Facebook users did not display the same click behavior in every country studied by AdParlor. In Brazil, for example, while women had significantly higher click rates from Q1 through Q3 of 2011, they were beaten out by men in Q4. Canada, one of the US’s closest neighbors both geographically and culturally, saw quarterly click rates across genders either even, nearly even or led by men.

Most marketing on Facebook, especially that conducted by large brands, consists of non-advertising efforts, but many small businesses and other marketers are still using Facebook’s easy, self-serve system to drive traffic either to their own sites or to Facebook pages. eMarketer estimates US advertisers will spend $2.58 billion on the site this year, with another $2.48 billion coming from advertisers elsewhere in the world.

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