There goes a famous joke that a lady updates her status on Facebook with – ‘my dog not eating well’ – and gets about a 100 people to hit the ‘like’ button and some 60 to comment. And then there is this gentleman who’s thrilled to have won a Nobel Prize, and posts about it. 8 people hit the ‘like’ button for him!
Hilarious? Yes. Ridiculous? No! There’s learning hidden here about social media and the power of online word of mouth.
If gossip is powerful, Social Media is word of mouth on steroids! Indeed, women are more sociable than men. The ‘talkative’ gender is more mature in interactions and more committed to social relationships. And this clearly shows up in the social media charts today. Unlike men who treat interactions in sound bites (you find more of them on Twitter 😉 , women create relationships with the social media platform they’re on. The latest example is Pinterest, one of the hippest social sharing sites today, driven majorly by women collecting and sharing scraps and bits of images, and could soon be the leader in female social networking.
What is it that connects women on social media? Anyone would jump in to answer – dating, marriage, motherhood, recipes, shopping, pets, and children. But is that all? Women, increasingly in the 24-38 age group, are talking about saving money, entrepreneurship, business ideas, work-from-home options, work-life balance and a lot more out there. She is surfacing on the web with more support from peer-groups, more ideas, opportunities, and most importantly, she’s brimming with confidence.
So when the ComScore report establishes that women spend more time social networking than their male counterparts, we clearly know they are leading on Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, and Groupon usage. Pinterest is the new entrant in this list.
A Park Associates research shows that women are 73% more likely than men to have watched a full-length TV show online and 40% more likely to have played games on Facebook. It also suggests that eight out of the 10 Twitter users who have 10 million or more followers, are women. So, its men who are literally following women on twitter. Lady Gaga rules!
If any of this is a surprise, you have probably not been watching the space closely enough. Back in the blog-bang year of 2008, a Bloomberg Business week article had already predicted that “While both sexes will continue to use social networking sites in huge numbers, women will be the ones holding the fort.”
Of course there is a more real-world (read as chauvinist!) version to it. Women are more communicative and prefer to use more words to express. A bestselling book claims that on an average day, woman speaks 20,000 words and man speaks about 7,000. So more communication translates to more subject-specific interactions which clearly creates larger social space and standing.
Women have evolved on the web space. No wonder, even brands and marketers are creating their Web strategies keeping this crucial target group in mind. The image of a lonesome geeky male is passé; it is the Supermom, Superwoman who is the digital icon today.