A recent Forbes article highlighted some interesting social media statistics based on gender. We’ve all heard that Pinterest has, thus far, been a primarily female realm. That’s old news. But what is interesting in the aptly named Women Are From Pinterest, Men Are From Google+? is that Google+ appears to attract the opposite -- mostly men are using it. About 70% in fact. “Mainly comprised of early adopters, engineers and developers,” half of them are under the age of 25.
How does that compare to the other popular social media platforms?
- Nearly 60% of Facebook users are women, compared to about 40% men. And women spend more time engaging on the platform and sharing personal information.
- Twitter users are pretty equally parsed -- 52% women; 48% men. But women tweet more than men (surprise, surprise) and Twitter users interact with women more often than with men.
- LinkedIn is the opposite of Twitter -- men engage more on LinkedIn than women. But, like Twitter, the user ratio of men to women is about equal.
None of this is really shocking. The way people appear to use social media is similar to how we interact in our non-virtual lives. Perhaps you can blame it on the old adage that men are hunters and women are gatherers. More often women are attracted to platforms and activities that allow them to interact with other women and in more casual, social ways (as evidenced by Pinterest and what women versus men share on Facebook). Men more often use social media for networking and for a specific purpose.
I have to admit that as a female, I found the whole article offensive at first. I didn’t want to hear more of that “oh, women are chatty and like pretty things and men are practical and get to the point” crap. (It should be noted that I was also offended by those P&G commercials during the Olympics that highlighted that the company is in the business of “helping moms,” as if moms are the only ones doing laundry.) Politics aside, the bottom line is that data shows that men and women have different consumer behaviors and habits. Women make over 80% of consumer purchases, household and otherwise. And marketers and advertisers know that. And so do those at the helm of social media platforms. That means that when you engage in social media as a business, you should pay attention to who your target audience is and create the right content, shared in the right ways on the most suited platforms.
Google+ clearly has its work cut out for it, as it has yet to reel in the users that hold the most purchasing power, the ambassadors of the brand. We are women hear us roar.
I’m not a big fan of Pinterest during my personal time. Not because I’m trying to make a feminist stand, but because I don’t have a lot of free time and stick to the platforms where all my peeps are. And, I will admit, I am a reluctant Google+ user for the same reason. But now I might become a power user just to shift those “women don’t like tech-heavy busy confusing complicated tools” stereotypes. Watch out, 24 year-old dudes. I'm gonna girl up your playground.