We enjoy research, especially researching research. Take LinkedIn’s recent report that women are less savvy (well informed, perceptive, shrewd) than men. Their results only reinforced H.H. Munro’s comment in the early 1900’s when he noted, "A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
"Oh, then why don’t you get yourself some friendly little therapist and try to work out all that hostility." – Nick, Basic Instinct, Carolco Pictures (1992)
The professional networking site produced the amazing findings because women weren’t hanging out as much there as they were at all of the other social media sites. They blunted some of the challenges to their "findings" by having a female member of LinkedIn sign-off on (read "publicize") the results. Otherwise, someone might have accused them of being sexist.
Nick looked at the report and the person presenting it and said, "You tell me. You’re the shrink." Somehow, LinkedIn believes that since the ratio of gender are pretty equal on the Web, including techie and game sites, then it’s only logical that they should have their "fair share." As Nick said, "That’s miserable enough to carry an obligation."
While the world population is "roughly" 50/50 male/female, a higher proportion of women use the Internet than men. More importantly, they do more of their product research and purchasing online than men. Yes, any difference in the numbers could be a rounding error; but look at how much more active females are on the Web.
Women of Action
- They buy more online.
- They make more transactions.
- They spend more.
Gee, if we’re trying to sell something – product or service – guess we might as well look beyond LinkedIn!
A report that USA Today discussed not long ago provided a different set of conclusions. The report conducted by Netpop Research concluded that more than half of those considered "heavy contributors" are not only female but are also active in six or more social media activities.
Social Media Experts
According to WhyMomsRule.com, women are more involved in the majority of social media activity than men, with the exception of LinkedIn. Their social media activity runs across all generations with netizens leading the way.
The Netpop research found that women outpaced men on social media 78 percent to 66 percent. Young and old, they spent a lot of time on the main social media locations and were involved in more social media activities.
The truth is, women around the globe take the lead in social networks and social media activity.
Worldwide Web – Regardless of the region of the world, women lead men in their web activities at home and at work. Source – Media Metrix Worldwide
O.K., everywhere but LinkedIn, which Pew Research Center found was the last real bastion of male domination.
While women dominate the conversation in most websites/activities, men dominate the participants at LinkedIn, which can be good or bad depending on your interpretation.
Pew Research’s study concluded that LinkedIn is one of the few social networks that has fewer women than men. In their published results, they also reported that women significantly outnumbered men in every other social media site/activity.
Being savvy from LinkedIn’s perspective is that they have an exclusive (but open) club where people can make professional connections and relationships.
Or, as a smart-alecky female in our office translated the report, "Just proves guys need their egos reinforced and pumped up more than gals."
Boy, we wanted to say something smart back at her because we resented that – didn’t deny it, just resented it! Most of the research we’ve seen shows women to be as active, if not more so, in the social media arena as men.
Social Leaders – Women have found the Internet/Web the ideal means of connecting with people of similar interests and spend more time networking, IMing, emailing.
comScore’s study last year concluded that globally a higher percentage of women than men were more active with social networking, email, IM (translation – just about everything covered by the social media umbrella). comScore noted that 75.8 percent of women online visited networking sites, compared to 69.7 percent of men.
The study also found women spend significantly more time on social networking sites than men, with women averaging 5.5 hours per month compared to 4 hours for men. According to "She’s Connected," they were busy:
- Viewing social network profiles – 92%
- Creating a social network profile – 91%
- Watching online videos – 88%
- Reading blogs – 84%
- Uploading pictures to sites – 82%
- Leaving comments on sites – 78%
- Starting blogs – 52%
- Subscribing to RSS feeds – 48%
- Downloading podcasts 48%
- Sending private messages to friends (not on LinkedIn) – 34.6%
- Getting product info including coupons – 8.7%
- Playing games – 6.4%
- Writing product reviews – 5%
Imagine what they could do if they were social media savvy?
Many females have found that social media provides them with an excellent opportunity to express their views – especially about products – and interact with people with similar interests and ideas.
Gus warned, "Everyone that she plays with dies."
These social expressionists provide excellent and highly credible word-of-mouth endorsement of products they like in addition to turning the spotlight on products/services they don’t like.
Having mastered the domination of social media on the Web, Nielsen recently reported that women are dominating the mobile social network. More than 55 percent of the individuals on the mobile social network were female while 45 percent were male.
Bell Curve – Gen X and pre-boomers are very active on social networking sites with fairly predictable Bell Curve participation in millenials and late boomers.
According to some of the research we’ve seen, one of the major areas of mobile networking women lead in is game play – individual and group.
As Catherine said, "I have a degree in psychology; it goes with the turf… Games are fun."
In LinkedIn’s defense, they did note that several areas of the study were gender-centric such as seniority, job function and desire to stay in the "management loop."
In other words, jobs, referrals, business relationships/deals.
What the study failed to take into consideration at the outset is that every individual today has an online brand and people – men and women – are professionally and socially networking 24/7. About the only thing they did validate is that the "good old boy" club still lives; but we’re not quite certain if a place where you can build and "manage" your professional network has a value of $4 billion plus – especially when you can tear it down with a dumb Tweet!
Yeah, we like LinkedIn; but when you want to do business – sell your stuff/service – you’re probably better off looking to the rest of the social media sites and that means getting real good at the mobile activities.
That’s where the real business seems to be done.
Enough stereotypes already?
Self-Confidence – Females around the globe have found social media and web activities the outlet they want/need to exchange information on products, hobbies, family and work. Men may dominate the "new good-old-boy club," LinkedIn, but just about everywhere else women dominate the discussions, activities.
But even with all the research that is done on the Web and how closely we listen to our wife and daughter, we still agree with Sigmund Freud?
"The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ?What does a woman want?’"
Something about the way she glared at us and said, "I’m not stupid", made us believe her!