Mar 6, 2012

The Future Belongs to Women



It’s been the norm that women like social media more than men do, illustrated by data from comScore. Even when it comes to Pinterest, women make up about 82% of active users according to Curt Finch. Why is this? Helen Nowicka explains it’s simply an intrinsic difference that women are more social than men. For most of us, this comes naturally doesn’t it? Look at your campus, guys are munching hotdogs alone while girls are chatting in a circle. Aileen Lee gives another more specific phenomenon that women tend to adopt new social media technology faster than men.

I think this trend will be accelerated or at least persist. So, if social media is truly revolutionary and becoming a primary communication means which is dominated by women, are women going to dominate the society? I would say it’s probable in a sense and pragmatically it’s not that bad. Although some men must go crazy to keep the reins, I personally wouldn't mind at all as I don’t/won’t have any! Let’s think about this from the marketing point of view.

Nowadays, no one denies the importance of marketing in almost any public activity. And in which considered segmentation is one of the key elements of success. However, as Johanna Blakley told us at TED talks, there’s a pitfall in the conventional marketing tactic where great emphasis is placed on demographical segmentation.

It used to work quite well not because consumers actually fit in one of those segments, rather because traditional media pushed a square peg in a round hole and created such fallacious notions. But now the landscape is completely changing. As Boyd pointed out “Social Media has released us, freed us”, now we don't have to be presumed in a rigid category and it’s much easier to get out of those demographic boxes. “We can also connect with people based on our very specific interests. We don’t need a media company to help do this for us.” Johanna said.

Those connections and communities are very wide-raging & dynamic. Therefore if marketers try to synthesize them in a functional way, a set of new skills and instincts are definitely required. In that case, women’s better ability of grasping such a social environment will be much more appreciated than ever. I don’t think we guys should keep our eyes on Karl Marx with a frown, but give way and do whatever we better at in social media sphere.

Am I being overly feminist? Please share your position on this.

Johanna Blakley: Social media and the end of gender

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