No surprise here! Women are the dominant force using social media channels today and marketers are taking notice! This report issued by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research highlights some of the key statistics in social media use and purpose by North American women today.
Recent research from Pew Research Center found that the percentage of female Internet users who use social networking sites well exceeds that of men (75% vs. 63%, respectively) and women are also more active in their use of these sites. Women are the “low-hanging fruit” of social media today and deserve closer attention from marketers.
The Women of Google+
One of the hardest things to do is sit and listen when we feel we have something important that needs to be said right now. Young children are the perfect examples of this. It’s rare when you can get through an entire sentence before they interrupt and take the conversation in their own direction. A good number of times they wind up either changing the topic or walking away while you are trying to finish the thought. It’s frustrating and neither person gets their ideas across.
As you can guess, social networking platforms can be the most difficult place to keep quiet and listen (or read, since most of what you will consume online will most likely be text). Why just listen? Why not just jump in the conversation or start your own? Talking has value no doubt, but in order to understand the big picture, find where you can be of value, and present yourself as a thought leader or expert, it is vital that you take the time to listen first and react second.
Of course there is a big difference from not listening and not paying attention. Paying attention online involves making sure things that are important to you get to you in a timely manner. Connecting with the right people is a big part of that.
Look for the Story
Sometimes you think you know the story, but really you only know the punchline. The value is in the details, and the story is what creates unique value. Years ago when ‘social media’ first started becoming popular, it was assumed that being ‘on’ social media was the end goal – the punchline. We all know now that it’s not that easy. The story (strategy and tactics) of a social media presence is what creates value, the goal is completely their own. The same should be true for the content you are reading, so look for it. Is there a point to what you are reading that resonates with you? What lesson can you take from the author’s experience?
Comprehend What You Read
This goes much further than just understanding the basics of what you’re reading. Go back and read a few other posts by the author to get a better feel for what they think, know, or stand for. One post rarely sums up the complete person or brand, just as one date doesn’t give you a complete picture of a potential spouse. You can get a better feel for the meaning of ideas in the post you are interested in by reading other content from the same source. By understanding where the author and possibly other readers are coming from, you can be sure to tailor your comments or response to fit the conversation, not detract from it.
Before hitting ‘publish’ on your response, make sure you are presenting yourself in a clear and concise way that adds to the conversation and community. No one likes sales pitches responses, having someone ‘trash’ them or make them look stupid to their readers. If what you have to say is more than a paragraph or two, you may want to think about creating your own post or response and linking back to it if readers wish to hear more of your thoughts. By taking a moment to re-read what you intend on saying and making sure it both gets your own point across and takes into account the message the author intended, you will show yourself to be a well-informed and knowledgeable thought leader.
Sometimes it all comes down to biting your tongue and being quiet until you get a better understanding of what’s going on. With ‘talking back’ being as easy as sending a tweet or posting a comment, it’s more important now than ever to be sure the message you want to convey is the right one.
Photo credit : Flickr / wrestlingentropy