The Gender Divide in the Social Media
Social media has undoubtedly become so popular that people who earlier dismissed it are trying to like it due to the huge benefits that are associated with it. Advertising, keeping in touch with relatives and friends, and news updates are just a few benefits associated with the social media. Social media has become part of people’s daily lives with Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedln being more consulted than the newspapers and the television. Indeed, many people, especially the young generation, spend most of their time stalking their friends through the social media. However, there is a wide gap between the users of the social media in terms of gender. Research has shown that women use the social media more than men do (Fuller 2013).
The discrepancies mainly stem from the fact that whereas women take pride in use of language, men like remaining silent and keeping it brief. Women have been known for a very long time as better communicators and more social than their male counterparts. This characteristic makes them eager to seek out the world with their curiosity being higher than that of men. Women like seeking advice about business from their peers unlike most men who prefer to carry out their businesses on their own. A study by the Pew Research Centre established that 72% of Facebook users in America are women as compared to the remaining percentage of men, 25% users of the Pinterest are women as opposed with just 5% of men, and 16% users of Instagram are women as compared to 10% of men. However, Reddit and Twitter are common with both sexes with 8% and 18% of the online men population liking it, compared to 4% and 17% of females. Twitter can be popular for men because it is straight to the point and does not demand insignificant talk (Stringer 2013).
Any person who establishes an online business targeting men through the social media must be deluded. This argument is based on another study by the Internet Service Providers (ISP), which reveals that majority of the social media users are women (Carlson 2012). For example, they accomplished that Twitter users are mostly women with only 38% being men. In fact, gender ratios in social media are nothing that can be ignored especially in business because the form of communication preferred by a particular target audience improves the efficacy of the business as well as keeping the audience engaged. The research by the ISP established various differences in the audience for each social media channel (Garber 2012).
In Facebook, women spend more time enjoying the content posted and stalking their peers. They spend most of their time perusing the pages of the Facebook and are even willing to spend more time sharing Facebook content as opposed to men. YouTube users seem to almost balance, but more men than women watch YouTube videos, although the difference between users of YouTube is not big, only 46% are females versus 54% being male. Nevertheless, the amount of time spent watching videos on YouTube is different: females only spend thirty-five minutes per week watching YouTube videos, as opposed to men who can spend over an hour weekly on the site. As such, a person who starts up a business that targets the male audience can consider creating viral videos as they attract more men than women (Falkow 2013).
Contrary to the study by Pew Research Centre, ISP’s study established that 62% of Twitter users are women with over forty million females frequenting Twitter every month as opposed to men. Using Twitter is different from the use of Facebook because users of Twitter do not necessarily have to make friend requests, as it is the case with Facebook. Both men and women use Twitter to stalk trending topics, thus making it worthwhile to add hashtags to businesses in order to make them easily accessible (Fuller 2013).
Female users have also dominated Pinterest and compose 70% of the total users. They mostly favor the pins that contain DIY projects, recipes, and tutorials. Dismissing Pinterest as a marketing tool is, however, unwise if the target audience are men because the channel promotes more referrals than YouTube, Google+, and Linkedln (Lee 2012). Finally, men dominate Google+: 64%. However, three quarters of the users state that they do not use the channel for social networking but for advertising.
Carlson, R 2012, July 5, Why women are overtaking men on social media. Viewed April 7, 2014, http://contently.com/strategist/2012/07/05/social-media-gender-divide/
Falkow, S 2013, September 23, Men closing the social media gap. Viewed April 7, 2014.
Fuller, G 2013, September 26, Social media, work and the gender divide. Viewed 7, 2014.
Garber, M 2012, April 27, The digital (gender) divide: women are more likely than men to have a blog (and a Facebook profile). Viewed April 7, 2014, from http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/the-digital-gender-divide-women-are-more-likely-than-men-to-have-a-blog-and-a-facebook-profile/256466/
Lee, C 2012, July 5, Social media gender divide: boys v. girls [INFOGRAPHIC]. Viewed April 7, 2014, http://newmediarockstars.com/2012/07/infographic-social-media-gender-divide-boys-v-girls/
Stringer, K 2013, June 11, Online communications, content marketing & social media. Viewed April 7, 2014.