Recently I sat in on a corporate workshop on the ‘Role of Gender in Workplace Communication’ and it really got me to thinking about the importance gender values and communication methods should play when crafting a social media marketing strategy.
Traditionally people asked family, friends and colleagues their opinions before committing to a purchase and it’s this innate human trait that cultivates the basis of social media marketing. Thus, as social media and technology evolve, word of mouth and recommendations become even more important as they now enable people to access others views on a brand, product or service far more easily; and more importantly, canvas a far wider set of opinions.
So how can your business’ social media marketing strategy benefit from understanding gender communication?
It’s a commonly held communication concept that men value authority and women value connection.
This usually translates to:
• Women believe people who they feel they have something in common with (i.e. connection).
• Men believe people who they feel know what they are talking about (i.e. authority).
Why is word of mouth so strong with women?
Because women trust opinions of “someone like me” and will put a lot of faith in what other women say about products and services.
So if your target market is mainly the female gender – social media is the perfect vehicle for communicating, connecting and building trust. Concentrate on that personal, one-on-one, real-time connection provided by social media platforms such as Facebook. If a female subscriber trusts you, they’re more likely to listen.
Word of mouth is equally as important with men. However, men trust ‘authority’.
So if your target audience is predominantly the male gender – build credibility by becoming known as an expert in your field. You need to back up opinion with information that displays your expertise and authority. Social media platforms such as a Blog and LinkedIn are a good option to do this. If a male subscriber believes you are an authority or expert on a particular subject, they are more likely to listen.
One final note: Even though it’s important to understand gender communication differences when it comes to social media marketing, it’s equally important not to assume that all men or all women will act a certain way. That’s what makes it fun and interesting.
And, did you know not only do men and women communicate differently on social media, but they also participate differently? But alas, that’s another topic.