Friends and I recently discussed social media nirvana at a birthday party. Main topic > All things being equal, who uses social media more effectively; men or women?
Members of our little soirée included 10 girls and 10 guys, ages 21 to 39. We had students, executives, artists, and athletes. There were no-tech and high-tech peers alike. Single, married, and parents were accounted for. Fair to say it was a diverse group.
Some were tech-haters and others were full-time social-media mavens. But everyone, in some fashion or another, used all three major tools (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). After hours of debate, we also realized that everyone used social media for one of four objectives:
1.) We want to SELL something (product, service, idea)
2.) We want to SHARE content (news, music, photos, information, entertainment)
3.) We want to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS (friends, partners, clients)
4.) We want to COMMUNICATE something (humor, causes, knowledge)
Sell. Share. Communicate. Build relationships. Since selling and sharing are just forms of communication, it really boils down to two things: Communication and Relationships.
Soon enough, and almost unanimously, our group conceded that women were superior at the two skills needed for social media acumen (communication and relationship building). And although a late-night survey of 20 people at a party hardly serves as a global social study, we men were willing to concede 10 points across the board …
Top 10 Reasons Women are Better than Men at Social Media?
1. Emotional Intelligence> Women tend to be more self-ware and self-disciplined about their choice of words, therefore communicate better to a broader audience.
2. Social Intelligence> Women tend to empathize, get along, and read people better than men.
3. Listening> Women tend to listen better than men.
4. Open and honest communication> Women tend to share their feelings more than men which helps build trust in relationships
5. Humility> Women will admit when they’re wrong or share what they don’t know sooner than men. Men will drive around for hours before they ask for directions.
6. Commitment>The running joke in many relationships is that men have a more difficult time with commitment. If that’s true, women have a leg up on social media relations.
7. Curiosity> Women will often ask far more questions to learn about people. As a social skill, there’s no greater relationship-builder than showing genuine interest in someone before talking about oneself.
8. Diplomacy>The rule in social media is to share ideas and resources. While women are just as competitive as men, they tend to be more diplomatic in terms of sharing before selling.
9. Long-Term Thinking>Women are willing to put in more time to build relationships that last. Men prefer instant gratification.
10.Multi-Tasking >Enough said.
Naturally, there are exceptions to every rule. I know a few guys who can multi-task and a few girls who don’t communicate well. So be humble, honest, and authentic. As a famous President once said, there’s a “Tweetable” moment here.
Guest blog entry written by Gini Graham Scott, PhD
Writers often say they are overwhelmed by the social media. How do you keep up with all of the online networks to follow or be followed by your connections, friends, followers, or whatever they are called? There are so many of these social media sites now — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Tumblr, and many more. Even Google+ recently started up with its circles upon circles. And new social networking sites, especially those targeted to a particular industry, keep popping up all the time.
One problem in keeping up is that if you just drop in occasionally to post an announcement about yourself or your business the regulars on these networks don’t like it, and they might post a critical response putting you down. Sometimes they may simply call you out as an interloper, or they may find something to criticize about whatever book, service, or product you mention. Their reaction might be totally inaccurate or off the wall. But they have the benefit of being part of the ongoing conversation, and as a newcomer, you are likely to get drowned out. I know a number of writers who have turned tail after such a barrage of criticism, never to return to that group again.
Yet, if you stick around and take the time to join the conversation, you could find prospective contacts or clients who might be drawn to whatever you do. However, it’s hard to tell which of the social media sites will be really valuable to invest your time in, particularly when you only have a limited amount of time to spend on these sites, since you have to balance any time spent in marketing and promotion with writing or running your business.
So how does one find the time to have an ongoing social media presence? Well, perhaps you might do what many celebrities and businesses do — they hire someone to represent their voice and post for them, including responding to both those initiating posts and respond to their own. For example, I read about one woman, Anne Colbert, who has been posting for three or four celebrity clients at a time for several years, spending a few hours a day for each client. And many others have become surrogate posters, too. Of course, which clients one posts for is totally hush hush, because their followers, connections, and friends want to think they are communicating directly with the person they are following. In effect, these are “ghost posters” — a new kind of ghostwriter, and if they are very good, they will accurately speak in their client’s voice, so you won’t even know they are there.
So for writers, this might be a new kind of career path. Master the many different social media and provide your services as a ghost poster. Alternatively, if you want to promote your own writing, services, or products, hire your own ghost poster.
Besides the more expensive established posters, you might find lower cost posters in various ways. One is through outsourcing services like Guru and Elance, which specialize in freelancers all over the world. Or you might find part-time employees, including students at local colleges and universities, closer to home. Figure the cost might be as little as $5-10 an hour, and if you can find someone who you feel comfortable with speaking for you, the service might be well worth it.
You might start by familiarizing whoever you hire with yourself, your business, and the key messages you want to convey. You might also provide some initial copy and talking points. Then, let your ghost poster take it from there, while referring any potential clients directly to you for your personal follow-up.
So, whatever route you take, good luck in pitching your services for ghost posting or in having someone act as a ghost poster for you.
About Gini Graham Scott
Gini Graham Scott, PhD, is the author of over 50 books and a speaker/seminar leader, specializing in social trends, work relationships, professional development, and writing and publishing books. Her latest books include THE TRUTH ABOUT LYING; WANT IT, SEE IT, GET IT!; and USING LINKEDIN TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS OR YOURSELF. She also helps clients write, publish, and promote their own books and find publishers and agents through Changemakers Publishing and Writing. She has a publishing company Changemakers Publishing and writes screenplays, both her own and for clients. Her Websites are at http://www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com and http://www.ginigrahamscott.com
It’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago “twitter” was just a word used to describe the sound from a bird. “Thefacebook” was a website project created by a Harvard sophomore. We all know what happened next. Twitter, now with more than 200 million global users and Facebook, a social media giant with more than 800 million global addicts… er… users are at the heart of the social commerce boom.
What exactly is social commerce? Social commerce is the fusion of two of the decade’s biggest digital trends – “social media” and “e-commerce”. According to Moontoast, a Boston-based distributor of social commerce solutions, today’s brands have a lot to gain with this new way of purchasing and selling products and services. In its e-book, “The Social Commerce Opportunity: How Brands Can Take Advantage of the Next Evolution Commerce”, brands who supplement their social media strategy with social commerce will not only “increase revenue, but also increase community growth”.
If you’re a business, off the bat you should ensure you have an online presence. Furthermore, if you’re looking to rapidly increase brand recognition, best believe that social media must be a component of your marketing arsenal. Moontoast’s e-book touts some very compelling stats by Nielsen and Gartner illustrating how much time Americans spend on the Web and how much companies are expected to generate in revenue from the Web via social presence and mobile applications, respectively.
“The Social Commerce Opportunity” e-book outlines the following opportunities unique to social:
- Brands can reach engaged audiences than ever before.
- Brands can present offers better than ever before through a digital “word of mouth” phenomenon presented by social.
- Social drives adoption through confidence via repetition, user experience and trusted payment methods.
Building on this, it’s also important to note that today’s savvy, digital consumers also use the Web as a resource for savings. In its Times & Trends Special Report, “The Downturn Shopper: Buckled in for a Wild and Crazy Ride”, market research firm, SymphonyIRI, reported that the Web is rapidly becoming an integral component of what it calls the downturn shopper’s money saving strategies, pointing to a steady rise in shoppers using the Internet to research products and gather coupons.
The lesson here is this: social media is here and it’s here to stay. People are spending lots of time on Web and even more on social media. Many are already relying on social media to learn about products and deals, and it won’t be long before social media becomes the driving force for a majority of online purchases. The folks at Moontoast say it best, “Social Commerce will not only help brands monetize social media efforts, but it will fit in seamlessly with social media strategies and offer new ways to reward people through exciting offers and a better user experience.” Get with it. Get social.
In a national telephone survey of registered voters, 53% said it is harmful, 20% said it is helpful in the social development of youth, 17% said it is not making a difference either way and 11% did not offer an opinion.
Men and women shared similar views on the question with 53% saying social media is harmful to the social development of young people.
Among men, 22% said it is helpful, 17% said it is not making a difference and 9% had no opinion.
Among women, 18% found social media helpful in the social development of young people, 17% said it is not making a difference, 13% did not have an opinion.
By a smaller margin than the national average, young people in the 18-29 year old age group found social media more harmful than helpful with 47% choosing harmful versus 35% who thought it was helpful to the social development of today’s youth. Sixteen percent said social media is not making a difference and 3% did not offer an opinion.
See a breakdown of survey participants by age, race, gender, and political affiliation in crosstabs for this poll at http://media.pollposition.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/Poll-Position-Crosstbas-Social-media-helpful-or-harmful.pdf.
Poll Position’s scientific telephone survey of 1,200 registered voters nationwide was conducted November 13, 2011 and has a margin of error of ±3%. Poll results are weighted to be a representative sampling of all American adults.
Learn more about Poll Position’s polling methodology at http://pollposition.com/2011/09/26/our-polling-methodology/.
About Poll Position
Poll Position is a unique non-partisan news, polling, and social media company founded and lead by two award-winning CNN news and polling veterans. The company’s goals are to engage, enlighten, and entertain millions of people with exclusive news-making, buzz-generating public opinion polls and giving people everywhere an opportunity to vote and comment on hot topics, while learning the views of others.
Take Your Blog to the Next Level: Learn Helpful Monetization and Marketing Tips at The Social Online Conference
The Social Online Conference, the blogging conference you can attend from the comfort of your home, is a 3-day live event hosted by TheArtofSocialMedia and features some of social media’s top experts. Learn how to take your blogging to the next level, earning money from your blog, becoming the next blogging superstar, and more.
How is the Social Online Conference different?
● All session are held via a live video stream. You are able to attend live sessions from your computer or smart phone, and talk with the other attendees and speaker via the connecting chat room.
● Perfect for any budget! Not only in the Social Online Conference affordable, but we also offer payment plans! Contact email@example.com if you need assistance paying your your registration.
● You have access to our exclusive conference forum site for life! Network with attendees, ask the speakers questions, and participate in roundtable discussion.
● All sessions are recorded and packaged just for you! Going to miss a session, a day, or all 3 days? You can still register! You will always have access to all recordings!
Here’s how the conference will work:
After registering, you will receive an email with a link to our exclusive online conference community site, where you can start networking with other attendees, getting questions ready to ask the speakers, and register for the different panels we will have.
This is how the sessions will go:
● Before each session, hop on to the conference forum site and share questions you’d like the speaker to answer during the session and get your schedule for the sessions you will be attending (you can attend all, some, or none of the sessions – recordings will be provided after the conference).
● After you register and get access to the conference forum site, there you’ll see the information for each speaker’s session. Each speaker’s session will be done via an online live video. You’ll be able to view the presenter live, as well as communicate with other attendees and the speaker in an attached chat room!
● After the planned portion of each session, there will be a Q&A time. Each attendee logged in, will be able to type in questions for the speaker. If you’re unable to attend a session, make sure to post your question on the session’s specific message board ahead of time – that way your question will be answered and recorded, and you can hear it on the session recording you will be provided with (all sessions will be recorded).
And don’t forget that you’re also getting:
● Access to all session recordings and speaker slides and handouts.
● Access to all session transcripts – in case you prefer to read the information instead of listen or watch it.
● Entry into all the virtual giveaways and swag bags!
- Generate attention for your business – Pay attention to what’s happening in the world right now. Companies have traditionally generated attention by buying it, begging and bugging people for it. The new rule: earn it by publishing interesting content to the company blog or social media outlet.
- Make your website mobile friendly – Now that you have such great content on your website, make sure busy professionals can see it wherever they are. Your website should be set up for mobile device access.
- Integrate social media into your online conferences – More companies are hosting and attending virtual events and conferences to spread their marketing message and attract potential buyers. Supplement your virtual events by Tweeting media coverage and following key influencers.
- Analyze your data – Social analytics are the new black! Find out who is attending your virtual events, visiting your Facebook page and following you on Twitter. You need to see the patterns of sentiment, find out who your tippers are, and listen daily!
- Make your processes “social” – To create a social business, figure out how to add social techniques to your processes. Think about customer service—and adding in Twitter to address your customers’ concerns. Or try crowdsourcing for product innovation, or communities for incrementing your marketing processes around loyalty.
Children love technology. They effortlessly navigate complicated menus, rapidly master the intricate seeming nuances of the latest electronic devices, and nimbly text, tilt, and click away their time happily focused on the dynamic color screens that get faster and ever more interactive.
But not all is well in this amazing wonderland. In fact, it has become a dangerous playground filled with risks, dangers, and hazards for the unwary. Frederick Lane, attorney, forensic computer expert and author of the new book, Cybertraps for the Young, says that the risks of the evolving technologies are many.
“It goes far beyond simply the time kids spend texting on their cell-phone, playing on Facebook, or watching videos on You Tube. There are more and more cases of electronic harassment and cyber-bullying, illegal downloading and sharing of music, film, and adult video on peer-to-peer networks, sexual deviants and predators in chat rooms, sexting, cheating, plagiarism, defamation, libel and slander, and a variety of internet addictions, the sharing of sensitive personal and financial information, and identify theft, computer fraud and hacking.”
Youth are easily addicted and even become seduced by the digital devices. They are unable to stop checking in on friends, focusing on the latest developments instead of focusing on the real things like sports and homework. The can find quickly and inadvertently themselves communicating with others inappropriately, spending excessive time and money, downloading illegally, or wandering into the seamy, dark and even dangerous places that exist in cyberspace.
The gadgets make it so easy. Added to this, parents have little real knowledge or understanding about what their children are doing until it is too late. Cybertraps for the Young grew out of Lane’s research and work as an expert witness in litigation. It takes the mystery out of the technology and describes the risks drawing on contemporary news reports and legal cases. He also spells out what parents can do to take affirmative action, protect their children and maintain maximum control of their life.
One key for parents to getting control is to ask themselves several simple, straightforward questions before buying a child the latest electronic gadget:
- What kinds of information can the device or software collect or distribute?
- Can it be used to communicate with others, and if so, how?
- How much data does it store, and where?
- Can you child change the device’s capabilities without your knowledge/
- Can you monitor your child’s use of the device, and if so, how?
A huge key practical issue is the monitoring. Short of surgically attaching yourself to you r child, (not generally a good idea), it’s impossible to know everything they’re doing online. How much monitoring is appropriate depends on your child’s maturity, and that of his or her friends, the amount of free time available, whether you’ve noticed or witnessed any disturbing changes in behavior. Fortunately, the forms of communication most likely to be problems can be monitored. For example, your mobile phone company can be asked to provide you with copies of all texts your child has sent or received in the last month; with instant messaging, some services allow all messages to be recorded electronically; there is an ever increasing variety of third party software available that can monitor, record, and capture online activity and send updates to your mailbox.
Key steps to protecting your child’s safety online:
- Don’t stop educating yourself. Keeping pace with the changes is a serious challenge but it is one that can be achieved by staying aware of what’s available, by investing a small amount of time, by asking the right questions, and learning what it takes to steer children past the cybertraps. Talk to your child, visit a few key websites, do some online searches and educate yourself.
- Learn and understand the impact of technology on your child. Be aware of how much time your child spends with the technology and what he or she is doing with the technology. Be the one to decide when it’s time for the child to take a break make sure the break occurs. Make sure you understand that the time a child spends texting is usually in addition to TV time. Be aware of how much time is spent on the phone.
- Don’t let computers and technology out of ‘common spaces’. The location of the family home computer should not be in the child’s bedroom. It should be where everyone can use it and see what it is being used for. Even if you give your child a computer, make sure you retain super-user administrative access to the entire machine. Do not allow for electronic privacy. Make sure the child knows, understands and accepts that you have the right and the expectation to see anything and everything on the computer at any time. .Understand that there is no pleasant resolution to a conflict of wills. You must monitor and be able to assure yourself that your child is not doing inappropriate or illegal things online.
- Install surveillance software and conduct frequent inspections. At the end of the day, children and children and parents are parents, the children must fully understand the consequences of abusing the rights that will be fully granted to them when they become adults. Parents must be just as careful with technology as they are careful about giving children knives, letting them ride bicycles, or drive automobiles. A smart phone or a laptop computer can become a dangerous instrument in the hands of an immature or misbehaving child. Surveillance of a child’s use of electronic devices in a parent’s responsibility. Taking appropriate action for misconduct is the best course of action a parent can take.
- Focus on what they do, not how they do it. It doesn’t really matter whether a child is a cyber bully by means of a laptop, a cell phone or an xBox 360 console, or instant messaging. The issue is not the technology, it is the behavior and use that gets the kids into trouble. The main objective is to teach and educate children about the appropriate use and the boundaries and rules of behavior. Some rules and lessons are not very complicated-don’t take pictures of people without their permission, or don’t be mean to friends or classmates, or don’t take or spread personal or embarrassing information. But others are much more complicated and require more structured education and guidance: intellectual property theft, identify theft, computer hacking, online purchases, sexting and sextortion. The basic approach is to work with your child to create a household code of conduct that can evolve and grow as your child matures and technology continues to improve.
- Get full access, passwords and full friend status. You must be able to actually see what your child is posting online. Condition the use of the technology with open acceptance and agreement for full access at any and at all times. If you encounter resistance, then be prepared to deny your child the privilege of using the electronic devices. Realize that of course, the period of greatest resistance, middle school through high school, coincides with the period when children are at the greatest risk of falling into one or more of the cybertraps.
The bottom line is that children need to understand the specific cybertraps that exist and how to avoid falling into them. Remember that supervising is not stalking. Be the one friend that they can trust. Open up channels to communicate with other important people in the community. Network with friends, other parents, teachers and the administrators in school district. Learn the policies and laws in your area. Your child may not like it, but have a down to earth heart to heart conversation with them and set appropriate limits on the use of electronic devices. Make your boundaries and enforce them.
A new player has joined the hot social voice community – QWiPS. Alongside Audioboo, Fotobabble and SoundCloud this segment within the technosphere is a big trend right now that could have a significant impact on the way both consumers and bands/marketers use social media. We’ve already embraced multimedia on platforms like Facebook and Twitter through text, images and videos. But what about voice? We know how powerful voice, and even ambient sound, is — the first thing newborns hear are the sounds of the world around them and their parents’ voices. And every day we make calls and record messages for our friends and loved ones. But ultimately, it’s easier to just send that Facebook message, tweet or text. QWiPS lets you do both.
Like last year, we wanted to bring you this list of inspiring women…
Recently, The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and American Express OPEN named the “Top 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies.” And what an accomplishment this is! To put it in perspective, consider that: The Top 50 generated a combined $2.3 billion in gross revenues (in 2009) and averaged 128 employees ( also, 2009). They came from a variety of industries and job sectors; and span the United States, from California to Connecticut. Says Marcia Firestone, the president of the WPO, “The Top 50 list exemplifies the vital role women business owners have on boosting the economy and enhancing job growth overall.” Here’s to these trailblazing women!
You may ask, what does it take to make this coveted top 50 list? Well, American Express OPEN was interested in just that. They polled 46 of the 50, and found these key qualities and ideals which contribute to these ladies’ success:
- A commitment to high growth — 71% agreed or strongly agreed in their goal from the very beginning of their leadership of the company as being to build a large company
- Inspiring leaders — 64% believe their “ability to motivate employees” is the most key characteristic for being a successful woman entrepreneur
- Surrounding yourself with a skilled team – 78% say “Hiring the right people”
- Adapting to a changing environment – The strategy most frequently chosen (64% of the time) to meet the challenge of the current economy is to “enter new markets.” 61% revealed that the current economic conditions made them to change their business strategies
On the top, BrightStar, a home healthcare and medical staffing company based in Illinois, was elevated from the number two spot last year to #1 in 2011. Shelly Sun, its president and chief executive officer who plans to take her business public, saw her nine-year-old company’s revenue quadruple in the last two years! Shelly attributes BrightStar’s use of social media as a significant factor in her company’s rapid revenue growth.
Here are the top 5:
- Shelly Sun – BrightStar Care (IL) – Staffing services
- Eren Ozmen – Sierra Nevada Corporation (NV) – Electronic Systems Provider
- Himanshu Bhatia – Rose International, Inc. (MO) – IT Solutions Company
- Carolyn Doerle – Doerle Food Services, LLC (LA) – Wholesale Foodservice Distribution
- Theresa Daytner–Daytner Construction Group Inc. (MD) – Construction Management
For the full list and to see their coverage in the Wall Street Journal, click here.
We hope this will inspire our entrepreneurial and business-building readers out there — When will you be starting yours?