Lazy Rae Hoffman is goofing off again, this time thousands of miles away in Dublin, Ireland. She took her Lisa with her, and sent Rhea into the hills on a quest to find her family (check her Facebook page for pictures). That leaves me this awesome opportunity to plaster my own message all over the Outspoken Media blog. It’s not often I can get a word in edgewise with these Women of Social Media around, given their genetically-granted gift of the gab and their mutant (genetically speaking, of course) outspoken nature. Like any man should, I will now take advantage of the opportunity. Hi. My name is John Andrews. I’m an SEO consultant in Seattle. How do you like me so far?
Today on the Outspoken Media blog, I’d like to discuss Why We Men Suck at Social Media.
We Men Dominate Tech; Women Dominate Social Media. Which Matters More?
Men have traditionally dominated the workplace since way back, like, in the stone age. And by dominate I mean just that… overpower the other sex(es) and rule. Men at the top. Men as managers. Men getting the interviews, men getting the jobs, men getting educations. Men have ruled the world for ages — or so I am told. I wasn’t actually there for most of history, and I can’t find much mention of scary women like the Trung sisters (leading an army of 80,000 to drive China out of Viet Nam?), and Gudit Isat, (a woman, and one of very few people able to successfully repel the advance of the Christians, in Ethiopia of all places, the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and not coincidentally the birthplace of King Solomon’s muse, the Queen of Sheba!). Perhaps, as some feministas claim, there has been a conspiracy preventing us from knowing about powerful women ruling over men throughout history. Perhaps not. But right now women are clearly taking over social media, and that, my friend, is a big deal.
Social Media is taking over the Internet, and it’s taking over because the modern web is all about relationships. I know. Ewwwwww. It’s no longer about facts, or who has already done something before, or who knows the correct answers right now. It’s about who can find the answers. Who has the best network. Who has the connections and can leverage them. It’s social.
A guy can write freakin’ poetic program code, have the biggest fist and the deadliest roundhouse kick, but if he doesn’t have patience and sympathy, well, let’s just say the future doesn’t look so bright. On the web you can’t just force your way to your destination any more, whether it’s via SEO or a massive back link campaign or even a big ad spend. You have to massage the audience, or influence the marketplace, or tease out the desired results. What matters today is the silly soft emotional stuff we guys got used to mocking over the years. The wussie stuff. Women own that stuff. And things are rapidly getting worse. Some analysts are predicting the cycle of transition away from a technical web to a social web will reinforce itself until we men are not only left out, but are seen as less valuable:
“Women’s behavior online…is less transactional and more relationship-driven. They spend more time on social networks building relationships, communicating with friends, and making new friends. Married women use social networks to share pictures and treat their network profiles as family home pages to share with friends and relatives. And because they use social networks to be social, a dollar spent marketing to acquire a female user goes a lot further than on a male user. Thanks to these realities, expect social networks of the future to keep catering to women and all but alienate men… because social media are so much more “in tune” with women, male audiences will be increasingly seen as less valuable than female ones. We already know that women spend more and make more purchasing decisions than men, and women seem to be more likely to tell their friends about their purchases: so an advertiser will get a double benefit from female consumers.”
Ouch! This isn’t looking good for us dudes.
Don’t Believe Me? Take a Look Around!
This transition is well under way in search marketing land. Over at Bruce Clay, one of the oldest search marketing firms, the Social Media talking heads are named Virginia and Susan. Girl names. See what I mean? Here at Outspoken Media, it’s Rae (a waitress at one time don’tcha know), Rhea (who wears a pink superhero suit at conferences) and Lisa “men-dont-wear-stockings” Barone. See what I’m saying? Rae’s avatar is a sexy silhouette of a woman holding an automatic weapon, James Bond-like. I suppose she’s d-a-n-g-e-r-o-u-s, too. Real subtle, eh? But don’t consider them too casually. These women mean business. And it just might be your business they mean to take away.
Check out 10e20, a marketing firm previously controlled by Chris-as-in-Christopher Winfield. For weeks now, things have been changing over at 10e20. It’s nothing but Vivienne this and Rebecca that, Rebecca blogging and the Twitter overflowing with photos all-about-Vivienne. Rebecca and Vivienne, I remind you, are not boy names. And in case you didn’t notice, Rebecca is now “Director of Social Media” at 10e20. He who controls the media controls everything.. or should I say “she” who controls the media. The women are clearly making moves here.
And this groundswell of femalia is not limited to smaller marketing firms. Did you notice Yahoo! is no longer a search engine, and has focused entirely on Social Media? The CEO is a girl. You simply can’t make this stuff up.
So let’s cut right to the chase, and identify Why We Men Suck at Social Media, and Women Rule:
1. Most Men Help Women
Most balanced and reasonable professional men are predisposed to want to help and protect women. So even though the women are competing against us, we help them. Duh. I know.
2. Most Men Don’t Help Other Men, preferring to Compete
In general, men respect each other for achieving without any outside help. Ask a guy if he needs help, and he’ll reply “Nope. I got it.” Compare that to what a girl would say. See? In addition, men like to compete with each other. Women support each other; men banter. Which tactic leads to group dominance? I told you so.
3. Most Women Help Other Women
Just count all the “Women of Internet Marketing” and “Women of Social Media” articles out there, written by women. And the award programs for Women Entrepreneurs, Women Executives, etc. Now try and find “The Men of Social Media” written by a guy, celebrating his male idols. Right. How about an awards program that is limited to guys only, with no women allowed? Good luck!
4. Some Women Won’t Help Men
There is a sub population of women who see men as the competition, not to be aided. By selectively not helping men (with links, or cross promotion, or strategic alliances) these women further compound the women-helping-women advantage already noted.
That’s it. Four reasons why women are beating us men at Social Media, and two of them are our own fault. Men suck at Social Media. To make matters worse, the four compound each other. At this rate, women will win any game involving relationships and support networks, including Social Media, and soon the entire web. Unless we start working together to revert this disaster before it grows beyond control, we dudes are toast.
At least that’s how I see it. What do you think? Comments are open.
About the Author
When he's not practicing his creative writing or baiting social media audiences, John Andrews works for Upper Left Placement, a digital marketing agency in Bellingham, Washington, where he crafts creative web strategies and provides competitive SEO services.