I love social media. You love social media. We all love social media! But have you ever taken a moment to think about why we love social media?
I recently did some of my own mini research, breaking down certain demographics to zone in on usage patterns and these were my results:
The millennial generation, also known as Gen Y – individuals born in my day; the 80s and the 90s, are all about Twitter. These tweeters use the networking site in order to socialize, RT (retweet) and participate in trending topics. On the flip side, the parents of these Gen Y-ers, around the ages of 30 to 50, use twitter for other means. This group of individuals participates on Twitter by actually networking. Women more-so than men use it to network business wise but men will occasionally tweet for those purposes too. Women also use Twitter to converse with friends. Meanwhile, men have adopted Twitter as a way to discuss and gather information on entertaining or news related topics.
In my research of selected timelines, I discovered that women tweet more useless facts like “I just ate a lot of food.” Ok. Why does anyone care? I will be honest; I am guilty of tweeting things that more than half of my followers possibly have no interest in knowing. But hey, it’s ok to over share at times!
Now, as for being followed on twitter, famous women have more followers but the average Joes have higher follower counts than women. Did you know that 7 of the top 10 most followed people on Twitter are women? Sure they are famous pop stars who create huge buzz with their career paths but they are still female, nonetheless. Props to my fellow gender!
Surprise. Surprise. Facebook is female dominated. According to BrianSolis.com the site is 57% female and attracts 46 million more female visitors than male visitors per month. Much different than my Twitter findings, females in both age demographics mentioned previously use Facebook for the same purposes – to share personal information and upload photos. It is more common to read about a woman’s day on her status than a man’s. Men typically use Facebook as a means of communication or a way to pass the time. Many men can go days without updating anything but they will log-on in silence to see what his buddies or love interest did last night. Everyone though, uses Facebook to keep in contact with people. Often, if a friend does not answer his or her phone, email or Twitter @ reply, the next best thing is to write on “the wall”.
This is possibly the more sophisticated of the social networking sites and also used more by men. LinkedIn is business-based and used for job hunting, job posting, and business promotion. As men are perceived as more dominate in the work force, it seems natural that this particular website is used more by men. Women, however, also frequently use LinkedIn for the same reasons as men, just the female profile numbers are a lot lower. In my research though, I have noticed a huge jump in LinkedIn account creations by millennials. The job market is difficult right now and LinkedIn has been a way of creating much-needed relationships to help find work for younger people.
Yet another male dominated site is YouTube. When researching, I was told by several ladies that they use the popular site to listen to music and watch videos. However, more men I spoke with actually uploaded their own content to the site. Then comes the question, is this site used more by men because they are more technical savvy? “Traditionally, men are the early adopters of new technologies,” notes Auren Hoffman of Bloomberg Businessweek.
“Experts believe the difference between how men and women operate online mirror their motivations offline. While women often use online social networking tools to make connections and share items from their personal lives, men use them as means to gather information and increase their status,” notes Jezebel.com. Now, do you think you will use social media differently or continue as you were? I certainly will try to stop posting incredibly non-informative tweets.
*My research was done by selecting random friends, associates and acquaintances on these various social media sites to speak with. I also studied several member profiles I selected at random.
*Infographic provided by Bitrebels.com