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Women are REALLY from Venus when it comes to Social Networks

by Leonel Azuela

Social media is definitely bringing customer relationships to a different level.  However women using social media are bringing relationships online to another dimension that I, a male Martian, can see but not understand.  Women really are from Venus when it comes to social networks!

In the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, author John Gray describes one of the many differences between men and women, saying that once women have built trust in the media they connect more, communicate at a frequency beyond simple practicality, and share problems or achievements more easily than men.

Probably in the offline world these differences are not so obvious, but in the world of social media the differences are reaffirmed and allow the Venusians to leverage this new media a lot more than many of the Martian men who live on earth.

I truly believe that men are more gadget and technology obsessive while women in general take time to accept the innovation. But once women trust and see the value in new technology they do not just adopt it, they own it.  I am always looking for a productivity excuse in order to get the newest Blackberry, or economic excuses so I can argue that my Kindle saves money in books and excess luggage costs.   On the other hand the beautiful Venusian that I share a life with still has not bought an Iphone, and she took her time to adopt Facebook and Twitter, but after just a few months Facebook is a big part of her life!

I have not timed her Facebook use but I believe it’s definitely greater than what she dedicates to other entertainment options  not only in time but also in engagement.  She is definitely not a uncommon case.  Research has shown that women spend more time on Facebook than men and that over 60 percent of Facebook users are women.   The tool is theirs now, and that’s why I say they OWN it.

The message that Venusians are sending through social media is definitely another radio frequency that I cannot map.  My friends talk more about my wife’s Facebook postings, pictures or videos than of the practical and functional content that I share online.   She definitely expresses more emotions and energy about our son’s achievement in gymnastics, about the groovy picture of our youngest with his long hair, our vacations, answers to friends’ problems, and comments and jokes.

I just experienced a case where women “took over” a male social media strategy.  Celebrating International Women’s Day this March, we launched an engagement campaign for a community of over 10,000 women across Latin America.   The strategy was to make them feel that their voice was being heard and we were going to select the best of the few comments we were expecting and post those online.  The response took us by surprise, with close to women posting 1,000 comments that were well written and communicated lots of amazing messages in Venusian frequencies. Actually, many of the “comments” were long messages that put our servers through serious stress, to the degree that our database team had to expand the number of characters allowed in the comments field!

I know many men who are really good communicators through social media.  We have done other campaigns like the one mentioned above where the best comments came from men. Most people know that the Twitter account with the most followers (over 4.5 million and counting!) is Mr. Ashton Kutcher. There are exceptions to my argument, but if you analyze his postings and those of other men like John Mayer their tone is more Venusian and avoids the strict, functional, surface-glossing Martian style.  In the case of Kutcher we know that his team includes a group of really creative and successful women.

My Grandpa on my Venusian Parent’s side was a really good public speaker.  He died when I was 2 so when I was a teenager my mom told me his strategy: “Papa Toño talked to his Audience from his Heart”.  A lesson for us Martians if we want to be successful social media communicators.  Venusians, don’t worry: most of you are naturals!