Does gender affect a marketer’s success in social media?

Studies show that among the general public, women have a slightly larger presence on social networks. A recent comScore survey revealed that 83.9% of female internet users belong to a social network, versus 81% of the male online population.

At lonelybrand we wanted to know whether gender affects the way agency executives view social networking, so we took a look at our survey of over 300 top agency executives to find out.

Who’s more old school?

We wanted to see whether one gender prefers more traditional business development tactics over social media, so we asked the executives whether meeting prospects at conferences, conventions and events is very important for lead generation.

It turns out that women are more likely to turn to in-person business development strategies; 70% said that these tactics are important for lead gen. Meanwhile, just 64% of men said that meeting prospects in person is of the utmost importance.

 

General perceptions of social media

Is there a difference among genders when it comes to confidence in digital programming? We asked executives whether they believe the right digital tools can help fill the company sales funnel with qualified leads. Women seem to have more confidence in digital tools, with 73% supporting these initiatives.

Specifically looking at social media, we asked the executives whether they agreed with the statement, “social engagement is not important to business development initiatives.” Men were more likely to consider social engagement a frivolous strategy.

Executives on social media

Perceptions are one thing, but execution is what actually matters when it comes to social engagement. We asked agency executives whether they use the big three social networks (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) on behalf of their company on a regular basis. Results show that women are more likely to use Facebook and Twitter, while men are more likely to participate on LinkedIn.

Plans for 2012

Finally, we looked at whether executives are planning to be more involved in social engagement for business development purposes in 2012.

Our research shows that 50% of women plan to increase involvement in social media in the new year, compared to just 39% of men.

 

 

 

So where does that leave us? It looks like women are more dedicated to traditional, in-person business development strategies, but at the same time are more supportive of digital initiatives like social engagement.

Women are also more likely to use Facebook and Twitter, while men are more active on LinkedIn. And in the coming year, half of female executives plan to be more involved in social engagement for lead gen, versus fewer than four out of every ten men.

Do you think gender has anything to do with one’s perceptions of social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us your response.