It’s a woman’s place
Published in Nov-Dec 2014
(This article was first published in the Nov-Dec 2014 edition of Aurora.)
The next time you are recruiting for a social media marketing position, consider what a woman can bring to the position. And if you are a woman reading this and contemplating a career in social media, there are areas of natural strength that you may want to play up in your career path.
If you are a woman entrepreneur, you have all the makings to be a natural marketer on social media. Women entrepreneurs are often intimidated by marketing in general and social media marketing in particular. If that is you, I’m here to tell you that social media marketing is less about being technical and more about being your natural self and women make a natural fit in social media marketing. Here’s how:
1. Women are great listeners
Ever been in an argument with a man where you say “you never listen to me?” I have. So have millions of women. This is because we tend to want men to listen in the same way we do. When women listen, they put everything aside and give their undivided attention. Women know that half the problem is solved if the other party feels that their opinion matters. In social media, listening is one of the top skills brands need to hone. A customer who feels validated will be much more forgiving and loyal. Social listening is imperative to research and any brand that listens well is more likely to stay on top of trends and issues.
Social media is about managing a multitude of tasks all in the space of a day. From blogging to community building, to trouble shooting to designing, to listening, analysing and testing – a social media marketer wears a lot of hats.
2. Women are naturally collaborative
Social media does not take place in silos. Marketers need to work with every department in a company as well as directly with customers and fans. Then there are cross collaborations with agencies and other brands too. You will never hear a woman say, “I can only work alone.” Although we like our quiet space and our creative time, when it comes to teamwork, we love projects where everyone is part of something bigger. Whether they are working alone or in a team, women tend to bring people together using their natural collaborative skills.
3. Women are often language oriented
Social media is about great communication. People who can communicate ideas well across the virtual world and within the constraints of the medium have the power to be understood. Women are often great at writing, blogging, grammar and emailing. These skills carry over well into the social media marketing world where the nuance, tone and messaging of every word is magnified.
4. Women are community queens
Social media is largely about managing a community of people with common interests. The skill of a great community manager lies in bringing people together in a way that everyone feels included and special. Women are especially warm and caring and like to include people in activities. They are great at reaching out to people and making them feel part of the community. They build relationships and bridges and make natural social networkers.
Social media has just changed the tools we use to conduct this dialogue. And women are right in the thick of it with their huge natural advantage of the tools available to them. Social media gives women the ability to amplify their voice and share a larger message with the world. And they love doing that!
5. Women are effective multitaskers
Social media is about managing a multitude of tasks all in the space of a day. From blogging to community building, to trouble shooting to designing, to listening, analysing and testing – a social media marketer wears a lot of hats. Women who are used to juggling their lives between work, home, kids, family, friends, relatives, careers and more, adapt well to the frenzied world of social marketing. They are great at making schedules, to-do lists, organising and managing time and projects.
6. Women often have an eye for design
Social media is an increasingly visual medium. Brands must have good design interwoven into their online marketing efforts to attract eyeballs and instant interest from people who are flicking through their devices. Women have an eye for the intricate detail that makes or breaks visual harmony. Even if they don’t do all the design work themselves, they can supervise and instinctively know good design when they see it. Why else would Pinterest be dominated by women?
7. Women are top sharers and referrers
Often in social media, the brand leaders set the tone for what’s in and what’s last season’s stuff. People who can spot trends are the early birds who get the worm and the whole enchilada. Women don’t just spot trends; they create them. When a woman discovers a great restaurant/babysitter/ designer/caterer/hairdresser, etc, she is quick to share the discovery with her friends. Women genuinely enjoy letting others know about their latest finds and the next hot thing in town. What could be a more natural inclination for a social media marketer to have than to be a sharer and referrer of products and people?
Social media is not a new strategy. Marketing is still all about forming relationships, listening and communicating with audiences. Social media has just changed the tools we use to conduct this dialogue. And women are right in the thick of it with their huge natural advantage of the tools available to them. Social media gives women the ability to amplify their voice and share a larger message with the world. And they love doing that!
Salma Jafri is founder and CEO, WordPL.net. firstname.lastname@example.org
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