The Social Media Gender Gap (Part 2)

Men and women use social media differently. In Part 2 of this series, The Public Speaker explains how we can learn from each other and get better at promoting ourselves and building online relationships. 

Lisa B. Marshall
3-minute read
Episode #238

Today we pick up with Part 2 of our mini-series on the social media gender gap.  

In Part 1, I talked about the research on the difference between men and woman and their use of social media. I recently spoke with LinkedIn expert Viveka Van Rosen about this phenomenon.  You most likely know her by her Twitter handle @LinkedInExpert or as the Author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day.


In her book she treats women as a separate demographic, so I asked her to help me understand this better.  Viveka explained that there are real differences between how men and women use LinkedIn:

  • Men tend to focus more on outbound communications while women focus more on inbound.

  • Men are better at promoting themselves. Women tend to be less comfortable with this.

  • Women are typically better at communication and they may not realize LinkedIn is a great platform to foster engaging professional relationships.

What Men Can Learn from Women on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great place to make new connections and nurture existing ones. This is where women stand out. For example, I really love the Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi. I think this group is one of the best for creating engaging professional relationships.

You can see how this group applies the three main tips Viveka Van Rosen offers for using LinkedIn to make quality connections:

  1. Focus on providing benefit to your audience. Offering tips, training videos, ebooks, etc. is a great way to share with your customers.  In Professional Women’s Network group there are highly active moderated discussions and well-known guest professionals directly answer member questions.

  2. Call out your target audience. Sometimes that means excluding some people. But being too broad won’t attract customers. Targeting your audience will bring you quality leads that lead to sales. Again, in the Professional Women’s Network, the target is called out directly in the name!  Professional Women who are interested in networking!

  3. Provide content specifically for your target audience. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. Again, as example, you’ll see the content in the group we’ve been talking about is very focused on women professionals, with discussion titles like, “If Women Succeed, America Succeeds!” “What does it mean to be an independent woman?” and  “Leadership-masculine, feminine, or balanced?”

Keep in mind these same points can also apply to your profile -- that is, you can offer tips and ebooks, you can make references to your target audience, and provide links to content that targets their needs. During my interview with Viveka, I was flattered because Viveka mentioned that my LinkedIn profile was a good example of these points. I’ll let you decide for yourself.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.