The Social Media Gender Gap (Part 1)

Men and women use social media differently. The Public Speaker explains how we can learn from each other and get better at promoting ourselves and building relationships online. 

Lisa B. Marshall
4-minute read
Episode #237

Social Media Usage by Gender

Facebook is 58% female, Twitter is 62% female

I lumped these two together since they’re both primarily social platforms and we see similar gender usage numbers. Although these percentages may not seem that big, because of the high volume of users, they actually represent a big divide. For example, 40 million more women than men visit Twitter every month! Women also have more Facebook friends and share more often than men.

Pinterest is 70% female

Many people know that Pinterest users are about 70% female.  And by the way, Pinterest isn’t just about arts and crafts.  The most popular pin categories are recipes, do-it-yourself ideas, and tutorials.

But the numbers show that Pinterest is an important player in the professional world. In fact, according to Social Media Today, “Pinterest drives more click-through traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.” That’s worth paying attention to! Even if the old marketing adage that woman control 80% or more of spending may not be accurate.

It’s also worth noting that the number of men on Pinterest is growing. In 2012, the Pinterest user base was 12% higher at 82% female, so the gender divide on Pinterest is shrinking.

LinkedIn is 54% Male

It's clear from the data that more men are on LinkedIn than women. While the infographic I’ve been referring to shows men at 54% of users, a site called Boolean Black Belt shows the 2013 split to be much higher – 65% men to only 35% women. 

You might think that LinkedIn is just for job seekers and recruiters, but LinkedIn is for much more than posting resumes or selling your stuff. LinkedIn offers smart solutions for engaging with former colleagues, finding others with common interests, and connecting with your target audience.

Men also dominate Google+, however, since the numbers show that the majority of Google+ users aren’t interacting with each other, we won’t spend time discussing this one.

What Do the Numbers Tell Us?

So what do the numbers tell us? These numbers back up the idea that women tend to gravitate to more social platforms. We’re more interested in communicating and nurturing relationships (both social and professional).  Men understand the importance of making connections, but they’re more focused on promotion and professional networking.  

The numbers also suggest that I must be a man! I don't use Pinterest at all.  I spend the majority of my social media time on LinkedIn and Twitter. While I'm interested in nuturing relationships, I tend to do that primarily with email and use social media platforms more for promotion and initiating relationships. I also use LinkedIn and Quora for information gathering.  

Hmmm...I'm curious, do the numbers and information presented jive with your usage of social media?  Are you using social media more like a man or more like a woman? Please let me know in the comments section below or you can leave a verbal message by visiting my website smarttalksuccess.com.  I'd like to include some of your comments in Part 2 of this series! Be sure to leave your website or name so I can give you a shout-out if I use your comment. 

Next week, I'll focus on what men and women can learn from the social media gender gap we talked about today.  

This is Lisa B. Marshall, Helping you maximize sales, manage perceptions, and enhance leadership through keynotes, workshops, books, and online courses. Passionate about communication; your success is my business. This week on Smart Talk I had the great conversation with CEO Rhonda Lee who talks about how to overcome negativity and inspire creativity in the workplace.  I also talked with Joan Williams and her daughter Rachel Dempsey who wrote an incredibly valuable book, What Works for Women at Work.  The book discusses gender bias in the workplace today. It includes many practical solutions and it's definitely a book for both women and men.  

Man and woman profile images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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.