Social Networking – Gender and Cultural Differences

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Social Networking – Gender and Cultural Differences

I recently came across a blog post discussing "Women's Business Groups and Social Networking, Are They Better Than Men?" The post makes the assertion that while most business group ...

I recently came across a blog post discussing “Women’s Business Groups and Social Networking, Are They Better Than Men?” The post makes the assertion that while most business groups are dominated by men, the women’s business groups do a better job at social networking, with a larger presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

However the author (Linda) of this post was primarily looking at business groups in the middle-east and while she clearly saw gender differences, she fails to also consider fully the cultural differences as well. It very well might be that in the middle-east business women are better at social networking – they may feel safer being more outspoken online than they do in person (just a personal speculation).

However if you look at business groups from more Western countries, while still mostly male dominated, they seem to be easily as adept at social media and networking across both genders. I belong to a lot LinkedIn groups that are mostly men, and the men are quite active and engaged.

One other trend I’ve noticed, especially among the groups I’m a member of, that most members of business groups residing in India are male, and the men are also extremely adept at social networking. I have seen a few Indian business women post as well, but the majority are definitely men. So it makes me wonder if the trend Linda saw was more culturally based, than gender based? I also wonder if her sample size may have been too small (12 groups).

Nonetheless it is an interesting perspective and I’d love to hear other people’s points of view and experiences – do you see any significant differences in social networking/social media between genders or cultures (or a mix of both?).

Gabriele has been doing "Web Stuff" since the mid-1990s, and Web Analytics since 2005. She began with Omniture SiteCatalyst (now known as Adobe Analytics) and is now also well versed in Google Analytics. She has been building a team of professional analysts who have expertise in all the major analytics platforms, including Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, IBM Coremetrics and WebTrends.
  • Linda Parkinson-Hardman

    Hi and what an interesting point of view. I do think you could well be right about the cultural context of the success at social networking and you are quite right that I was looking at tiny sample of just 12 groups based in the Middle East. I think I did point out that it was not a scientific study by any means and was simply an exercise in seeing if I could engage with some of the groups we were trying to talk to online. In the UK, the split seems to be fairly even, with women and men fairly evenly matched in the social networking arena. One thing that impacts though is also the cultural context of the network itself – facebook groups seem to be female biased whilst Linkedin seems to be more male dominated. As with everything it seems there is always more than one side to the story.

    Linda