Social Media and the End of Gender
Recently, I was watching a TedTalks, Johanna Blakley: Social media and the end of gender. Blakley claims that social media is going to help us dismantle stereotypes that we see in traditional media.
Most media companies use rigid segmentation methods and strict labels to define us. Media companies believe that if you fall in
a specific category, you are predictable in certain ways. You have certain tastes, and like certain things – popular culture is largely based on these presumptions. In traditional media, the older age demographic of 55-64 are not even taken into consideration, it is as if they do not exist!
We are able to define ourselves online.
Social media allows us to connect with people based on our specific interests. Companies realize that THIS is the mass audience of the future, but they are having a hard time acting on this knowledge, because they are using the traditional demographics.
While companies are monitoring our movements online using social media, they are now identifying our interests, instead of guessing at them through demographics. What are they finding?
Women are driving the social media revolution.
In every age category, women out number men in their use of social networking technologies. Social media is having a huge impact on traditional media – could this mean that heading into the future, women are going to take over global media? Will our media landscape become a feminist landscape? Not necessarily. Instead, women will be hired on in advertising companies and put an end to stereotyped demographics (i.e., the Hispanic female between 18-24 likes big earrings, bright red lipstick, and fake nails, etc.). We will now know what people like to do, no guess work required.
Through our social media analytics software, MavenSocial is able to do just that, identify brand influencers on a campaign. We are able to connect a person’s email account with their social media networks, therefore giving a 360° account of the person’s social media presence, identifying what they like through their choices (i.e., what campaign do they enter? One that offers coupons on free cooking lessons, sky-diving, or a free week at camp?). Guess work is now a thing of the past. Heading in the future, will brands continue to pander to traditional demographics, or will they acknowledge that social media is the source for brand ROI? With Facebook and Twitter’s membership comprised of 50% women, the female population continues to dominate social media. As a result, women will continue to be a valuable audience and target for marketers. As social media evolves it will be interesting to see how advertising and marketing adapts to these rapid changes.