When social media for business first made an appearance in the grocery sector it was was put on HR’s desk, largely a woman’s domain. This may have seemed logical even though it fell far from HR’s mandate. Social media was thought of as women’s work because it’s all chatty. Chatty is not considered serious, even though this is exactly why women are naturals at social media.
The guy who got the biggest social network going knew it. It wasn’t just a happy accident that Zuckerberg knew that chatting and sharing was pure female. Argue all you want, it’s in our DNA. It’s what we do.
The Way it Is
It works like this: when we like something we tell our friends and people we don’t even know. We share it. The thing can have tremendous value or hardly any. We don’t care if we’re discussing pipelines or nail polish colours. Telling stories and listening to them is how we communicate.
That’s not to say men don’t tell stories, but it’s different. We layer ours, tell a few at a time knowing it will all come together – or not (we aren’t bothered). We don’t mind if there’s an endless discussion with no solution, a definitive one, or even several. In fact, many solutions are fine (think of recipes). We know in our bones that there are many ways of doing things right. Men may tune us out, but we keep right on saying what we have to say in our own way. It’s simply how we are. We are the original engagement marketers.
The Emotional Element
Men in the persuasion business of advertising in the early part of the last century (most people in any business back then were men) figured out that women’s stories have an emotional element and that emotion sells. Then those men figured out how to use that information so it made them money. Women were, still are, a big retail revenue source.
In my business, the grocery industry, I watch men market to women all the time (actually, this is true of the whole retail business except maybe car parts and lumber). That’s because women still buy the groceries and men still run the businesses. I know grocery shopping patterns are changing and some men will even say they do it more than women, but that’s not how the stats show it. Which means grocery store social media pages could be so much more than the glorified flyer they are. They could be about the ingredients inside the store – what to do with them, who made them, where they come from, what’s in them – food stories we can share. Social media could be an ongoing conversation. But that’s not how it is. Not yet.
For now, know this: the reason women make the best social media managers (if that’s what we want to do) is because we’re women and our brains are wired for sharing. Not only that, we’ll implement the ROI, the SEO, and the complex communication and marketing strategy. We’re clever thinkers.
A note about the photograph. Unlike the others, except the Halibut story, this is not my image. It’s from NeONBRAND and I got it from Unsplash