CMBI recently gave an overview of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s report, “Why Social Media Matters to your Business.” In addition to a full deck of interesting and relevant findings for social media marketers, a few slides especially caught my attention, highlighting the differences in social media behavior between men and women. Based on the reported findings, here are three things you can do to make sure your social media efforts reach both genders.

1. Empower male Facebook fans to show their support

According to the report, males are far more likely (52%) to cite “to show others I like or support this brand” than women (34%) as one reason they become a fan of a brand. In fact, nearly one in four (23%) men cite this as their main reason for becoming a fan, compared to about one in seven women (15%). Men are also more likely to cite “being the first to know information about the brand” (29%) than women (9%) as their primary reason for becoming a fan.

To capitalize on this, give your male fans more ways to show their love than just becoming a fan. Enable them to publish UGC on your Facebook page, and encourage them to share this content on their own pages.

2. Give female fans what they want: discounts and promotions

Women, on the other hand, are most likely to name “to receive discounts and promotions” as their primary reason for becoming a fan of a brand. Women indicate this reason more often than males for both Facebook (30% vs. 18%) and Twitter (34% vs. 23%).

Give your female fans what they’re looking for on both social networks. Promotions are also a great way to encourage UGC submission.

3. On Twitter, capitalize on the shared need to be an insider

Men are more likely (59%) than women (43%) to become a follower of a brand on Twitter at least in part because they are already customers. But both men and women on Twitter seem to be driven by a desire to be “brand insiders” – with women seeking discounts and promotions, and men seeking to be the first to know information about the brand. Both genders list “to gain access to exclusive content” as another top reason for following.

Provide your Twitter followers with special content they can’t get elsewhere, and feed their need to feel like an insider with your brand.

Twitter followers want to be "brand insiders"

What do all of these findings mean for social media marketers? To risk stating the obvious, they mean one size does not fit all in social media. While that conclusion may invoke thoughts of “duh,” take a moment to consider what it means. Coupons and promotions that work well for brands like Venus may not work for brands with even closely related products, like Gillette. Followers on Twitter may want something different from your brand than fans on Facebook.

Asking why your prospects and customers would interact with you brand is only the beginning. To be effective, your messaging needs to appeal specifically to both genders, so be sure to incorporate both sets of motivations into the mix.

Which brands would you say are doing this well? Which could stand to improve, and how?

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