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Business Today

The Future of Social Networking is Pink

The Number of Women Using Social Networks Far Outpaces Men

By Lahle Wolfe

Do women network differently than men?

Of course we do. But do we do it more effectively?

Again, the answer is “yes,” at least from a statistical standpoint.

According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, “Women and men business owners have different management styles. Women emphasize relationship building as well as fact gathering and are more likely to consult with experts, employees, and fellow business owners.” Given the reality-based stereotype notion of men who will not ask for directions or read the instructions to assemble products, should this surprise us?

Unmarried men use social networks for more “pleasure-oriented” purposes, but once married, are more likely to use transactional networks, liked Linked In. But women, regardless of marital status are the majority users of social networks for finding information, developing relationships, education, and for making business connections.

Business Today: Things are looking PINK!

But even among women, there is ample empirical evidence to show that the more powerful a business woman’s network is, the more likely she is to make it big. 81% of women who own million-dollar-plus companies belong to formal business organizations, associations or networks, while women with smaller businesses network at a much lower rate (61%).

Are women more social in business than men? Again, the answer is “yes.” According to Business Week, in “The Social Media Gender Gap,” (May 19, 2008), the trend in Internet social networking is definitely going “pink,” and predicts the future of social media “is going to be all about the women.” Business Week even goes as far as to suggest, “if you’re going to create the next hot Web 2.0 site and you want it to go viral, you’ll target women.”

But women are not just using social networks to find new recipes, and talk about diaper rash and men, they are forming their own networks geared towards today’s progressive working and entrepreneurial women – creating new opportunities in “women-helping-women” organizations when they are shut out of male-dominated industries.

If the rapid growth and rising power among successful women business owners continues at the present rate, women will soon own more than half of all privately-held businesses. Even when lawmakers and many men are not interested in levelling the playing field, women in business are coming with bulldozers.

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