Hard to get solid gender data on social media use

Jane Binnion.
Jane Binnion.

Two weeks ago I wrote that 80 per cent of my social media clients are female which is most likely down to the fact that I’m a female trainer.

Then last week I ran a LinkedIn course for Chamber of Commerce members and I noticed that unusually there were more men than women.

Then I remembered that when I ran a LinkedIn workshop at Lancaster and Morecambe College a little while ago all the participants were men.

That’s never happened before and I thought it was perhaps because the session was at tea time.

But then I got to wondering if the different social media platforms attracted one gender more than another.

Certainly I hear more men say that they don’t like the ‘chatter’ on Facebook, whereas LinkedIn is, at least in theory, all business.

Interestingly it’s pretty hard to get solid data on gender and social media use.

When LinkedIn hit 15 million UK members last year they produced a nice info-graphic of the breakdown of the membership, including the fascinating fact that five members are mermaids.

But gender wasn’t mentioned (I’m going to make a guess that the five mermaids were female). So I did a bit of research.

It looks like there were indeed more men than women on LinkedIn right up until last summer, but now it is pretty much 50:50.

In fact most of the platforms are fairly even. The big difference seems to be that Google + has significantly more male users and Pinterest has more females with an approximate 65-35 per cent split.

With Google + the joke is that all the members are Google staff and we’re not sure about its future, but Pinterest is a fabulous fast growing site. What’s made me smile is the rise in articles trying to attract male users to Pinterest.

There’s a general theme that Pinterest ‘just isn’t manly enough’.

This great headline sums it up “Pinterest’s Problem: Getting Men to Commit”. So now there’s a big market for making it more attractive to men.

There is a great guy, Jeff Sieh, who records a weekly ‘Manly Pinterest Tips Show’ in his Man Cave.

He looks a lot like one of the Hairy Bikers and is well worth checking out on YouTube. My mission is to get an interview with him this year.