The world of technology has traditionally been perceived as a male-dominated arena, one in which pale-skinned geeks lusted over the latest gadgets and gizmos in poorly lit basements, leaving women sidelined and outsiders to the whole affair.
However, as show, this tired trope is no longer true and women are just as tech-savvy – if not more so – than their male counterparts.
This trend is particularly pronounced here in Australia, where women are very much behind the steering wheel and in control of where the tech market is headed. Some nine million women (more than half the country’s population) were online in June 2015, according to figures collated by Nielsen, but it’s what they’re doing in the digital space that will be of most interest to PR managers.
Around 57 per cent of women are regularly browsing social media profiles, far outweighing male interaction rates of 46 per cent. In addition to connecting with friends, family and their favourite brands, women are also more likely to share content than men (23 per cent and 20 per cent respectively). These impressive statistics not only demonstrate females’ growing confidence in the digital space, but also reveal the need for PR professionals to keep their online campaigns equally targeted between genders, or even slightly skewed towards women.
In short, not at all. Despite the obvious importance of the female consumer, She-conomy found that an unbelievable 91 per cent of women feel misunderstood by marketers. This enormous disparity will naturally be of concern for anyone seeking to maximise their brand engagement, but the question remains: How can organisations better connect with Australian women through online platforms?
As you might have noticed from looking at your personal feeds, social media use fluctuates quite substantially throughout the day. For example, social media analytics might reveal that posting content to Facebook at 3 a.m. yields less exposure than a well-crafted article shared in the evening.
Research from Sensis showed that Australian women are most active on social media platforms after work, before bed and first thing in the morning. Time your posts to coincide with these parts of the day to maximise engagement with your female demographic.
Female-targeted campaigns of yesteryear might have revolved around gaudy splashes of pink and allusions to cooking, cleaning or motherhood, but as you might have guessed these strategies are not going to be very effective in the modern world.
Instead, focus on creating content that people of any gender would want to share with others. As Entrepreneur magazine recommends, this means producing content that is entertaining, interesting, beautiful, of practical value or in line with your target audience’s beliefs. The important thing is that the content is tailored towards your market.
Nielsen found that while women are the dominant force in the general social space, men are more active on some specific platforms. Males have a higher presence on LinkedIn, while females boast the lion’s share on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The gender split is roughly even on Twitter.
For maximum engagement with a female demographic, therefore, PR pros would perhaps be wise to focus their energies on social arenas outside of LinkedIn. Monitoring your social media influencers might also provide greater insights into which platforms you should be pursuing.
In both the print and digital space, females have long felt misunderstood by marketers. As women in Australia continue to emerge as a dominant force in the tech realm, PR managers will need to rectify this trend in order to find greater brand engagement on social media.
I crowd-sourced some opinions on ‘how PR has evolved’ via Facebook before this article was penned, and ‘chaotically’, ‘always-on’, ‘unpredictably’ and ‘intense’ were among some of the top keywords surfaced. Exactly how fast is the news-making cycle today? I’ve experienced it first-hand a couple of weeks ago.
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Although it may be obvious, Public Relations (PR) as a discipline is shifting along with the landscapes in which they work. While it is not immune to disruption, at it’s core PR or ‘Communications’ remains a multidisciplinary field, focused on developing and executing key messaging that’s aligned to a clearly defined outcome.
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