Yesterday’s Blog World event entitled World’s Stage: Women Using Social Media was really about women’s fears of it. Lynette Young, founder of Women of Google+ told her mostly all-female audience that they are staying away from social media because they feel their content is imperfect, unfocused, unpolished and that people will not like their opinions.
Young said, “From young women entering the work force to creative women entrepreneurs and established women in top-tier corporate positions, women are smart — really smart. The technology to use social media platforms may be a hurdle, but what truly keeps women from fully using these platforms is their fear of making mistakes when the whole world can see them. Many women believe that the content they create must be perfect before publishing it online or that their input isn’t valued.”
She explained how it is important for women to empower themselves by using digital properties online so that they can make themselves heard louder. “Once they do that, they will feel more comfortable with promoting themselves online. They do that by working internally on themselves and by learning to use the tools. This way they can regularly post online and be public figures. The women that I consult with usually need to do an affirmation and acceptance before they have the confidence to post online and go public. Her advice: One, don’t be a perfectionist and two, just do it. “You’re not going to get any better unless you do it.”
She said she loves Google+, but that she is really a fan of anything that women can use actively and get a benefit from. But she says she especially likes Google+ because it meets her multiple goals and is less dominated by women. Apparently Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn are highly populated by women, so that if women use other platforms, they will have more of a chance of standing out. She said that 72% of users on Pinterest are women and that the average Facebook user is a 47-year-old female. “But Google+ is a sausage fest – that’s really what it comes down to!” she exclaimed.
In fact she is almost militant about it Google+. She told a story of when she first started using this new social platform. “I would ask questions to other users on how it worked and what sorts of buttons to push. But instead of getting help, I received comments like, ‘We know you’re a girl, you should probably go back to Facebook.’ “That made me nuts! Why did this matter? I had been working on my own blog since the 90’s without getting comments like this, so I didn’t think there is a gender issue. It’s just that we think a little bit differently.”
By being persistent, continually posting on Google+ and putting in sweat equity, Young started to outrank people who she said were paying tens of thousands of dollars to increase their social networking clout. She now hasLinked 1.2 million people in her circle. “No one is asking you to put content on the social network,” said Young. “You have to step up and put your voice out there. My goal is to make sure women grab the spotlight back to themselves. It’s about getting attention online and loudly promoting yourself.”