Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Social Media: How are women benefiting from it?

Social media is a catchphrase that is being tossed around quite a lot lately. According to Wikipedia, it can be defined as “interactive platforms via which individuals and communities create and share user-generated content”. We know it better as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube etc., etc. One object that any social media web community needs is followers. Followers are the commodity of social media websites. The logic is simple - the more followers, the more value—not just to the site owners, but to the community itself.
In this article, we are going to focus on how social media has influenced today’s women. How are women using it to their benefits?
Women are adult females, about fifty per cent of the population of the world. They, like men, play enormously important role in the expansion of the world, in different spheres. Hence, when you refer to social media, one cannot neglect the role of women in capitalizing it. It is also a proven fact that today, women use social media more widely than the men. Some of the statistics, published online, is as below:
§  42 million U.S. women use social media
§  58% of Facebook users are women
§  Women spend 1.5 hours more per month on social media than men
§  Digg is the only social network where men have a majority
§  Between 2008 & 2009, women using the mobile web increased by 43%
§  55% of the mobile web users are women
The Pew study reports that women also make-up the “majority of the majority of email users (52% women), users of instant message (55%), bloggers (54%), and those who use a photo sharing service (58%).” Time spent on Social Networks (SNSs) is increasing as women today spend less time on leisure activities that cost money. Women are engaging with Social Media and Social Networks faster than any other statistic.They have learned the power of Social Media and Social Network as:
•A way of endorsing their businesses
•A way of connecting with other women with similar interests and passions
•The new way to organize their activities, manage groups, and stay in touch with friends
Now, let us see how this works in details…
Business Promotion:
Parul Dutta, 37 yrs, living in Calcutta, gave up her career as a designer with leading fashion house when she had her son. After few years of being a stay at home mom, she realised that she could do a lot more for herself than she was doing. Soon she launched a venture at home where she started to put her creativity into action and used Facebook and Twitter as a platform to promote it. Soon, the ‘Likes’ increased each day and she was flooded with customer requests she found challenging to manage alone. What started as a mere hobby turned into big time investment opportunity. Social networking lets you to reach out to probable consumers without spending excessive amounts of money on advertising while staying in touch with current customers. Having a presence on a popular social network suggests to people that your business is on the cutting edge or at least is able to keep up with the changing times.
Like Parul, a number of women entrepreneurs have used social media to their benefits.Some of them have built flourishing businesses, powerful brands and a strong online presence. Some of the successful women entrepreneurs on Twitter are listed below:
@adventuregirlStefanie Michaels, known to platoons of fans as “Adventure Girl®,” has carved a unique niche in the world of travel and entertainment. Her website,, has been utilized by millions looking for tips on exciting places to visit. 
@CindyCrawford:Cindy Crawford may be known to the world as one of the original supermodels, but behind that stunning face is an outstandingly sharp businesswoman. She used her celebrity status as a trigger to launch a career that has spanned over two decades and resulted in an remarkably successful and reliable brand representing beauty, fashion, fitness and home.
@DonnaAntoniadis:Donna Antoniadis is considered a digital, mobile and social media frontrunner and is the co-founder of, the first dual profile social network created exclusively for women. She is one of the 20 best branded women on Twitter.
They are meticulous about their messages and the value they offer. They each have a significant social media following and are consistent and generous with their tweets.
Personal Networking:

Apart from networking for business, social media is also proved to be a great platform to connect with friends and family. Gayatri and Madhura are one such example. They were friends in college but eventually lost touch with time. Now, after almost 20 years, they met over Facebook and are really enjoying those small chats and catching up on the lost years.
SNS is also a great place to meet new women with similar interests and passions.These days, one can find number of female groups dedicated and created especially for those sharing the same passion and interests.Signing up to such groups can give infinite opportunities for healthy discussions on day-today affairs and sharing thoughts which is otherwise quite difficult in today’s busy world.Such groups let their users establish and maintain friendships and contacts. This emotion of connectedness and belonging is very significant for our self-esteem and life fulfilment. Interacting with large numbers of friends can be very helpful in achievement of emotional support or simply attention. The SNSs let us present and promote ourselves almost in an unobstructed way. These sites are great venues for self-improvement, where our fantasies of the self can come true with a click of the mouse. Moreover, on-line networking sites give people the illusion of immortality and immunity to the physical and real world. Several physical and social blockades are removed and inter-personal interface becomes easier and quicker. Gaining confidence in on-line communication may in some cases get transformed into better communication skills in face-to-face meetings.

While we discussed how social media networking has helped today’s women to achieve success and boost their self-confidence, one cannot neglect the darker side to it. After all, every coin has two sides.
The possible disadvantages of SNSs are:
  • Opens up the probability for hackers to commit fraud and launch spam and virus attacks.
  • Increases the risk of individuals falling prey to on-line swindles that seem genuine, resulting in data or identity theft.
  • Some negative comments or damaging criticism can affect the self-confidence and may take a while to get back to normalcy thus upsetting the routine and personal life.
  • There could be a potential loss of productivity and negligence towards home and family if one spends too much time updating the profile.
Irrespective of the above, some women like me, has found the social media networking a great platform to connect with different people, learn from the experiences shared and benefit from the knowledge exhibited. Whether it’s beneficial or not, it’s believed that social media is a man-made miracle in today’s fast paced mad world.
Image Courtesy: Google Images

No comments:

Post a Comment