Understand Your Competitive Advantage – Men vs Women in the World of Social Networking

While there are some truly neutral zones for networking prowess like “market research” and “media production,” according to an article by Scott Nicholson on his LinkedIn blog, there are some surprising areas where women outperform men and vice versa. Take “ranching” and “tobacco”; those industries sound very male yet in the networking world they are dominated by women. How about cosmetics? You’d think women but no, it’s men!

So if the networking acumen is not determined by industry, what then? What are the differences between how men and women socially network? One clue can be taken from the habits of men and women online. Females dominate the social networks like Facebook, according to an article in Forbes Women. COO Sheryl Sandberg reports that women have more “friends” and participate in 12% more sharing than their male counterparts.
When looking at men’s habits we see a different picture. While women buzz around Facebook, Twitter and Flickr sharing personal information, men tend to gather information and increase social status on sites like YouTube, Digg and LinkedIn. Men tend to be heavy researchers and because of their competitive nature, they are great social climbers too.

To get to the bottom of the difference you need only look at the personal motivations of the networker. Women tend to share more from their personal lives and form bonds where men tend to go for the authority of being an expert. This will not hold true for all men and women but statistically speaking we can see some clear differences in online activity and behavior for sure. The main difference I see is that men tend to write down information they have collected in an online rolodex to refer to later, forgetting the small details until they need them. Women tend to remember very small details and rely on their intuition to recall what makes the connection count with an acquaintance.

So which kind of brain do you operate with? Do you store information in your head and depend on your memory, or do you write every detail down and rely on good note taking? By understanding which type of thinking you use, you can modify your behavior to reflect a more balanced approach to social networking if you fall too far to one side or the other.


Patty Farmer, “The Networking CEO” is a multi-award winning and highly sought after marketing professional, public speaker, radio show host and author. As the CEO of Patty Farmer & Associates, Inc. she has been the Recipient of 2011’s International Women’s Day Business Service Award as well as 2010’s “Best Business Connector in Dallas” award and a 2010 and 2011 “America’s Most Influential Business Connector” nominee. Patty has created a network of over 100,000+ connections while teaching thousands of business owners how to effectively network and market to grow their businesses using a non-competitive and dynamic collaboration strategy.


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  1. Valerie
    2544 days ago

    Hello from a fellow UBC participant. This was a very interesting post. I must say I rely on my brain, sometimes far too much. :) Best of luck on your journey.

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