The Queen is King of Social Media – So Where’s Her Spot on the Throne?
Content is King – have you heard the news? Of course you have! It’s been trumpeted loudly for the past 6 months, usually by men. We go beating our chest and tweet out infographics, statistics, and articles – Mmm content, yummy. Content is King we say – but is it? Our battle cry might just be a coping mechanism to compensate for what men are lacking, kind of like the guy with really a BIG truck. If Content is King, then an engaging community is Queen.. and we know who REALLY runs the kingdom, don’t we? Oh yes, that’s right, the Queen IS King of Social Media, both figuratively and literally.
I’m of the opinion that women have a much better sense of community and are more engaging. However, despite all their contributions, women are simply not getting enough credit for everything they do. Even worse, they are often relegated to the B stage in favor of “bigger” male names at industry conferences and events. This is not a new issue it compounds the problem. Men were given a spot on the throne from the beginning and their stocks continue to rise. Women will not get the recognition they deserve until they are invited on the same stage. I feel strongly compelled to lay this out there because if a woman conveyed this same message, they would be dubbed a “cry-baby” or a “bitch,” right? Don’t kid yourself if you answered “no.” I was naive when I first entered the #SM foray and assumed there was a level playing field between the sexes; but I’ve since raised my level of awareness and can assure you that it’s anything but. It’s time to shatter the glass ceiling that exists in the Social Media arena.
While I have many male friends who are great at being social, I’m using my soapbox to make broad brush strokes about men in an attempt to illustrate a troubling trend with the bigger picture. Right now, Pinterest is very polarizing – it’s showing the ugliness when pitting man vs woman. A lot of men are seemingly reluctant to join, or refuse to even acknowledge its success, because “it’s just a bunch of chicks there” or “I don’t want to look at shoes and cupcakes.” Are you freakin kidding? Sounds a little sexist to me, but anyway, why do you think it has been so successful? It’s BECAUSE their base IS primarily women. On the other side of the socialverse we have Google+, where content is definitely still king because two thirds of the users are male. Maybe G+ is the future of Social Media, but not until there’s more engagement, and a stronger female presence.
CASE AND POINT
With so many talented, knowledgeable, and well-qualified women in Social Media, I was appalled to learn how frequently that they are denied the opportunity for keynotes and appearances on the main stage. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the “featured” speakers at a few of the major events that took place earlier this month or are scheduled for March.
Look – Scott Monty, Jay, and Chris are all brilliant in their own right; but how “fresh” is an all male keynote panel? The event took place in Tampa FL, that’s Pam Moore’s backyard. She’s one of the most influential people in all of Social Media. Why not consider her? It’s one thing to award men all the featured presentations like Social Fresh and SoCon did, nothing new, but New South Digital (FB Page) (Twitter) is just embarrassing itself. Some were clamoring to protest the event*. It’s a complete insult to women everywhere by having ONLY MALE SPEAKERS presenting. Yup 10 speakers and apparently there’s not sole female “worthy” of speaking? Let me guess - Jessica Northey, Ann Handley, Mari Smith, Liz Strauss, Shelly Kramer and Michele Price were all unavailable on March 26th, right? Sadly, this isn’t just a social media thing. Look at the backlash the White House is receiving for giving women free preventative care. Let’s start somewhere and take a stand. We can’t change the social world overnight, but things have to change. What can we do to make sure that women have their spot on the throne?
After this was published, New South Digital has opted to add an additional speaker. NSD decided to add a female presenter for the upcoming conference they are holding. I’m sure it was for a number of reasons different but a step is a step IMO. It’s one small victory, whatever your take on it is, but proof enough for me that you all created enough noise out there to be the catalyst for that change.