Men on Social Media: Why You Can't Leave Us Behind

By John Kultgen I’d like to take a minute to defend my gender.

Working in social media, I often see companies giving up on marketing to men on social media. The top three reasons I hear are:

  • Men aren’t as active as women on social media.
  • Men don’t spend as much as women.
  • Men don’t buy for the family or children.

These are excuses because:

  • 70% of male internet users are on social media, according to a Pew Research Center study. They even outnumber women on Twitter and Reddit.
  • While women are responsible for the majority of U.S. consumer spending, men spend more on automobiles, electronics, dining out, and alcohol.
  • Government research concludes that among all two-parent families, one in five children has a father as a primary caregiver.

Women are still the primary target for a lot of companies, but you don’t need to choose just one gender. There’s a way to create a dynamic, diverse social strategy that includes men. Please, don’t leave us behind!

AdvertisingAge is telling marketers that the way to reach men is through sports, cars, and video games. I agree, men love those things. But pairing football, monster trucks or Grand Theft Auto with an unrelated product makes it feel like you’re trying too hard, which social media users hate. Plus, these elements can isolate your female audience.

Think co-ed. Come up with logical ways to appeal to both sexes, such as:

Be Funny

Social media typically needs to be more laid back and playful than other communication channels. Humor is a great approach to engaging your users. If they laugh, they’ll be compelled to click "like" or retweet.

The catch is that in order to appeal to both sexes, you need to have your audience think a man creates your content. Apparently men and women find men funnier.

Appeal to Competitive Nature

Research supports the stereotype that men are more competitive than women. Think about how video games have levels or how athletics award trophies. Try to incorporate an element of achievement.

For example, when I work with a travel brand, I like to encourage the company to show landscapes or activities. It appeals to both sexes since men and women both enjoy vacationing. However, considering the fact that men value reaching a goal, when you show a famous mountain peak, mention the goal of being among the few who reach the top.

Reference Current Events

Major news crosses gender barriers. Specifically, I recommend capitalizing on popular television premieres/finales that appeal to both sexes. The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Jimmy Kimmel Live are current top shows on social that have strong followings among men and women. When companies tie in these references to their brand, they create strong engagement and even viral success.

These approaches are merely suggestions. Target demographics will vary depending on the brand. What I encourage overall, though, is not to exclude an entire gender. Rather, get creative in how you include both sexes in your strategy.

Do you agree or am I way off? Feel free to tell me why below.