This year, April 2 marks Equal Pay Day. That means that to earn the same amount as men did from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, women would have to work January 1, 2018 to April 2, 2019. That’s over three more months of moolah, and it’s even worse for minority women.
However, let’s consider the wage gap of a beloved platform: social media. Women are making 3x as much on sponsored social posts compared to their male counterparts.
Social media isn’t an industry — it’s a platform for all types of media content. Some other fun facts from this infographic by Popular Pays include:
- Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases
- 62% of women have indicated they have tried a brand based on the recommendation of an influencer
- Influencer marketing is projected to be a $10 billion dollar industry by 2022
Women are dominating social media. I think of all the women-focused communities that thrive on social media, especially in the fitness world like CHAARG, Tone It Up, and BBG. Women connect based on a common interest of health and wellness, and they form tribes. I’ve met some of my best friends through social media, and I know many others claim they have had their lives changed by an online community.
This isn’t some fake, filtered, pyramid scheme, teatox bullshit. When you get past the instant gratification of likes and posting faux-candids, social media is changing the way we communicate and connect.
From a business perspective, social media has become the place to ask for recommendations, give honest reviews, and share what media and products you’re consuming in your personal life. Some do it in exchange for money, others in exchange for free products, but most do it for free. People simply want to help others not waste their money and share their experiences with their community.
If you haven’t already watched Mad Men on Netflix, this is your cue to go watch one of the best shows in history. Go on, I’ll wait. I’ll be here whenever you too despise the way men have controlled the consumer behavior of women in the past.
Often, social media is seen as more feminine. I can’t tell you how many boyfriends have rolled their eyes about me having a social media “presence.” The emotional labor of sharing personal stories, engaging with others, and building relationships through DMs and comments is a lot of work, and it’s a vulnerability where women are inherently more skilled.
The strangest thing is men aren’t absent on social media. Sure, there are more women on social media than men, but not that much more. Instead of creating content and engaging with content, men are more often the ones lurking as ghost followers. They consume content, but they are less likely to create content. Aside from sports, they don’t join conversations in the way that women do, and they certainly don’t start conversations like women do.
Is this a good thing? Are we glad that women are finally dominating an industry?
I’m not sure.
What’s keeping men from creating more content? Think of Barstool Sports, Fuck Jerry, and Fat Jew — all social media kings who are infamous for stealing content from other people. What does that say about the barriers to entry?
It’s totally possible my perspective of social media is skewed in my own little bubble. I did unfollow over one thousand people on Instagram back in January (many of which were guys that post literally nothing ever). However, I do think there are some cultural shifts that need to be unpacked as social media and influencer marketing continue to control advertising dollars.
I received a lot of feedback on this topic with my Instagram story. Guys, what are your thoughts? Comment or DM me. Let’s continue this conversation as we are getting closer and closer to equality on both ends of the spectrum.