For nigh onto a month I’ve been meaning to write a post on women in business. Seeing Sheryl Sandberg (COO Facebook) on Jon Stewart’s show last night provided the final push.

This smart lady who pulls down a nifty $30 million a year has a new book out, “Lean In,” walloping the New York Times best-seller list (#1 in Non-Fiction). (Oh, yes, the photo below is a different kind of leaning, but I thought it would grab folks attention nonetheless.)

There was a nice profile done of her this week in the San Jose Mercury News providing a modest recap of her recent lecture at Stanford. And she was on “60 Minutes” last month, an excerpt of which ran on CNN.

Leaning Over a CounterThe bullet points from her Stanford lecture had me fascinated. (You’ll have to look for yourself!) And the statistics on where women stand (at the top or not) in the world was also unsettling for 2013:

“Men still run the world, she said, noting that of 197 heads of state, only 22 are women; of the top 500 companies by revenues, only 21 are headed by women; and in politics, women hold just 18 percent of congressional offices. In 2010, women earned just 77 cents for every dollar men made.”


The latter number is ALWAYS in my head because I acutely remember that the dollar-earned needle has hardly moved an iota since I joined the workforce a long time ago.

It seems rather depressing from our side of the fence, right?

But then on International Women’s Day (March 8), there were a plethora of articles and information posted that provided a more encouraging spotlight. The Daily Beast had a nice slideshow/post on 15 Amazing Women in History You’ve Never Heard Of. (Oddly the link only finds 10 of them. Sigh.)

Another post came from Nielsen with some interesting statistics in 10 Things to Know About Today’s Female Consumer.  Here’s #7: “Women in the U.S. spend significantly more time on social media than men do. Online, women spend 44 percent more time on social media, and via mobile, the number jumps to 39 percent.”

Now, if you’ve got a business that targets women buyers, this is information to pay attention to!

Another post, The Women of Social Media

[Infographic], delved further into this information, extracting some needed insight on women and their buying habits in 2013:

“86 percent of U.S. women had at least one social media account, with 2.2 accounts on average. These women spend an average of 12 hours each week (two hours per day) using social media. Women of social media are more influential than women in general.”


So if you’re looking for smart and savvy female customers, are you looking for them on social sites?

Here’s where it starts to get really interesting in the infographic: 81% of these women had Facebook accounts (no surprise). In any given month they averaged Liking or recommending up to 10 products or services (Facebook fan pages). Also during that month they asked for 7.5 recommendations from Friends online. (Wouldn’t you like your products and services to be one of those 7.5?)

As for tweets and Pinning? These ladies retweeted or Pinned images to their Pinterest boards up to 8.5 times per month.

I just have to ask: Are you getting in on that action?

It’s a separate matter if you’re on social media tweeting, posting and pinning and not getting the desired results. It could be that you don’t have time to devote to social media. (I’ve heard Coca-Cola has bumped up their daily tweeting to 100 times per day. It’s gotta take a village to do that!)

Perhaps you’re overcoming technical hurdles in using the tools. Maybe you haven’t really searched out the audience or only did so when you first launched your account instead of making it part of your regular routine.

You can’t expect folks to walk up to your page and Like it. Like a street busker, you must go out and engage with shoppers strolling the ‘streets’ of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to draw them in.

Another common problem small businesses face on social media is keeping all the plates spinning. If you can’t remember when you last tweeted or posted to your page on Facebook, it’s time to keep a schedule.

There are many online tools out there to help you maintain a schedule of your outbound posts and tweets. (Buffer is my favorite for Twitter, but it can be used for Facebook and LinkedIn as well.) But for Facebook, I find a simple schedule in Excel is great to help me see what I’ve pre-scheduled to post:

Facebook Posting Schedule

The “L” is for linked stories and the “P” is for Pinterest links so I can remind myself what platform I’m sending visitors to.

The bottom line, however, is that if one methodology hasn’t worked for you doesn’t mean a different one won’t do the trick. I have sampled many different ways to provide consistent, useful content to social sites, not only for myself but also for my clients, to find the best solution.

If I’m not there at all though, I certainly can’t capture any of the 81% of women with social media accounts on Facebook. If I’m not there, they can’t refer me to their friends and colleagues. If I’m not there, I can’t get my foot in the door for potential business.

To steal from Sheryl Sandberg: Time to Lean In and get it done.

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