When it comes to social media tools, most are not gender specific. That's a good thing, as it means they can be uniformly useful for everyone, but it's a sign of evolution when more specifically targeted sites start to appear. It happened with websites and now the same seems to be happening with several new interesting social media tools popping up targeted at women. Based on some planning efforts for a number of campaigns we have recently been putting together for clients targeting women, here's my starter list of 5 great social media tools for women. Of course, this is not exhaustive, so if there are other social media tools or sites that are specifically targeted at women which you think are particularly good, please let me know or post a comment to this post. It would be great to see a list of these compiled somewhere. Maybe I need to create a Squidoo lens …
- Blogher – Not surprisingly, the flagship organization for women in the blogosphere is also one of the most useful sites. With aggregated content, information about their highly popular annual event, and a rapidly growing blog index that lists nearly 10,000 female-authored blogs – the site is a must read for anyone interested in learning about women in social media and joining the community.
- Sk*rt – This relatively new site was created using Pligg and is getting a lot of attention as the new "Digg for women." The site has a nice design, compelling content and seems to already have lots of great article submissions. Interestingly, the level of activity on the site in terms of people (presumably women) voting also seems very high when compared with Digg that has been around much longer. The story behind the site is equally compelling and you might be tempted to wonder how come no one thought of this idea before. Regardless, I am quickly finding it's one of my top resources for research and learning.
- TeamSugar – This site offers a network for women to share content, comment, find stories and discover news. It is published by a group called Sugar Inc. which also has a collection of other sites under the same brand altogether described on their site as "nine distinct lifestyle and entertainment sites that define their category, covering topics that include celebrity, fashion, entertainment, food, fitness and more." The TeamSugar site was built after the popular PopSugar site, and is one of the leading sites targeted at women bridging the gap between news, online community, blog and social bookmarking site.
- ChickAdvisor – This site is currently in beta and features women reviewing a range of products and has many online community tools that will be familiar to women from many other online communities. The site has an official blog and recently launched a new podcast called "Where'd You Get That?" Together it's a good female friendly experience, though it will be interesting to see if it can stand up against social shopping sites like Kaboodle or Wists which are broader and not solely targeted at women.
- Custom Search Engine for Mom Blogs – Created by Michelle Mitchell (aka Scribbet), a mom blogger from Alaska, this is an exhaustive list of mommy blogs that are all pulled together into a custom Google blogsearch. It's a great resource to find mom's blog posts about a specific subject or challenge, and a good resource for marketers to find blog posts about certain types of products or brands as well. The blog search is also getting mentioned on lots of mom blogs, which is likely to help it become even more authoritative and used.
- MotherProof – In an interesting new site launched by Cars.com, MotherProof is a site that encourages moms in particular, and also other women, to review cars and post their reviews online. The site presents a new model for actively soliciting female-authored reviews for products and aggregating them into a distinct location. The power of this idea is that researching a car purchase is in an entirely different category to "shopping" in the online retail sense. The site offers a way to separate that experience and is therefore much more useful to consumers. My guess is you will start to see many other sites in vertical industry categories follow the same format to offer a distinct area to separate reviews on their category of products.
Note: A few other sites worth visiting that don't really fit the category of "tools" but use social media in a powerful way to reach women include Capessa, iVillage Connect, and Sisterwoman. I did not include these as I felt they were all more focused on online communities and far more well known than some of the other sites and tools included in the list above.