I was asked to write a guest blog for the Social Collective (http://www.social-collective.com), a forward-thinking social media conference, and after much gnashing of teeth and huffing and puffing at what I considered ‘unworthy’ (have you seen the other guest bloggers?) I finally wrote this. I’d love to hear what you think:

There’s a sense of jollity, frivolity and fun about social media. Hilarious virals, finger-on-the-pulse news, gossip and conversations. There’s a buzz, it’s addictive, an open and inviting channel to new friends, adventures and business opportunities.

What’s not to love?

But there’s something hitherto unspoken about social media. Behind all the smoke and mirrors hastily erected by so-called ‘gurus’ (don’t get me started on that, it’s another blog – or three – entirely) there’s a very simple means of understanding why it works. And it confuses me that no one has yet divulged the explanation.

It’s oft whispered through highly-glossed lips, but never uttered by their 5 o’clock shadowed counterparts; the shocking, unspeakable truth is this – social media is a feminine model. Yeah, stick that one in your pipe!

I don’t want you to think this is a feminist rant. It’s really not. I’m not a feminist, in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. This isn’t about political posturing or positive discrimination, it’s simply an observation.

Come with me on this, I’ll explain;

Business traditionally, for centuries, has been masculine. It’s generally male-dominated, particularly at a senior level. It’s about the sales, the profits, closing the deal, driving a hard bargain, winning over adversity, cutting out the competition, stealing market share, climbing over others right up the career ladder, working and playing harder than the next man.

But social media, well it’s different. It’s about sharing, nurturing, encouraging and supporting, connecting. There’s a warmth, a desire to help, a desire to give of yourself and share knowledge and experience for free.

It’s about rewarding loyalty and building a community around you as a person, as a business and as a brand.

Now before you start shouting at your screen or stop reading this blog, give me a minute to explain. I’ll be upfront and honest here: I have nothing concretely evidentiary to back this up. I have nothing more than my – feminine – instinct and experience, and an inherent curiosity to uncover the “why” (everything is so much more simple when you understand the “why”, don’t you think?)

But consider this; who are the males who do well on Twitter? For example, you’ve got the obvious ones, the Pete Cashmores, Chris Brogans and Trey Penningtons, the Ashton Kutchers, Stephen Frys and Perez Hiltons. But why are they so successful? What is they’ve got, what have they found, leveraged, branded as their own?

It is this; they are in touch with their feminine side. They get it. They have adapted to social media with narey a glance back at the traditional business models.  They connect, engage, chat and gossip, share what they know and how they know it, they give of themselves generously every day.

Even the egotistical Dragons – topically in the news this week for their money-grabbing approach to angel investment – have softened their approach to build their social media personas. Duncan Bannatyne (when he’s not trying to attract more followers with dream-filled hashtags) and Peter Jones are spending time on line talking about their families, sharing pix of their holidays, RTing SMEs and wannabe entrepreneurs and promoting charitable activities. Who would have thought?

Last week’s genius viral hoax was feminine led. Cleverly designed by men, it was approaching social media from a feminine angle – we all know a “Spencer”, the office tosser. And before we knew it was a hoax we cheered her on, the underdog, applauded her efforts to stick it to the man. We felt for her, wanted to support her, offer her a job with our companies (I know, I certainly did) and we RTd furiously in righteous indignation. And when it turned out to be a joke, we laughed, we didn’t take it seriously, we didn’t feel like fools, we respected the smart marketing effort and talked about its success.

The generosity of spirit across the social media spectrum is truly overwhelming (I for one am surprised and thrilled daily) and your success – as a man or a woman – depends on your inherent ability to nurture.