Social Networks and Consumers

Forrester Researchers have identified six kinds of consumers who comprise the social media space.  They call this identification system “Social Technographics,” and they use it to help businesses strategize their social media marketing approaches.

Of course, you can be more than one type.  To be considered truly a member of that category, you have to participate in the activity at least once a month.  So, if you have only created one blog post, for example, Forrester would not consider you a true Creator. I skew heavily on Creator — I create blogs, video, and podcasts.  I am also a Joiner because I participate on my Facebook page daily.  I am also a Critic because I love to post comments on blogs and YouTube videos.

It’s interesting to think about.  If you have the big bucks, you can get Forrester to construct a profile just for your brand or customer group, and then you’d have some good information to work with.  But honestly, you can use what they have already published and create a pretty decent social media marketing analysis and strategy based on that and what you already know about your customers.  Or you could hire me to do it!  Just look at their profile tool (link below) to find out what percentage of Americans (or other nationalities) are in each category, sorting by gender and age group.  As an example, I’ll put down what they found was true for women in my age group (35-44) in the USA.  What type are you?

  1. Creators make content.  If you publish a blog or website, upload a video, podcast, or music you have created, or write stories or articles and publish them on the web, then you are a Creator.  21% of women 35-44 are Creators. Creators rule! )
  2. Critics respond to content.  If you post reviews or ratings on sites like YouTube or Travel Advisor, edit wikis, comment on blogs, or participate in forums, you are a Critic.  42% of women 35-44 are Critics.  My boyfriend would probably say that estimate is pretty low. ) Interestingly, only 28% of men in his age group are critics.
  3. Collectors organize content.  They use RSS feeds and tags to vote for or bookmark content they think is worthy for themselves, or to share with others.  If you use social bookmarking tools like De.li.cious, Mixx, and Digg.com, you are a Collector.  19% of women in the U.S. who are 35-44 are Collectors.
  4. Joiners connect with others in a community around content.  If you have a profile on a social network site and participate on MySpace or Facebook, you are a Joiner. 32% of women in my age group are Joiners.  Compare that with 78% of women ages 18-24!  That is, of course, because they don’t have kids )
  5. Spectators observe content.  If you read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch video, read customer reviews, but the extent of your participation is receptive, then you are a Spectator. 68% of women my age are Spectators.
  6. Inactives do not create or observe social media content of any kind.  If you have not been online before, or are not among the living, you are probably an Inactive ) 27% of of women in my age group in the US, according to Forrester are inactive.  Hard to believe!

To learn more about Forrester’s social technographics system, visit http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/profile_tool.html

Forrester Social Technographics Ladder

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on February 11, 2009, in Facebook Tips. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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