From Slacker to Savvy: Social Media Participation Evolves

As consumers Internet social behaviors continue to evolve, marketers social strategies must evolve with them. It’s critical that marketers personalize new and existing social programs to their target audience based on behaviors and preferences.

Forrester Research created the term ‘Social Technographics’ to analyze a group of people according to participation in social media, with the caveat that companies should analyze their social technographics, and then create a social strategy based on that profile. At the core of social technographics is consumer data that looks at the ways consumers approach social technologies – not just the adoption of individual technologies.

Here are the 6 main classifications:

  • Creators – Publish web pages and maintain blogs
  • Critics – Comment on pages, blogs, post ratings and reviews
  • Collectors – Use RSS feeds and tag web pages to classify content
  • Joiners – Use social networking sites
  • Spectators – Read blogs, watch videos, listen to podcasts; not likely to comment
  • Inactives – Simply don’t participate

In 2007, the first year Forrester tracked social technographics, inactives were the largest group, comprising 52 percent. In 2010, inactives were only 32 percent of the public. Spectators are now the largest group.

This methodology indicates a couple of action items for marketers. With spectators searching for content, it is essential that marketers understand the specific terminology their target market use to describe their struggles and desires. These terms will be also used as search terms; so the marketer must incorporate these terms in websites and social media content. Then, model programs on targeted customers, understand what makes them distinct and find more who act just like them.

Thanks to Andy Bell, CEO of Handyman Matters for introducing Weise Communications to this methodology.

Tell us if you think social technographics will be helpful in creating social media programs or if you think they are missing some important categories. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

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