Social Technographics Are Your Ladder to Social Media Success

Are you someone who likes to keep watch from a distance or do you easily join conversations? Do you thirst for and seek out information or are you the one creating and publishing new content?

How you act online reveals more than your friend groups and interests. Your online behavior is a window into your communication preferences, and how you use social media determines how marketers can best reach you.

Social technographics, defined by the Forrester Research company, outline the various roles and categories we may fall into online. Imagined as a ladder, each rung represents another step up into how invested you may be in your online presence.

From top to bottom, we have:

  • Creators, who have their own website, publish a blog, create and upload videos or music, and are all around active online.
  • Conversationalists, who are adding to the online conversation by frequently updating their status, posting photos on Instagram, and promoting the work of creators.
  • Critics, who respond to the content available online, perhaps through posting a review of a service or commenting in a forum or on an article.
  • Collectors, who are eager for information and absorb articles, images, video, podcasts and more, and may also participate in online polls, “like” and share content, or subscribe to a newsletter.
  • Joiners, who can be found on social media platforms and maintain their profiles but do little else.
  • Spectators, who watch for content and stay informed, but do not become as involved as collectors.
  • Inactives, who stay offline and do none of the above.

What kind of social media user are you?

You may find yourself identifying with more than one category, like creator, conversationalist, and critic. That’s why a ladder is such a great way to visualize social technographics—a different way to use social media is always a step away.

It’s also important to note that for the most part these roles aren’t contained in boxes. A collector is able to seek and find information thanks to the creator. And a creator is able to find success thanks to the enthusiastic support of a conversationalist.

Age, location, gender, social group, and industry all play into how we use social media. But while you may find that a large portion of your target demographic in one social technographics group, it’s still important to have a robust online marketing plan.

Reach your joiners on Facebook, listen to your critics on Yelp, engage with your conversationalist on Instagram, and find inspiration from your creators.


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