Forrester research have suggested that there are six distinct types of social media user, based on a sample of US users.
They categories are as follows:
- The Creator – this is the person who creates social media content for everyone else to see, i.e., by publishing blog posts or webpages and/or uploading photos, videos, audio and other content.
- The Conversationalist – This is the person who updates their status on social media sites such as updating their status on Facebook or tweeting from Twitter.
- The Critic – this is the person who responds to content posted by others, they tend to post reviews of products and services (e.g., on Amazon or TripAdvisor), they comment on blogs and forms and may contribute content to wikis such as Wikipedia.
- The Collector – this is the person who collects and organises content that they find online. They may do this for themselves and/or for other users, e.g., using social bookmarking sites such as Pinterest, Delicious and StumbleUpon. They may also use RSS feeds and photo or page tagging.
- The Joiner – this is the person who joins and maintains multiple profiles across different social networking websites, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn.
- The Spectator – this is the most common type of user. This person may also be referred to as a ‘lurker’. They read blogs, view user-generated content (e.g., YouTube videos), read online forums and search for user reviews and ratings. They do not upload or share much content.
- The Inactive – This is the person who is online but who does not use any form of social media.
You fall into a category if you take part in the associated online behaviours at least once per month, with the exception of the conversationalists group (the latest category added by Forresters) – to fall into this category you must engage in the associated behaviour at least once per week.
They also released this really interesting visualisation of how different age ranges differ in relation to their average type of social media user (note – this chart was created before they introduced the seventh conversationalist category).
Please click on the image to enlarge:
What type of social media user are you?
- Based on this classification system, what type of social media user are you?
- Do you fall neatly into one of the categories or do you feel you are a combination of two or more?
- How do you compare to others in your age range based on the infographic above?
I find that I fall into almost all the categories, bar the inactive one of course!
- I am a creator – hence this blog!
- I am a conversationalist – I regularly update my Facebook status and tweet.
- I am an occasional critic – being a bit of a foody (that’s polite for saying I like my grub!), I do like to write the odd TripAdvisor review!
- I am a collector – I collect papers related to my research using Mendeley. I also use Pinterest to record quotes that I like and to record places in the world that I would like to visit
- I am a joiner – I am active on at least five social media sites
- I am a spectator – I regularly read forums or blogs for information however I do not often comment on forums at the moment.
I suspect that most users will fall into more than one category, I wonder how many fall into all six (not including the inactive)?
Can you think of any other types of user which you feel have been missed from the Forrester research?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts 🙂