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Simon Sanders at Lansons alerted me to a new study, based on a concept initially developed by Forrester Research.

The aim of the study was to identify the various different types of social media user. Lansons has defined nine types of user, as shown in the chart below…

A number of these user types are based on Forrester’s work around ‘social technographics’. Some have been adapted and re-labelled, whereas others are entirely new.

The two new categories are Commercialists and Collaborators, the former being interested in social media for business reasons, while the latter are more concerned with sharing and co-creation.

There’s more explanation about each of the types on the Lansons blog.

Chris Lake

Published 8 June, 2011 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

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Madcom

The only problem I see with this analysis (and the Forrester source research) is that the 9 categories are not unique. Many people can be categorised across several different groups. This could be reduced to two categories: participants and spectators.

about 5 years ago

Simon Sanders

Simon Sanders, Head of Content at Pulse

Some interesting points Madcom - and things I have pondered too!

Firstly, you're right, the categories aren't unique, but that's how life is. Consider you for example. When you read the post you were a Crowd-member (Spectator), when you commented you showed you were a Critic too.

If you WERE to reduce the user types though, you would have three, no? Some Completely Inactives too.

The point of looking more closely at this is to allow those planning wonderful social media engagement campaigns to consider how their audiences might be using social media. See the very first para of my blog post on this on the Lansons blog http://bit.ly/UKSocialMediaCensus (the same page Chris has actually linked to at the end of the post)

about 5 years ago

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Quozza

Sort of agree with Madcom comment - although cutting back to two is bit punitive for categorisation! Could be seen as more of a social media "graphic equalizer" for the individual - where everyone's settings are slightly different. I am a crowd member in some conversations and creator in others. Taking a broader view, there's also an important over-arching "C" which is to recognise all participants as a potential Collective. Over-stressing the aliteration a bit (a lot) - Collaborative actions drive the concensus. So I say wake up the "currently inactives" with great content and stories (personal or commercial)- the more people join this conversation the more business and government will listen (and act). Big Society anyone?

about 5 years ago

Simon Sanders

Simon Sanders, Head of Content at Pulse

Quozza. Yep, the graphic equaliser is a great analogy, and when we were creating this visual, the designer Dom Philcox, and I used this term a lot to describe that bit of the chart.

What is also interesting is that most of (very welcome) RTs you see on the right hand side are in some way 'voting for' this blog post's content, but are not adding to the debate or commenting (as a Critic). Without getting too into the discussion of signal / noise I wonder if straight RTs qualify people as neither Critics nor Conversationalists but as yet another C. Members of the Chorus.

about 5 years ago

Michelle Goodall

Michelle Goodall, Online PR/Social Media Consultant at EconsultancySmall Business Multi-user

Great infographic from Simon and the Lansons crew. I can see it being used on many Powerpoint presentations from now on....

I agree with comments about the limitations of Forrester Social Technographics and these 9Cs categories. Neither address the fact that we use different social behaviours in different channels and at different times and our networks are complex.

I'm a different type of person in Twitter and LinkedIn to Facebook and YouTube because my networks are very different. The former are professional, the latter personal.

I'm yet to fully engage with and therefore trust the tool and my connections in Quora, GetGlue, Colors etc.

Spotify and Flickr aren't (in my opinion) social enough to allow me to engage to the degree that I want to.

Good to simplify these things to tell a story but also it's important to recognise the difficulty of creating de-facto social media user categories.

about 5 years ago

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Angus Fox

The difficulty with this broad characterisation '61%' use social media is just that it is so broad. Might as well say 100% of UK population eat food.

I appreciate you trying to shed some light on the topic, but what I really need is the kind of data the Mosaic profile information gives, by activity type.. It would be helpful to know that business people use Twitter for work related updates and Facebook for personal ones for example.

Nevertheless, this is a useful first slide kind of infographic.

Angus

about 5 years ago

Ian Tester

Ian Tester, Senior Product Manager at brightsolid online publishing

It's so dangerous using Cs in the context of social media....nice infographic, tho: most thought inspiring.

about 5 years ago

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