Have you ever wondered about the many different ways people are able to participate in the growing world of the groundswell? Or how to group them all into segments so you can better reach your target market while using social media applications? Well understanding the social technographic profiles of the people using your site will answer these questions.
A social technographic profile contains two parts, the social or people-to-people activities, and the “technograpic” which is the Forrester Research model that focuses on technology behavior. Using this profile helps to group people into their categories of groundswell participation; creators, conversationalists, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives. Creators are the people who publish the blog posts on a regular basis, while converstaionalists are the people who respond to those posts or have back and forth conversations at least weekly. Critics are the people who post ratings and reviews online, where collectors’ bookmark sites and use RSS feeds. The next group joiners have online profiles and is the fastest growing group out of all of them. Spectators just look at and read what everyone else is posting, and lastly inactives are the people who do not participate at all in the groundswell. But how can this information be used?
I find this information extremely valuable if you are able to collect the data about your target markets and their groundswell participation. If you do a survey and realize that the majority of your market is inactive, maybe advertising on social media sites would be the wrong thing to do. What if your market is mainly based on critics? You would know to watch these sites for potential posts about your products that could harm your reputation. To show an example of how your technograpic profile may look, I’ve included one that would fit for a company I profiled earlier, Brewsters Brewing Company. Their target is male or female, Canadian, and between the ages of 25-34.
From this we can see that the greatest number of people in this category is a spectator, which means they are watching and reading what everyone else is doing online. This could be used to the companies advantage because they could be regularly updating a blog or their website. This also reinforces a point I made in an early assignment that they could benefit from having a YouTube Channel that posts new videos about their beers or how they make their beers. Overall, it is very important to know where your target market falls in the social technograpic profile if you want to successfully use social media sites to promote your business.