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Social Mapping to Build your Social Media Strategy

April 10th, 2009

The second workshop I attended at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Fran was a great presentation by Mark Silva and Susan MacDermid from Real Branding.  During this interactive session we looked at matching your target audience’s technographics (similar to demographics, but groups users based on their level of interaction with social media) to the social media markteting and/or toolset you plan on using to engage your consituents.  It’s a great process to go through as you get ready to plot or improve your own social media marketing plan and/or online community strategy.

First, let’s take a look at technographic breakdown and some handy tools to help you hone in on what might be the best offerings for you target audience.  Then, let’s apply them to a few markets I’m getting ready to target and see how it works.  Not surprisingly, our friends at Forrester have some great resources to get started on their Groundswell website.

Social Technographics.  Forrester’s Technographic Ladder provides the groups web users into.:  Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators and Inactives.  The brief slideshow below explains each of these “rungs” (categories) on the Ladder:

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Here’s slide 10 from Forrester’s presentation with explanation of each category to refer back to as we look at the different technographics of the age and sex breakdowns available.

 technographics-ladder12

So now that you have an understanding of the various categories, let’s apply this to social media planning.  A quick way to do this is with the profile tool from Forrester’s Groundswell.

Let’s start with the United States.  You can also pull information on Europe and certain other countries.  I’m going to go a little crazy with the charts here, so bare with me.  Here are all age range demographics in the US for both male and female users, so we can track the differences and match up available social media tools to each group.  This first chart represents how adult web users (18 & older) in the United States interact with Social Media.  

us_all2

When planning strategy, match your target market, donors, customers, etc., to the age and sex breakdowns offered in the tool.  Then you can match their preferred type of engagement to the toolset you will either need to offer or reach them through to resonate with that group.  For example, if you are building an online community or planning a Social Media campaign targeted to young adults aged 18-24 you can pull the following two charts:

us_male_18to24

us_female_18to24

While the spectators categories is tops in all age groups, let’s look at what stands out.   First, the overwhelming majority like to be joiners by maintaining profiles and visiting social network sites.   They are also almost twice as likely as the general web user, males slightly more than females, to be creators.  Look for opportunities to let this group publish blogs, create their own web pages, upload videos and artwork that they create, and tell their own stories.   Third, this age group likes to interact by critiqueing, rating and commenting, so be sure to offer these abilities in your plan.  Online social networks like Facebook and YouTube also provide good outlets to reach these groups with Social Media campaigns.

OK, here are the other breakdowns you can pull:

 us_male_35-44 us_female_35to44

us_male_45to54

us_male_45to541

us_female_45to54

us_male_55

us_female_55

 So, we can definately see several trends – the younger you are, the more active you are in social media.  This may be no surprise, even with the rapid adoption among 45+ age group of social media.  However, there are also several trends we can see regarding the types of media you prefer to interact with at different ages, and perhaps life stages.

The joiners group falls in half after age 24, but still maintains strength (and is growing) through age 45.   And the desire to rate and comment content as part of the critics group remains strong across all age group, and is one of the highest points of involvement over those 45+ years old.

Finally, here is a short list of some of the opportunities for Social Map marketing.  You likely know of many more, and the list continues to evolve.  These also represent several related toolsets to use in building an online community, including blogs, wikis, ratings, video sharing, widgets, social networking, friend following, microblogging, IM, presence, and virtual collaboration tools.

Social Networking

  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Hi5
  • Gather
  • LinkedIn
  • Orkut
  • Plaxo

Photo Sharing

  • Flickr
  • Picassa
  • Photobucket
  • Snapfish
  • Slideshare

Blogging

  • WordPress
  • Podcasting
  • Tumblr
  • Typepad

Microblogging

  • Twitter
  • Yammer
  • Facebook (new feature offers similar microblogging functionality)

Bookmarking:

  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Blogmarks
  • StumpleUpon
  • Ma.gnolia

Video Sharing

  • Youtube
  • Google Video
  • Livecast
  • Yahoo Video

 Data from Forrester Research Technographics® surveys, 2008. For further details on the Social Technographics profile, see groundswell.forrester.com.

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