When it comes to social media usage, Forrester categorizes the world using their patented Social Technographic Ladder. Creators (23%) are at the top. These are the people who create blogs, upload videos and write articles for the web. (I’m one of those. Are you?)
Right under that are Conversationalists and Critics who exchange info by Twitter, forums and Facebook posts. The majority of social media user fall into the middle of the pack and they are Joiners and Spectators. The difference being that Joiners have social media profiles but they’re not overtly active.
For the last few years, Forrester has tracked growth in all areas but this year Creators hit a plateau. According to their 2010 Global Social Technographics report, despite advances that make it easier, creators aren’t creating like they used to.
They chalk the change up to human behavior, which is a scientific way of saying they have no idea. But I suspect it’s simply a case of the novelty wearing off. When blogging was new, not everyone was doing it, but now that every third person you know is keeping an online log of his eating, dating and sleeping habits, it’s just not special. YouTube was a place to share that funny video of Uncle Sid falling asleep in his Boston Cream Pie. Now it’s a website for music marketers, sponsored web shorts and bootlegged episodes of Baywatch Nights.
Forrester agrees with me in a round about way. They say that social media tools will begin focusing more on how “social content is consumed rather than how it is produced.” they point to Twitter’s new design which doesn’t help you Tweet better, it just helps you get more out of the tweets you receive.
While creators are taking a much needed break, joiners are still going strong. Forrester’s report says that more than ever people are getting social media accounts just so they can read what their friends and family are saying. My husband falls into this group. After years of actively avoiding any type of social media, he reluctantly joined Facebook in order to view photos posted by a friend. He maintained his account with no activity for more than six months and only last week decided it was time to add a photo and profile.
“The fact that Joiners continue to grow means marketers must continue to focus their attention and budgets on social networks in 2011. More people will spend more time and get more information through social networks, and where consumer time and attention goes, so will marketer investment.”
Where do you fall on the Social Technographic Ladder? Check it out and let us know.