Where are you on the social media participation ladder?

in Social Media Marketing

Forrester Research recently published their third annual Social Technographics Profile research review of social media participation. Forrester categorize 6 groups or levels of participation in an incremental ladder of participative activities as indicated in the following diagram:
Forrester Social Media Ladder

These are some interesting highlights from the 2009 report for the USA online market:

  • Approximately 80% of all online Americans participate in some level of social media activity at least once a month.
  • Joiners, those who maintain a profile on social networking sites, grew significantly from 35% to 51% of all online Americans – a 46% year-over-year increase.
  • Spectators, those consuming social media content, grew to 73% of all online Americans.
  • Inactives dropped to 18% with less than 10% of people under age 35 being inactive.
  • About two-thirds of all online Americans aged 55 or older participate in social media.
  • Creators, those publishing social media content, grew from 21% to 24% all online Americans.
  • Critics, those who post comments, ratings, reviews and contributions on content produced by Creators, remained steady at 37%.
  • Collectors, those who actively participate while consuming social media content increased from 19% to 21%.

European adoption is somewhat slower than the USA with about 40% inactives in countries surveyed by Forrester. Social networks are most popular in the UK; Italy has the most Creators, and Netherlands and Sweden have the most participation. Participation in Asia is similar to, or higher than, the USA.  For example, South Korea only has 9% inactives.

The bottom line from this survey is that social media participation and consumption is an increasingly integral part of being online for the vast majority of people.

How to use this information to benefit your business

  • People are participating and consuming social media at ever increasing levels. These people are your customers and prospective buyers.
  • If you’re not participating in social networking you’re missing out on a communication channel of growing size and importance to connect with customers and buyers.
  • Businesses not using social media for marketing are now regarded as being laggards in marketing practices and activities.
  • Do you have a business plan for social networking participation and social media marketing? If not, it’s time to get a plan in place now. If you do, when last was it reviewed and updated according to the current situation and trends?
  • Read the What is Social Media Marketing? article for more information about using social media to market your business.
  • Ensure that you have a social media monitoring and response plan in place for managing your online reputation.

Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™ www.marketance.com

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