Wut iz Social Technographics Profile?

Source material: groundswell by Li C., Bernoff, J


Social technographics profile? No, unfortunately this doesn’t refer to Aviici or Daft Punk or your every day rave. It refers to… how to classify your social media participators.  Still actually pretty cool, just without the lights and smoke machines and ear-bleeding base beats.

Quickly, the “social” refers to the people-to-people (P2P) activities in the groundswell. “Technographics” is all about Forrester Research’s methodology for surveying customers. Basically, demographics and psychographics of technology users.  The model serves to separate your consumers into groups. Once you can separate people into useful classifications, relative to how loosely or tightly based they are, it becomes easier to target your efforts towards them. Not unlike data mining.

There are 7 classifications defined by groundswell:

  1. Creators who make up social content on the go. Writing blogs, making videos or vlogs, taking/posting pictures.
  2. Conversationalist are the people who use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and are frequently updating their status and posting tweets/retweeting.
  3. Critics are people who make responses to other people’s content. Such as commenting on a blog or posting in the comments section of YouTube.
  4. Collectors  organize content for themselves or others either by updating RSS feeds or voting for stories on news sites or other sites like Reddit and Digg.
  5. Joiners these people are similar to the conversationalist in that they use and maintain social media profiles and have active profiles, but are much less frequent about posting.
  6. Spectators are people who consume and use what others produce online such as watching YouTube, reading blogs and other user generated content.
  7. Inactives are people who do not interact at all with social media or social technologies.

These classifications are fine, but the real power of the Social Technographics Profile is that it can help you understand how, which, what, why, and who is using specific social technologies and medias.  This information makes it easier when creating an appropriate social strategy.

One very good example of this is the Edmonton Oilers website. They play in Canada and are beloved by “Oil Country”.  Now think about Edmonton/northern Alberta  or “Oil Country”. A whole lot of oil workers, generally males, and most of these oil workers are under the age of 35.  What type of ads are running on the Oilers site? Credit cards (have more money… sorta!), Ford trucks (get that jacked up rig and fit in with all your buddies!) and ads for other “toys” that are quite expensive but are still material.  Also, the content is team stuff, team stuff and team stuff. Then, a little bit about the Octane girls. and the glory days. Fits right in with the oil workers up north and the general demographic of Oiler fans and what their interests are. Most of these guys, especially the workers, are spectators or joiners.

I mean, just look at this. Personification of North of Red Deer, and the NHL knows it.


Compare that site with the Vancouver Canucks website. The content is different. You get the same Visa ad but then the next ad (that I found through 15 refreshes) was about the finest cheese! Creme da le creme! OKA cheese! Cheese goes with wine and BC is wine country, plus I know from personal experience just how much B.C. people from the Okanogan all the way to the coast love their wine. But the content is also different on the home page. It is primarily community involvement and how you can get involved in all these great causes just like the team. Compare that with the more general “green” attitude of British Columbia, especially the Lower Mainland, and it fits with their demographic. Then along the bottom it is user generated content from Canucks fans! If I were to throw a knowledgeable guess out there, based on living in both places, your people in Vancouver are probably higher up in the Social Technographics Profile in comparison to your people in Edmonton.

Also, nothing seems specifically tailored to either gender on the Canucks’ site, while, to me at least, I just feel the Oilers’ site is aimed more at men.

This works across all markets and all products too. For instance, if you can effectively corner a segment of retirees and older adults (who tend to have more money, empty nest and all that) then there is great potential there for marketing.  Facebook ads man. Older people generally tend to be less desensitized to advertisements, especially online, than younger people. My mom clicks on more Facebook ads intentionally than I do accidentally.

Want ladies? Make a Pinterest page. Seriously, look at that.

SM pic(source)

74-36 guy/girl split a year ago. And Pinterest at least involves most of the users to the collector level, if not higher.

Quickly, translating this to video games (the initial point of this entire blog project), ever wonder why video games are targeted towards Americans? Probably because of thisthisthisthis and this. First, those sites generally all involve critics and conversationalists as well as some level of creationist. Secondly, Those traffic numbers are basically the only argument needed any time someone asks the afformention question. They have learned their audience.

Its just something to keep in mind. Most people know to ‘know’ their audience, but with social media its thrown a bit of a wrench in some things with companies only producing content that don’t take advantage of potential that the one-to-many or the many-to-many has. Find who you are “talking” to and give them something to make conversation.

Authors note: This was originally posted on my backup blog adamv2.wordpress.com


4 thoughts on “Wut iz Social Technographics Profile?

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