There are so many different social media channels and so many different people using those channels. Not all people have exactly the same needs. There are different users who need to get different results from their efforts.
Although there are so many social media channels from which to choose, not any one channel generally fulfills all of an individual’s needs. On the reverse side, it is also difficult for marketers to understand all of their customers needs and wants from a single channel. From the perspective of the search engines, they can only tell what people are interested in. The search engines don’t have any sense of what has gone before the search for information. Analytics are critical to your success as a business owner and if you are not able to get your hands on the metrics, you and your business will have a difficult time of growing your business. There are several different types of social media users, which will be discussed here.
- Fill it in and forget it: These are the users who filled in a profile on the sites that they have chosen and that was the end of it. The users in this category are most likely not particularly comfortable with social media and may not truly understand the power that it holds for them. Additionally, those individuals don’t want to communicate online with others about what they are doing.
- Newbies: Newbies are just as passive as the Fill it in and forget its, however, they are also not comfortable with the concept of having a strong presence. However, the way that they differ from people in the first category is that they recognize the importance and impact that social media may have on their business. They also recognize that social media will help them to develop relationships online and strengthen their already-existing online relationships from the past.
- Watching from the outside: These are social media users who don’t actually get involved with other people too much. They will post articles once in a while but their presence is not felt a lot. Their main reason for being connected to social media is to find out what other people are doing (without a great deal of sharing about what they are doing). They are often paranoid about sharing too much information about themselves and their business.
- The “in” group: These users are active on whichever channels they have chosen. Often, they are only active on one particular social media channel (Facebook, for example). A great deal of their communications involve graphics (photos) and they are very comfortable with letting their online connections know what is going on (personally and professionally). They are often thought of as influencers within their limited social media community.
- Mix with the crowd: These social media users are extremely comfortable with a high level of activity on multiple social media channels. They are consistent with their activities and interactions and they love to follow other people’s brands and offerings. They want to be “the first to know.” They totally understand the power of social media and they also respect and appreciate the importance of the individual’s privacy. Many of the relationships that they enjoy were formed online and they are very comfortable with online interactions.
- Shining stars: These social media users are the most involved of all of the different types. They express themselves frequently and easily through social media. They do have a strong sense and respect for privacy; however, they are also comfortable with online interactions. They are the users who engage with the most social media channels and they often want to be the ones to lead discussions. They are very comfortable speaking about brands and are very likely to share information from various businesses with people they know. They are the people who are the most likely to turn a post viral.
With all of the different types of social media and all of the various social media users, it isn’t enough to use a One Size Fits All concept. You will find that some users are more enthusiastic and positive than others. You should also expect that there may be some users who fit into more than one category. Customization is important and it will be much easier to meet the need of individuals with that approach. It is also critical for business owners to understand clearly who the various types of users are and what they expect to get out of the various channels.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).