Forrester’s new Social Technographics report

Personal Content Experience
Social Technographics
Mapping Participation In Activities Forms The Foundation Of A Social Strategy
by Charlene Li
with Josh Bernoff, Remy Fiorentino, Sarah Glass

Forrester just released a new report, titled “Social Technographics“.

Executive summary
Many companies approach social computing as a list of technologies to be deployed as needed – a blog here, a podcast there – to achieve a marketing goal. But a more coherent approach is to start with your target audience and determine what kind of relationship you want to build with them, based on what they are ready for. Forrester categorizes social computing behaviors into a ladder with six levels of participation; we use the term “Social Technographics” to describe analyzing a population according to its participation in these levels. Brands, Web sites, and any other company pursuing social technologies should analyze their customers’ Social Technographics first, and then create a social strategy based on that profile.

Author Charlene Li provides us with some more insight into the report:

“We group consumers into six different categories of participation – and participation at one level may or may not overlap with participation at other levels. We use the metaphor of a ladder to show this, with the rungs at the higher end of the ladder indicating a higher level of participation.

For example, 13% of US online adult consumers are “Creators” meaning that they have posted to a blog, updated a Web page, or uploaded video they created within the last month. […]

The value of Social Technographics comes when it’s used by companies to create their social strategies. For example, in the report we look at how Social Technographics profiles differ by primary life motivation, site usage, and even PC ownership.

The report also lays out how companies can create strategies using Social Technographics. For example, I’ve used the “participation ladder” to help figure out which social strategies to deploy first – and also how to encourage users to “climb up”, so to speak, from being Spectators to becoming more engaged.”

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Related blog post (by Ross Mayfield)

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