Over the past six years, Forrester has used its Social Technographics® global classification system to analyze how consumers are adapting to social media networks.
The system classifies consumers into several different –and often overlapping –groups based on their online activities.
Using this approach, Forrester weeds out the “Inactives” (the only exclusive group), and then classifies the remaining online-active consumers as: Creators, Conversationalists, Critics, Collectors, Joiners and/or Spectators.
This latest report from Forrester, Social Media Adoption in 2011, reveals how these different groups are trending, and as Forrester’s consumer insights analyst Gina Sverdlov discussed yesterday on her blog, plenty has changed over the past six years.
For example, the new research shows that:
- Social networking is now a global phenomenon. The majority of online adults in the US (86 percent) and Europe (79 percent) engage with social media. Consumers in emerging economies are very active on social media networks, as well. (Earlier this week, I wrote about a study that identified India as the number one “hidden gem” for Facebook advertising.)
- Consumer social media behavior varies significantly with geography. Forrester found that less than one-quarter of online Americans and Europeans are Creators, people who generate social content. By contrast, more than two-thirds on online adults in metro China and India classify as Creators.
These results echo earlier findings from ComScore which revealed that social networking is now the most engaging online activity in the world. According to that report, social networking accounted for nearly one in every five minutes spent online globally in October 2011, and ComScore estimated that during that month, Facebook reached more than half (55 percent) of the world’s global online audience.
Savvy marketers will factor social media trends like these into their global branding strategies. Tactics such as social media listening and engaging with consumers on social networks are becoming increasingly important. But, as Gina points out on her blog, “The message is clear: Companies can’t afford to take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach with social media.”