My previous post outlined the importance of understanding the various personality types in your social community so that you may better communicate with that audience and drive greater brand recognition. Below is a brief definition of each social media personality type along with communication tactics and why you should care about each.
What’s your social media personality? Which do you have in your community?
1. The Status Seeker: Defined by having a sense of self that equates to what he/she owns, has or has associated with their personal brand.
Communication Tactic: Consider campaigns that award badges or other status symbols. Ensure that their value to your business is publically acknowledged and validated. Suggested forum: Twitter, LinkedIn.
Why You Should Care: This personality type collects friends as quickly as they do badges, which provides an opportunity for additional brand exposure and awareness. They will draw out other Status Seeker personalities, thus elevating the overall clout of your community.
2. The Critic: Usually a writer, author or similar creative type, they are focused on the essence or meaning of the content online regardless of the audience that is listening.
Communication Tactic: Allowing them to showcase their intellect, insights and detail are critical. Social “niceties” and convention are secondary to clinical presentation of facts. Provide the option to edit and update posts as this is required by such individuals to satisfy their need to present the most accurate representation of their views possible. Consider blogs vs social networks as main sources of content provisioning.
Why You Should Care: This personality type maintains focus in your online community and tends to keep others “on message”. They will quickly bring the group dialogue back on track and weed out those that are not contributing to the overall health or business’ social ecosystem.
3. The Socializer: Believes in the value of online group activities over individual pursuits and hobbies. Migrates to where friends congregate online and keeps track of other’s activities and actions. Usually seen online even when they are very busy offline.
Communication Tactics: Provide the opportunity for this user to engage in forums or panels. Any format where they can contribute to collective wisdom (such as Wikis) rather than one-to-one communications. Don’t ask them for opinions but to solicit the larger audience’s opinions and report back. Viral and Word Of Mouth marketing campaigns appeal to these individuals.
Why You Should Care: This personality type is critical to maintaining the fun and entertainment aspects of your community. They will drive viral actions and draw in larger crowds to support your community’s awareness and growth.
4. The Lurker: Usually content to monitor public conversations and communicate through private message or e-mail outside of the main conversation; they are emotionally driven and have a strong point of view but are not confrontational. They will not draw a lot of attention to themselves.
Communication Tactics: The Lurker is an information seeker, so ensuring that there is ample content to view, read, watch and digest is critical to engaging them. Where the Status Seekers are happy to gather information from public chatting, this individual will be drawn to the chatter but will look for opportunities to read transcripts, whitepapers, etc offline. Without those offline-consumed resources, they will seek out other communities. Ensure that privacy statements and guarantees are presently prominently. Offer RSS feeds to blog postings, links to transcripts and archives.
Why You Should Care: This community member is critical as they provide support offline to those who seek it. They create content to support others based on their comprehension of the online dialogue and spend time analyzing available content. You may not hear or see them often but don’t think they are not there. They log in often driving up clicks, impressions and search engine optimization benefits to your site.
5. The Creator: Usually a jack of all trades, this personality type can easily comprehend many topics. They create new content by extrapolating themes and meaning from other’s content and news. They see the online world as their home and spend many hours there creating, building and publishing.
Communication Tactics: While they produce content, having an active community and a large repository of data is critical to engaging a Creator. Similarly, you must provide the options and location for them to share their unique content. Recognition is not always the motivation for these individuals, but it doesn’t hurt either. Creators are usually those that make user-generated promotions successful. They are more likely to provide you their opinions on your blog posts than simply sharing or “Liking” it, so be sure to ask for their interpretations, opinions and thoughts.
Why You Should Care: Creators are usually early-adopters in terms of new ideas, concepts and tools. They can lead a conversation and are needed at times when the business leader cannot afford the time to maintain their community leadership.
6. The Pundit: The Pundit takes on the role of community news anchor. They share and promote relevant news and facts sprinkled with a little opinion. They are more interested in sharing the information than interpreting it or creating it.
Communication Tactics: Provide focus for this person by clearly categorizing content into relevant categories or provide them the opportunity and encouragement to gather relevant data from other sources and have them tag or categorize it within your community. Allow them to take on responsibilities for broadcasting and recognize them with some form of status or celebrity.
Why You Should Care: Where the Creator is required to help create conversations and engagement, the Pundit is required to spread the conversation further and attract more people to your community. They drive subscription levels up and spur on links/visits/click-thrus to you site.
7. The Rebel: The Rebel will be seen disrupting online discussions, many times just for the sake of attention. They can latch onto a common convention or belief, a group or even an individual. Many times they become the “heckler” in the group when challenged. While most online comments are meant to disrupt the social order, comments can turn personal when backed into a wall, faced with authority or someone whom they can’t rattle. The person feels superior to almost everyone else and enjoys winning an argument at all costs.
Communication Tactics: Generally very creative, these individuals can show leadership in new fields or technology so providing them a focus is critical. Adept at mashing up information, they can help drive new thoughts. Engage them by asking for their opinions on public news that keeps their attention away from the local community so that those members can feel safe to openly discuss and learn from each other without the threat of being called out by the Rebel.
Why You Should Care: These individuals revel is disorder and can damage the reputation of the community. Further, they can turn off others from engaging. Understanding who they are and giving them an outlet will keep the rest of the community humming and growing.
I understand that many businesses are still struggling with how to create a community or if they should create one at all. The suggestion that you should be aware of the personality types of online community members may seem too advanced a discussion; however, experience and shown that without a proper understanding of all the elements within your social ecosystem, success will be harder to achieve.
You may wish to consult with or hire a community manager to begin to actively engage your online community. If you can’t classify all members, start by identifying the community’s leaders and those that participate the most and create communication outlets conducive to their personalities.
Have you ever tried to categorize your online audience? Other thoughts? Share your experiences and get involved in the conversation.