Social Media – The 5 Different Types of Followers (Infographic)

Defining Your Social Media Followers

Smart marketing requires smart thinking about your audience.  Get this one piece wrong and nothing goes right.  Everything is a struggle – including social media efforts.

Which is one of the reasons I am always harping about defining and targeting your audience and buyer personas.  This step is critical.

It is also why I love this infographic from Vocus. It slices and dices the social media audience into five distinct groups of followers, each with a definite personality, strengths and weaknesses.

Here is a short summary of each type.

1.  Early Adopters 

Always on the bleeding edge of all things social media  Have a loyal following that can be beneficial to you if you can get these people in your corner.

2.  Social Sharers

Heavy cross platform users via links, shares and retweets.  Could prove beneficial due to their large social media distribution network.

3.  Born Followers 

True introverts with low participation.  As the handle implies, they follow and take their cues from others and probably represent the majority of anyone’s social media audience.

4.  Popular Powerhouses

Carry a lot of clout and typically have large and very loyal social media audiences.  Get them in your corner and you’ll definitely see and uptick in participation.

5.  Basement Dwelling Haters

A dissatisfied lot that is difficult to please.  However, you can’t afford to ignore them or they can make you pay.

To Seek or Not To Seek

Vocus suggests you need some of each follower type.  I’m not so sure about that idea for a couple of reasons.

1.  Every business has a ‘natural’ audience.  Early adopters are not necessarily going to be attracted to traditional businesses or products.  So trying to get these people as part of your social media network may prove frustrating and not very beneficial.

2.  Who wants or needs overly critical naysayers like the Basement Dweller? You may want to thank your lucky stars if you don’t have any of these in your social media networks and avoid them like the plague.

3.  This leaves the Social Sharers, Born to Follow and Popular Powerhouse folks.  These three audience segments should be sufficient to create some positive social media traction and make the process a lot more enjoyable.

What do you think?

But that’s me.  What do you think?

Do you really want to have Basement Dwellers as part of your social media audience?

What about the Early Adopters?

Go ahead and share your comments below.


Social Media Audiences - 5 Types

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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