2007 to 2008 Social Technographic Data Indicates Increase In Adoption

Japan's Social Technographics 2008

Despite’s Wired’s opinion piece that blogging is waning (they cite no data), perhaps some of the most important data for this year is this recently released Social Technographic Data from colleague Josh Bernoff showing an increase in adoption in United States of Social Technographics from 2007-2008.

He points out that inactives (people that cannot be reached through social technologies) has reduced from 44% to 25%. This means that three fourths of the US online users is touched by social technologies. Also note that more people who consume this content has increased from 48% to 69%.

Do note that to be accurate in your marketing, like you have specific personas for your marketing efforts, you’ll need the same technographic profiles for those personas. Age, culture, professional, and other factors all play into each technographic ladder.

There’s so much more to explore here, from specific cultures, regions, age groups, but looking at this bigger picture of a one year trend tells a bigger story –adoption so far, has increased. I also recommend you read Sifry’s state of the global blogosphere as well as access more social technographic data (now including Canada) at the profile tool, at no charge.

Discussion points

  • Does your marketing efforts match the changes in online consumer behavior?
  • Should we expect this to plateau? if so when?
  • At what point will we see a decrease, if at all?
  • Are you prepared to answer these four questions of social media in an economic downturn?
  • Are you and your company ready to address these social media challenges?
  • 22 Replies to “2007 to 2008 Social Technographic Data Indicates Increase In Adoption”

    1. Interesting data – thanks for sharing.

      From a community & social media standpoint I think companies need to start looking more at each user segment (think 90/9/1 or the Social Technographics Ladder) and determine how their initiatives match up to the areas they are targeting.

    2. Well, the Wired author that wrote that piece used a Blog. So enough said in that regard!

      Thanks for sharing this. While this is good, what will be interesting to see is how Smart Phones and increased localization is changing how SMedia is used, and how SMedia apps are evolving.

    3. Great stuff Jeremiah,

      from a marketing standpoint I think it’s really important for businesses to understand that these “participatory” technographics are not static, in other words one important goal of any marketing effort is to provide the tools, messaging and motivation for customers to move up the ladder of participation. This is one of the reasons that understanding the motivation to participate, and the value the customer gets from participating is a critically important part of any project that involves social media. Participation is not binary, but is a hierarchy, rather like maslow’s hierarchy of needs. People participate because they are getting something fulfilling out of it, this means that companies need to provide ever increasingly satisfying ways for customers to participate. If the only way a user can participate in your business is through “telling a friend” that is not a particularly rich or fulfilling experience.

      Mmmm, this is kind of feeling like a blog post, I have to get back to that.

      Check out this framework I call the “hierarchy of customer experience” I may have to rename it the hierarchy of social media participation

    4. As the % of “inactives” decrease and the mass moves up content creation ladder, then maybe what we are seeing is the % of time historically spent on blogging increasingly being replaced by micro blogs, commenting and Twittering? – ie providing the least path of resistance for user expression.

      Maybe blogs though they may be waning in terms of user publishing are also maturing and quality content is hopefully rising to the top with greater syndication?

    5. According to a review of Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 done by RWW (http://tinyurl.com/44vzox) blog authorship is slowing.

      I think it’s all in how you look at it. I believe (no real proof yet) that blogging will follow typical 90-9-1 rules, and that a small number of folks will continue to create the majority of the blog content (the Creators). However, the good news is that the data shows readership is up (the increase in Spectators). I also expect as the overall size of the pool is increasing, so blogging authorship will increase too, though perhaps at a slower rate (as we saw the numbers of Creators increase in the recent Social Technographics report, but at a slower rate than the other groups).

    6. Scott

      I can’t comment on Technorati’s methdolology as I wasn’t involved. Please note that we factor not only blog, but also video upload and image upload to our “creators” classification.

    7. Jeremiah, thanks for the refresh on this data. As you know, we have developed personas and applied your model to this and it’s been a terrific tool for evangelizing more social behavior and validating assumptions and tactics. Keep up the great work you guys.

    8. Great information as always. I’m pleased to see both critics and spectators are on the rise, people are listening and developing more trust and critics encourage transparency.

    9. Thanks, Jeremiah, for this info. Good to see the number of inactives down. That shines a light on the need to become more involved, even if it’s only listening.

    10. Jeremiah, this is great information. I believe it is an indicator that the amount of trust people place in social media is increasing, especially as the number of spectators increases. In my Marketing via New Media class that I teach at UCSD Ext, I ask my students which part of the social technographics ladder is most important? The discussion is around all of them becoming a social media ecosystem, supporting each other and enabling interaction.

      To Karl’s point, different people will be motivated to participate in different ways. The number of “fulfilling” participation methods will need to increase as spectators move up the ladder, and customers become more valuable the more they engage with a company. I don’t think any particular way of participating is any more or less valuable than another way. Just getting customers to move beyond “looking” is huge! (BTW, it is also a huge mindset change for the brands/companies they want to interact with.)

      Thanks, Jeremiah. You rock!

    11. I think this portends very interesting things for Web advertising. First, as participation grows in Social Media, then obviously its harder *not* to be there. Second, it sets a different standard for successful interaction because, let’s face it, banner ads and other forms of static interactions in Social Media have simply not worked very well (even less well than standard banner ads on the non-social Web).

    12. Hi there Dawid,

      Rebecca Jennings here! A couple of thoughts. Firstly, the 2007 and 2008 data in Europe is not, unfortunately, strictly comparable; we changed a couple of the profile definitions to bring it in line with the US definitions. So that means you can’t really put the data from 2007 and 2008 side by side.

      For 2009, the data is just ready, and I can tell you that for most countries, the figure for collectors hasn’t changed that much. This kind of behaviour – tagging, RSS – hasn’t really taken off in Europe yet to be honest.

      I hope that helps!


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