Josh Bernoff’s article in Advertising Age, “Reaching Out to Conversationalists” points to important new changes in usage of Social Media. His article focuses on new user classifications from Forrester Research, which shows that the “old” ways of thinking about how people use social media need to be updated.
It used to be that we thought of social media users in terms of 6 main categories:
*Note, users may be part of multiple categories, which is why this adds up to more than 100%.
Now Forrester Research has added a new classification: Conversationalists. Representing 33% of online users, these are people who update their status on social networking sites or post updates on Twitter at least once a week. They aren’t creating substantial new content like creators, but they’re doing more than just critiquing other content. They are part of a growing segment of the population that are participating in a larger online conversation with their networks of friends, peers, family and colleagues.
And as Bernoff points out, these aren’t just the kids. Seventy percent of conversationalists are over the age of 30. They’re 56% female, and they make more money than the average online consumer.
Why is this important to nonprofits? Because the people most in a position to support your organization are more and more also in a position to post tweets and updates about your organization. The new data show that 1 in 3 people online are participating in a global conversation. What if they were talking about your organization?
Now the idea of using social media to strengthen support for your organization isn’t new. What is new is the growing recognition that a sizable segment of online users are Conversationalists. It means that it’s time to take a fresh look at your social media marketing plan and ask yourself whether you are doing all that you can to engage people who could be tweeting and posting on your behalf.
It also means that if you don’t have a social media marketing plan, you’re late. It’s time to get started.
Keep the conversation going —
Does your organization have a social media marketing plan? How are you engaging Conversationalists?
Zach Hochstadt is a Mission Minded Founding Partner and runs Mission Minded’s Denver office, leading the company’s creative teams in the areas of message development, writing, graphic design, and web design and development.
See all posts by Zach Hochstadt