The development of a Social Media Strategy (SMS) is underpinned by understanding the differing behaviours of online audiences. For marketing purposes analysts divide participants into general categories to develop effective marketing plans.
As personalisation of online spaces increases, categorising target markets is increasingly complex. However, not discarding the individual ‘user defining their own online experience’, Figure 1, adapted from the American Technographs Empowerment Online Survey (2009), illustrates seven categories of online participants, generalising online behaviour.
|Figure 1. Participant’s Ladder: seven categories of online participants.
Adapted from American Technographs Empowerment Online Survey, Q4, 2009 (US)
Participants may belong to one or many categories, or rungs, on the ladder, emphasising the individual user’s preference and affiliation/s. Further analysis on the Participants Ladder is contained in Hill (2012).
Paraphrasing AnnaLaura Brown (2009) the following seven tips are recommended when developing a SMS:
- Write it (SMS) down.
- Define time investment – daily/hourly/weekly
- Develop ‘friending’ and ‘following’ policies
- Where does the target market hangout online?
- What is the budget?
- What products and services will be promoted via Social Media (SM)?
- Which social networking technologies will receive most of your invested activity
Hill, S., (2012). Social networking proposal: EAAA SM Strategy.