If the world isn’t full of big labels for simple things then my name isn’t Heather. Social technographics profiling (STP) is a “way to group people based on groundswell activities” (Bernoff & Charlene, 2011).  For us who like to keep things simple, it’s putting the same things together.  You know, what you did in kindergarten when you put all the round things in one bucket, and then maybe divided them up again into colours.  There are over twenty groundswell activities; from reading blogs, commenting on blogs, making a blog, to using RSS or twitter, or even contributing or editing a wiki (Bernoff & Charlene, 2011).  Depending on what groundswell activities you partake in categorizes you into one of the seven technographic ladder rungs (Bernoff & Charlene, 2011).  Using the STP you can understand how your target market uses social media and build a social strategy that aligns with how your customers want to receive information.  In a nutshell STP helps you know your customers/target market better so you can appeal to them with a more personalized approach.

A recent Facebook post about Balzac Billy by my company drew some attention. Billy predicted another 6 weeks of winter and with that, a clever social media ploy to try and get more of our customers to sign up for eBill was born.  We posted a picture of a wolf and a caption stating the wolf ate the groundhog.  We had a tag line that promoted eBill as a way to keep warm during those 6 more weeks of winter.  Our target markets are mainly home and business owners or those renters that are responsible for their utility bills.  We received a lot of feedback over the last few years about our lack of eBill and so off we went and implemented it.  We are over 2 months in and have almost 4,000 customers signed up, about 6% of our available market.  Our Facebook page as 142 likes and that mentioned post had 9 likes.  Out of a potential 80,000+ market base it seems that our social media isn’t hitting the mark.  Based on the Forrester model above, Canada has a lot of spectators and joiners at 64% and 57% respectively.  The next largest is the critics at 29%.

I feel that embracing the principles of STP and taking the time to really understand what ways your target market is using social media is smart business. If you have a large amount of spectators (those who consume what the rest produce), you need to have rich content on your social media platforms to keep them engaged.  If I had to speculate, I would guess we have a lot of critics, people who react to online content.  Most of the communication on our social media sites is one way, if we could create ways to start a conversation we could engage more conversationalists and provide more back and forth content for the critics to voice their opinion and for the spectators to digest. Once again the resounding message I get from groundswell is to participate, but put some thought into it.

Works Cited

Bernoff, J., & Charlene, L. (2011). groundswell. Boston: Harvard Business Review.

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