While social media has given us many, many things – new ways to communicate, in depth knowledge of everyone’s personal lives, the joy of Tinder – it has also given us the eerie ability to become entirely different people.
In fact, everyone reading this has their own ‘social media personality’. This personality is dictated by our relationship with social media, which encompasses everything from how we view, interact with and absorb social media, to how we relate to others using the various social platforms.
And our social media personalities are wholly separate from our real-life personas.
Of the various social media types, 4 major personalities can be identified: the Leader, the Liker, the Lurker and the Loner.
These four social media personality types play a massive role in how we engage with brands online and consume their content. To be successful, brands must take note. Understanding how to reach the various types is a game changer, not only for your social media strategy but for your overall business.
As in real life, some online personalities are prone to leading conversations, some to responding, some to listening and some to hanging out by the cocktail bar on their own. Give the Leader an opportunity to create content, a Liker an opportunity to create virality and a Lurker something to consume and you’re off (and don’t forget making your social media presence so awesome that it extends to reaching the Loners offline!). Your social media strategy needs to uniquely cater to each group to be fully effective.
The Leaders are the content creators. They broadcast their opinions, good and bad, all over social media. Because they’re vocal, Leaders have the power to influence others in their network by creating content.
In order to reach the Leader, a brand must ‘wow’ them before they can win them over. The ultimate goal of your brand is to encourage the Leaders to say something about you. As content publishers, their posts will put your brand on other’s maps.
The best way to encourage the Leaders to engage with you is to give them the opportunity to create content for you, or to celebrate the content that they have already created. Leaders are the social media personalities that create the majority of User-Generated content for brands.
The Likers determine whether the content that Leaders create is successful or not because they engage with what Likers publish.
The Likers do not create, instead they do take ownership by sharing, commenting and engaging with content.
Think of them as the mediators of the social media world; they sway what is successful on the internet and determine what is relevant. To win over the Likers, your brand must create a message that they will want to respond to and forward on to their network. Every share and comment a Liker rewards you with will maximise your coverage.
The Likers determine what is successful on the Internet and they cannot be ignored.
The Lurkers purely observe and consume.
They know exactly what’s new and all that’s trending by following along on social media, yet they never engage with you online. Unfortunately, you never know when these wallflowers have checked your page out, except for keeping a close eye on your brand’s reach and impressions.
Remember that Lurkers are all over social media, so don’t get too discouraged if you feel like you’re not getting as wide of a response as you’d hoped. You’re still reaching them, they just won’t tell you.
The Loners are those who refuse to have social media accounts. Although they cannot be reached through social media, the Loners can be contacted in other ways, and they’re the reasons your social media campaigns need to be so strong that the Leaders and Likers discuss them offline with the Loners.
The Loners tend to receive their information from the Leaders, the Likers and the Lurkers. These personalities extend themselves offline, meaning a Liker will find a way to pass on relevant and valuable information to their Loner friends.
Use your social media campaigns to lure them towards the online world, and make them feel like they’re missing out on something by being offline. Don’t worry, every day 100’s of Loners are converted to Lurkers.
All together now!
These personalities work together and create a virtual web that is your target market. They stimulate each other differently, pushing your brand amongst each other:
Likers trust Leaders
Lurkers judge leaders
Leaders are made or broken by likers
Loners become Lurkers through engaging integrated campaigns
Businesses should be leaders, putting out their own, original content to the world. They also need to give all the other leaders out there a way to provide user generated content, rewarding them by reposting their content when possible.
Arguably the Likers are the most important social media personalities out there for brands & businesses.
They decide who and what is trending by taking ownership and engaging with content. The Lurkers want viral content to look at & listen too (but not touch). The lurkers have no social influence, but they do have purchasing power! Extending social media into an integrated campaign is how you can reach the Loners.
Understanding the four personalities helps marketers and businesses better understand how consumers are engaging with each other, and ultimately with a brand or business.