Changes In How Europeans Contribute Social Content Will Force Marketers To Update Their Social Media Strategies

 If you’ve ever talked to Forrester about social media, chances are you’ve heard of the Social Technographics® Ladder -- our tool for measuring how people use social technologies and for helping marketers (and product strategists and market researchers and others) understand how to engage with those people in the social Web.

Today we’ve released our new 2010 Social Technographics data worldwide (you can see the US data here), and you’ll notice that this year, for the first time since we introduced the ladder, we’ve added a new category of social engagement. The new category -- “Conversationalists” -- is designed to capture the short, rapid conversations that are now taking place on Twitter and through Facebook status updates. How many people are engaged in these behaviors? Almost one-third of European online adults participate in these rapid public conversations every week. In just over two years, this activity has come from nowhere to become one of the most popular social behaviors we track.

And this Conversationalist activity has come along at just the right time, too -- because more “traditional” forms of online contribution have levelled off. The percentage of online Europeans who post their own blogs, videos, photos, or other media -- what we call “Creators” -- hasn’t grown in either of the past two years. And the percentage who participate in message boards and forums or who post comments on blogs or other social sites -- what we call “Critics” -- has grown just one percentage point in Europe each of the past two years.

What does this mean for marketers? It means we need to stop and re-evaluate how our audiences are using social media to find the new opportunities that fit best. It means that rather than simply watching all social media behaviors grow as we used to, we need to understand that some behaviors will shrink (like Critic behavior in France or Creator behavior in the UK) -- and that we need to adapt our social media marketing programs to these changes in behavior. It means that even successful social media programs can -- and must -- be updated to continue to thrive.

Forrester clients can read the full report, European Social Technographics® 2010: The Rise Of The Joiners And The Conversationalists. We’ll have the 2010 data loaded into our free online Social Technographics Profile tool soon as well. And I’ve love to hear from everyone in the comments below: How are you adapting to these changes and making use of this new type of social behavior?


About European Social Technographics

The statement that Dutch are five times more likely to use Hyves than Facebook is not really correct. Italia didn't have a major social platform before Facebook. In Holland we had Hyves for years (aprox 90% have an account), so we have to switch and not simply join as the Italians. Interesting to see the grow numbers of FB in Holland, within 2 years they will be bigger than Hyves. Hyves is big but has loads of sleepers, while the FB people are very active.

Dutch social networking use

Thanks Olivier for your comments on where things may go in terms of Dutch social networking use. I agree that Facebook has a good chance to take over from Hyves in the future. (For instance, I never thought Facebook could match StudiVZ in Germany - but just look what's happened there!) For now, though, in our most recent European Technographics Benchmark Survey (from Q2 2010), more than five times as many Dutch online users said they use Hyves as said they use Facebook.

Report or summary for students?

hello Nate,
I was wondering, if you can support students with either the full report or at least an executive summary of "European Social Technographics® 2010: The Rise Of The Joiners And The Conversationalists." as I am about wo write a Masterthesis on the use of Social Media in the fields of culture management.
thanks for any help, you can give me, in advance and best regards from Salzburg