Chapter 3: The Social Technographics Profile

In my previous blog post, I talked about the significant increase in the number of social networking users and how companies can take advantage by understanding what each site offers in terms of features. Chapter 3 presents an important data tool that allows us to classify internet users according to their activities on the web, to better reach and understand our target market. This tool is known as The Social Technographic Profile.

This tool classifies internet users by groups, which consist of:

  • Conversationalists: online conversations such as Facebook status update and Twitter.
  • Creators: create and publish content online
  • Critics: post comments or reviews
  • Collectors: save links and collecting information
  • Joiner: pariticpate in a social networking site and updating it
  • Spectators: least effort, read or view content produced
  • Inactives: 0 engagement

These groups can be applied to different groups of users such as age, female or male, youth…etc. for example, Li and Bernoff provide an example of older Americans participating the groundswell activities with only 10% creators but 59% of them are spectators and this number is growing. (pp. 53) they explain that although a firm would be able to reach a small subset of active older Americans, a budget for the groundswell should be smaller. on the other hand, if a significant amount of a given target market uses the groundswell activities, its best to take an advantage of that by expanding a firm’s existence on the web and ensuring engagement.

The company I chose for activity 1 is PwC, which has a focus on large businesses as a target market and wealthy individual clients.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 4.22.47 PM

it is clear to see here that wealthy individuals who are aged 45-54, in Canada, both female and male, represent 58% of spectators, which means a large number of them consume content and only 14% of them are creators. PwC can definitely use this data to avoid contributing a significant amount of their budget to groundswell activities. this does not mean, however, that PwC should not provide any means of engagement on the web, but they should participate in social networking sites where they can offer a “content” to be consumed by those spectators, or on their own website.

in this video, Nate Elliot explains the importance and the advantages of studying your customers’ technographic.

All in all, understanding how to use the different tools the internet offers us can make us powerful in our marketing strategy. This can be achieved by studying who, what, how many, and why participants engage in the groundswell, which then can help us make important decisions regarding our budget and how much should we contribute to this marketing strategy.



Forrester. (2013, October 1). Social Technographics Data [Video file]. Retrieved from

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing.


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