The six types of social media user

by | Jun 29, 2017

Reading Time: 2 minutes


At the end of 2011, loyalty management firm Aimia conducted research in the USA (‘Staring at the Sun: Identifying, Understanding and Influencing Social Media Users’) that identified six social media ‘personas’.

These are still, I believe, relevant today. They are:

  • No-shows – those who have not logged on to a social network in the past 30 days. ‘A typical ‘no-show’ exhibits a low degree of trust, and has no interest in broadcasting his/her activities or interests to anyone.’
  • Newcomers – ‘typically passive users of a single social media network. A passive user may reluctantly join Facebook, for example, in order not to feel “left behind”. Newcomers primarily use social media to enhance their offline relationships.’
  • Onlookers – these users ‘may lurk on several social media networks, but post infrequently. They rely on social media primarily to keep up on the online lives of others within their social networks, but are reluctant to share details about themselves.’
  • Cliquers are ‘active, single-network users who congregate primarily on Facebook. Most of their online sharing includes photos, status updates and comments. Within their small network of close friends and family, they’re active and influential.’
  • Mix-n-minglers – the largest group of social media users – participate actively on multiple social networking platforms. They ‘like to follow brands in order to receive offers and keep up with the latest news. Within their network of friends, they’re influential – and they meet many of these friends online.’
  • Sparks ‘are the most active and deeply engaged users of social media.’ Sparks ‘engage with brands frequently, and will serve as enthusiastic ambassadors for their favourites.’

What type of social media user are you?

What type of social media user would you like to be?

It’s OK to be any of these. If it matches your objective to solely use social media for research and intelligence, you can be an onlooker.If you want to actively participate, then mix ’n’ mingle!


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