“Surfacers” A New Rung for Forrester’s Social Technographics Ladder

Forrester’s classic 2007 report on Social Technographics is an easy way to explain the use of Social Media.  I’ve used this construct many times to show how broad social media participation is.  Additionally, this construct increases Social Media Strategy understanding since most everyone has done one of these activities.

Recently, some of the most valuable people in my networks don’t really fall into a class on this ladder.  I’ll propose we call them “Surfacers”.  You know who this person is, it’s the person whose links on facebook or twitter you ALWAYS read.   They don’t add commentary or content, but they play a HUGE role in what you click on every day.

Here is Forrester’s classic construct:

A classic way to describe Social Media User Behavior

The Surfacer falls somewhere within the Top 5 rungs…but has these unique characteristics

I have no idea how to get to the percentages that Forrester did, but the strategic implication is clear.  These are the “taste-makers” that marketers dream about.  They provide tremendous value to their friends by finding and filtering the best content from around the web.   The implication for content creators is to make it easy for them to find information, determine its uniqueness, and allow them to clearly share and communicate its value with friends.

For Discussion:  Is this a common role in social networks?  Are those who want to play this role constrained by technology?

Posted on March 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm by Ben Foster · Permalink
In: Content, Strategy · Tagged with: , , , ,

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