Have tried to categorize user base for any social network in one of the earlier posts. We proposed three categories as below.

  • Content Creators
  • Content Hybrid-ers
  • Content Consumers

Recently, Swoop Analytics  have come up interesting classification for ESNs(Enterprise Social Networks). We can take cues from same model and use insights they offer based on benchmarking study done on Yammer.

Now, we can further categorize user base for social  network as per revised definition as below.

Observers (Content Consumers earlier) – These are people of sidelines watching all the action and cheering in between. ESN survey counts almost 80% of users as Observers. While I think, for social media this figure might be less depends on maturity/longevity of the network (e.g. Facebook/Whatsapp).

Others (earlier Content creators/Hybrid-ers) can be further sub-classified into –

Broadcasters – These are the people who write posts that tends not to attract many responses. So, their post/reply ratio is way higher than others. They like to post information, does not matter whether it is relevant/popular or not. Lesser the number of broadcasters you have, better. Since, engaged users will lose motivation to be on network due to lack of meaningful information. Survey mentions around 2.8% (14% of non-Observer Community) as broadcasters in ESN.

Responders – These are the people who tends to  reply or like than post. If they post something, it is expected to gather less responses as well. These people go in tandem with broadcasters replying to their posts, thus encouraging them. Responders are around 4% (21% of non-Observer Community) as per ESN survey.

Engagers – These are driving force for collaboration networks. They connect and sustain relationships. They balance ‘posts/replies/likes’ made with ‘replies/likes’ received. Survey mentions around 4% (20% of non-Observer Community) of typical ESN (Enterprise Social Networks) is of type Engagers.

Catalysts – They energize the network by attracting responses. They receive a lot more than they give e.g. conversations that lead to lot of replies/likes. Most of engagers move as catalysts over time. Around 8.8%(44.8% of non-Observer community) is of type – Catalysts. Celebrities with higher twitter following would easily fall into this one.

In case of matured social networks (e.g. Facebook/Twitter) , we should expect higher percentages in Engagers/Catalysts category. In fact, it should be a goal of any community marketplace model – how to manage progression of users to such categories.

Optimice also presented ways to measure on Enterprise Social Networks. How it relates to social networks – more on it in following posts.