Types of Social Media Community Members


In our previous post, Manage Your Social Media Community, we discussed ways to manage your community and went over some of the key tasks to remember.

In this post, we talk about the various types of community members you will encounter in your network and how to manage each.



AttributionShare Alike

Some rights reserved by nvidia.corporation

Types of Community Members

Telligent,[1] a provider of services to online communities, categorizes community members into seven types. It’s as good a classification as we’ve seen, and we adapt it below, adding the commentary and the final two types, which are often left off such lists.

  • Influencer: A member who is connected to other well-connected users. Your community manager will want to quickly identify influencers and recruit them to help guide and stabilize the community.
  • Connector: A highly-connected member who converses with and is linked to many other users. Like the person who knows everyone in town, this type of community member can be extremely important to the growth and sustainability of the community. Your community manager should seek out and engage connectors.
  • Asker: A member who posts questions. This type of member can be annoying — like the 3-year-old who repeats, “But why?” after every answer. Or they can be stimulating, generating interesting interactions.
  • Answerer: A member who replies to questions. These members can range from the smug know-it-all to the truly helpful. If you have askers, you obviously need answerers, and optimally, they are civil.
  • Originator: A member who creates new content, also often called a Creator. This type of member contributes original posts, articles, links, videos or reviews. Obviously originators are important to the life of the community. The community manager will want to ensure originators have what they need to keep producing.
  • Commenter: A member who replies or links to content created by others. This type of member may rarely contribute any new content. They range from the obsessive who lets no post go uncommented to the judicious and respected critic who inspires further discussion.
  • Moderator: A member who moderates or curates content created by others. This role ranges from the gatekeeper who must approve all content to a host who sets the tone for the discussion with gentle reminders of appropriate behavior. The community manager can fill this role, but it’s better if a community member steps up.
  • Lurker: A member who very rarely contributes or even comments, but who finds satisfaction in following the discussion. The majority of any community’s members will be lurkers, and that’s OK. They find value in reading and experiencing the contributions of others. A community manager may be inclined to try to coax contributions out of lurkers, but it’s probably best to leave them alone other than checking in from time to time to assess their engagement with the community.
  • Troll: A disruptive member who either enjoys stirring the pot or who is actively hostile. Your community will have its trolls. The role of the community manager is to try to temper their effects. See the Dealing with Trolls post for more information.

Your community management plan should have policies and objectives for dealing with each type of com­munity member, especially potentially disruptive ones. Don’t just hope that the community will police itself — yes, that’s the goal. It just doesn’t happen without planning and support from your organizational leadership and your community manager.


Types of Social Media Community Members is the 160th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 400. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Telligent, commits up to 24 paid hours per employee each year to charity: bit.ly/d9xvco bit.ly/cISEYh

Advertisements

About Social Media Performance Group

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
This entry was posted in Enterprise Social Media, LinkedIn How-to, Social Computing, Social Media, Social Media Strategy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s