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Socialise your company: a Web user groups segmentation (prompt!)

As soon as the organisation exposes itself to the social, Web environment, it will be necessary to allow users to move and experience a given company in a personalised fashion. Web 2.0 is all about users being individually relevant. The ability to create/collaborate in creating the Web contents (e.g. via social networking interactions), using the contents or uploading information, and above all users/clients being able to create their own “Company” experience will dramatically increase the Web site appeal, and will customise the experience according to each user (or user group) needed experience level.

To clarify the segmentation (thanks also to Trendwatching.com):

  • Peekers. Some users are very critical in approaching the Web, overwhelmed by information, trends and unable to follow up and close the “generational” gap from 1.0 to 2.0. The experience is scarce, driven by pure necessity and lack of alternatives. Preferred tools: profile, myHome.
  • No Frillers. Some users may be overwhelmed with information or not interested or willing to adopt a new phenomenon unless some of the parts fit a purpose (theirs). The Web and its social aspects are simply a channel amongst others to be used for a given “problem solving” exercise. Preferred tools: feed, profiles, myHome, forum.
  • Twinsumers. The power of referral is fundamental in this grouping. Twinsumers are looking for the “best available” and would not accept any other comment or indication but from a known and respected peer group. Less social than others, are very active nonetheless. Preferred tools: social bookmarking, blog, profile, wikis, myHome and feed.
  • Crowd Clout. Crowd Clout are users that have manifested their “intention”, active, they are quite likely to clout and determine the fate of a given product/service/social tendency. They are action-ready and like-minded. They are able to generate an important social movement within the “peers”. Preferred tools: profile, myHome, social bookmarking, feed, blog, upload, wikis, forum.
  • Trysumers. Experienced Web surfers, Trysumers are very active, and have full access to different information sources, reviews, and are able to compare efficiently. This allows them to try and adopt new “services” and brand new “products” with enjoyment and drive. They move fast to other items should the discovery being not up to the standard that stirred the initial interest. Preferred tools: blog, feed, content upload, social bookmarking, mashups and forums.
  • Master of Youniverse. This is one of the fundamental pillars of the new “Web”. Users within this grouping are in (perceived) total control of their Web and social experience. They determine their own space, playground, interests and network. Very active and restless, able to customise, deeply connected and strong, almost compulsive communicators. Free, mobile and independent, they share their worlds. Preferred tools: myHome, profile, widgets, social bookmarking, content upload, feed, blog, mashups.
  • Generation C. Users in this tribe are most interested in handling, managing, creating and sharing contents. Currently, the Content based markeplace and users “are” the Web. Participative, creative, willing to gather and share, these users are the engine of an evolutionary web experience. Preferred tools: blog, content upload, social bookmarking, feed, widgets, myHome, profile, wiki, mashups.

Each of this user group, plus all the others that a deep analysis of a company potential Web ecosystem may suggest, are able to deliver the best of their value, this being their transformation from “surfers” to interested prospects and clients, solely if enabled by the relevant Web tool sets.

To fill the gaps it is mandatory to understand which user groups are more likely to fit best with the market strategic scenario an organisation would like to develop, and develop accordingly with the appropriate tool sets.

Blog and social communities are generally speaking the easiest way to start implementing a “digital nervous system” for the company, as they allow for immediate interaction and response to any given corporate activity and communication (that goes viral). Social networks may sustain the overall corporate “brand equity”, not only when considering the external environment but also “internally”, within its own human resource base.

To complete the Web transformation it is thus necessary to include those features that will allow users to deeply collaborate in “creating” the new organisation identity, and thus being conceptual shareholders of the success of the company. Consolidation of all activities, from offline to online, and the launch of participative tools, such as wikis, will hit the most radical part of the Web audience.

The controlled escalation, from a discussion-enabled environment to a creative ecosystem should ensure:

  • a strong user satisfaction of the overall experience;
  • an experiential lock in;
  • a constant flow of market, users and client information directly from the source, with or without ad-hoc prompting.

However, to achieve all of the above, a company has to demonstrate a total organisation commitment, a desire to evolve and a clear end-game scenario to target.

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