Social media has become an increasingly important tool for personal and business development goals. The most common social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. People engage on social media at different levels and for various purposes. Business administrators and innovators have realized the potential of social media to market their products and create awareness of certain essential features. Based on the role played and the level of involvement, social media users can be classified into listeners, activists, spammers, social butterflies, trolls, influencers, and early adopters.
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A listener is a person who is always present on social media, but their influence is not felt. They enjoy reading all posts, but they rarely like, comment or share the posts. This is one of the most challenging groups to reach on social media because they would just view posts and remain silent (Weller 257). They rarely influence others to like or follow any posts. Their number one quality is quiet observance and can be reached best through friends rather than direct posts on social media.
The second group of social media users comprises activists who seek to change the world by promoting things they care about on social media. This is the most effective group for businesses to use in their developmental goals (Weller 260). Most activists want others to know that is important and embrace it for a better tomorrow. To use this group’s potential to the maximum, one should post things that are crucial to activists’ beliefs and ideals in order to appeal to them.
The influencers form the smallest percentage of social media users, who have the highest impact on others on social media. An influencer has knowledge of digital content and social media sharing techniques. The best quality of influencers is their ability to move people with creative and unique content. According to Weller, an influencer is motivated by their passion for educating others, and they put every effort towards their content (258). The best way to benefit from influencers is by engaging with their content and sharing it as much as possible.
Spammers are probably the worst group of social media users that no one would want to associate with. A spammer has no regard for personal privacy and is, perhaps, the most unethical social media user. Weller argues that the primary quality of spammers is self-centredness which makes them view their content as of utmost importance (260). Motivated by the desire to have everyone reading their posts, spammers post content directly into other people’s inboxes. The best way to deal with spammers is by cutting the connection.
The social butterfly is another group of social media users who are third-most influential in content sharing after the influencers and activists. A social butterfly is seen in almost every person’s post (Weller 257). They make the world seem so small because they appear to be connected to everyone and have knowledge of every topic on social media. Socialization is their best quality that businesspersons can utilize to reach a wide range of viewers quickly.
The next category of social media users is comprised of the early adopters. An early adopter can be described as a person who knows about a site or program long before it is launched. Early adopters are on the frontline of innovation and can be a source of knowledge regarding navigating social media changes and trends (Weller 260). Pleasing this group can be challenging because they want it all or nothing. Perfect knowledge is their best quality as they strive to remain ahead of every new trend.
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The last group of social media users is comprised of trolls. Trolls are people who completely disregard people’s personalities and ethical conduct. A troll will follow a post and does not know when to criticize respectfully and when to comment positively. Trolls can move from unpleasant talks to direct hate speech (Weller 259). This group lacks a clear motive and is keen on sabotaging relations on social media. The only way to deal with trolls is to block them since they are not helpful in business or personal connections.
In conclusion, social media users have varied purposes and levels of involvement. A person interested in growing their social media profile for personal and business needs should consider the types of social media users and how to benefit from each one. The influencers, activists, and social butterflies have in common the ability to influence others and share posts that can be transformative. They are admired and followed by others as they are believed to be knowledgeable. On the other hand, a person would want to watch out for spammers and trolls who can ruin their businesses and personal profiles through inappropriate and nagging comments.
The listeners are unseen and unheard, but if someone can find a way of reaching them through friends, they could also be helpful since they are keen followers of posts on social media. In essence, each type of user has unique qualities that determine the role they play on social media.
Weller, Katrin. “Trying To Understand Social Media Users And Usage.” Online Information Review, vol 40, no. 2, 2016, pp. 256-264. Emerald. Web.