Social Media Update from Forrester Groundswell

Forrester’s Groundswell Interactive Marketing team published their 3rd annual Social Technographics Profile in a report last week in a document called “The Broad Reach of Social Technologies” (costs $499 if you want to read the whole report).  The results show that more than 80% of online Americans are active in either creating, participating in, or reading some form of social content at least onece per month.

As a reminder, here is how Forrester categorizes the participation of various online users based on their behaviors of Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators and Inactives.

Forrester - Social Technographic Profiles

Forrester - Social Technographic Profiles from

The biggest growth in 2009 occurred in the Joiner category which grew from 35% to 51% of online Americans.  Much of this growth comes from the large numbers of people joining the top social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  The other big finding is that social media Spectators now represent 73% of all online Americans which means that you cannot ignore social media as a phenomena.

As Josh Bernoff stated in his blog post announcing the study’s results:

Marketers, if you’re not doing social technology applications now, you’re officially behind. We expect a wave of Web site reorgs and redesigns to include social activity.

Forrester also created an interactive Consumer Profile tool that lets you analyze the results by Age, Country and Gender.  Below are the results for all online US Consumers.

2009 Forrester Consumer Profile Tool

2009 Forrester Groundswell Consumer Profile Tool

The profile tool is available at


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