Ashley Zeckman

5 Social Media User Types and Tips For Marketers To Connect With Each One

5 social media user typesWhen I make new connections on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn I get excited because 9 times out of 10 I have either made a new friend with a similar interest or have found someone that I can either learn from, or help guide.

All too often we forget that the connections we make online are very similar to those we make offline.  If you are introduced to “Tim CEO”  in a business meeting and you can recognize that he doesn’t offer information freely and needs to be drawn out, then you’lllikely optimize your approach in a way that makes him at ease and gets him talking. Similarly, social media users with different personalities and proficiencies will require that little extra optimization to interact.

In this post we’ll cover five different social media personality types and ways that you can better interact with them to create a real connection that will make them more open to hearing what you have to say.

Type #1 – The Lurker

Consider this social media personality type to be someone who is always there listening and absorbing information, but not necessarily participating in the conversation.  A connection with a Lurker can be very valuable if approached correctly.

How can you connect with a Lurker?

  • Do not expect regular interaction
  • Reach out to them directly via a direct message
  • They’ll be more likely to respond to a though provoking question or comment

Type #2 – The Newbie

Newbie’s present a great opportunity to groom the user by presenting them with helpful information that will educate them on how to best use social networks.  Chances are these users will begin following you before you find them so make a point of combing through your new followers regular to identify those that will not have as many followers but appear to be credible.

Sharing relevant information on social media best practices, tips, and tricks are all great ways to attract a newbie as you’ve helped them without asking for something in return.  As they begin to hone their social skills, they’ll remember those that helped them along the journey.

Type #3 – The Predictable User

Predictable users will be more consistent and easy to spot than Lurkers or Newbies.  They share regularly and will interact when prompted.  This type is looking for something useful but may be quick to RT or share if something catches their eye.

When trying to engage a Predictable User:

  • Consistently share useful and easy to share information
  • Research their feed to determine the type of content they like to publish
  • Make a point of pinging them regularly with content similar to what they normally share

Type #4 – The Chronic Over Sharer

If you use social media in any capacity you are well aware of the Chronic Over Sharer’s.  Say for example you open Twitter on your desktop or smartphone and your entire home feed is filled with messages from that one person to the point where you have a hard time finding what other users have shared.  Because of their trigger happy approach to social media there are definite drawbacks and advantages to this user type.

Drawbacks: This user will share almost anything and other users may stop “listening” to them because they can’t handle the constant influx of social shares.

Advantages: If this person is very credible, there will be a lot of people watching what they say very closely.  Also, if you present them with an interesting message to share, chances are they will be open to sharing with their network.

Type #5 – The Power User

The Power User is Johnny on the spot.  They’ve found the proper balance between sharing, interacting, and providing value.  If you can connect with a Power User you’ve hit social networking gold.

Keep in mind that this person is looking for quality over quantity and may be harder to attract.

Attributes of a Power User:

  • Large quantity of quality followers
  • Possible expert in their industry
  • Thoughtful and powerful social messages

A true understanding of the people that you’re attempting to connect with online will dramatically improve your chances of interacting with them in a meaningful way.  A couple questions that you may want to consider when adapting your social strategy include:

  • What type of user are you?
  • Which user do you think holds the most value for your business?
  • What are some ways you believe you can market to each user?

Image via Shutterstock.

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. This is a great reminder that there are big differences among people and how they use social media. For example, it’s important to understand that just because someone isn’t posting or communicating, does not mean that they aren’t listening. You need to cater to everyone, not just the people that appear to be the most active.

  2. Avatar Sarah Bauer says

    Cool post! You see lots of Lurker/Newbie hybrids out there in the social sphere, and I think they’re an important audience to address. They want in to the conversation, but they feel too shy or inexperienced to get started.

    Marketers can encourage participation by asking primary social media questions, or making comment suggestions a little more open, and less technical. And always, always commenting back when Lurkers/Newbies comment, with positivity and enthusiasm!

    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

    • Awesome suggestions Sarah! I especially like your point about there being a hybrid of people observing (as newbies) before they’re ready to jump right in and start participating.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Everyone has use social media as its own way, and Social Media marketing not just include your regular inundation but it also includes how better you are serving and how you are communicating with others

  4. I am a newbie in this field and trying to start my
    online marketing business. still trying to figure out where to start. I
    think this article is really helpful for me.

  5. Avatar Jeremy Yeomann says

    I must admit, I have seen a fair few of the ‘over sharers’ in my time! I think many people fail to realise that
    social media marketing is very much a fine art. Understandably there is no way to determine just how much premise is given to social signals which is why it is of great importance to get everything down to a t!

    • Jeremy:

      I agree. I know from personal experience when I check Twitter on my phone or laptop and see 25 messages from the same person (saying the same thing), I am very QUICK to unfollow them.

  6. Maybe it is the Lurker taking it all in by watching until they are ready.
    Thanks for the post.

  7. I am an Ultimate User! Help out the newbie, and harness the power of the predictable sharer and take advantage of the chronic over sharer, and have several Power users at your helm! 🙂

  8. This is indeed a great post on the types of social media users, I agree with what you wrote, the chronic over sharer, sometimes they just need to know relevant things to share, slowly turning them into power users which they will have a certain credibility. I myself is considered the predictable user, news that are really new not in the media yet, or things that i find it can really benefit it, i will share it out, like inspirational quotes, practical easy to understand the tips and strategies that are relevant for my friends to benefit from it. To do social media marketing effectively, each type of users are equally important to target at. Those Lurker will one day voice out something to share as too much information will make them information overloaded. Newbies are good to target, contents we share cannot be too technical, once they like it, they will help share it out. Ultimately the best we aim for would be power users, they have a specific niche they are specialize at. Thank you once again for sharing this post.

  9. Avatar Jay Richard says

    Great post. I never really thought about the different types of users that there are. Thanks.

  10. Yes, come up with a real connection to different social media user. Knowing that you are a good listener and communicating with them in a nice way which can be by listening carefully, digging deeper and being aware of what they really want and need.

  11. Avatar subhash acharya says

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  12. Avatar subhash acharya says

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  13. Superb tips! Thank you so much for sharing this one. I hope to hear more about this topic in the future. Good post.

  14. Thank you for sharing those different social media personality type. Those Lurkers are maybe a shy type person and the good thing with them is they are someone who are always there listenins and absorbs information. Even though there’s a different social media personality types, we should know how to communicate and interact wisely and nicely with them to create a real connection that you can learn from and guide you.