Participating in online social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or whatever can be like ordering from a Chinese menu: Sometimes, you jump around and try different things. But most of us who are experienced “consumers” tend to find something we like and stick with it.
If you are the kind of person who likes LinkedIn, you probably fall into one of four categories, according to a recent study by Anderson Analytics, working in partnership with LinkedIn. Using predictive analytics software from SPSS Inc., Anderson groups LinkedIn users into four major types:
- “Savvy Networkers” (est. 9 million) are likely to have adopted social networking earlier than others, are more tech savvy, and more likely to be active on other sites like Facebook or Twitter. “Savvy Networkers have the most connections (61 on average) and are more likely than other segments to use LinkedIn for a wide variety of purposes other than job searching. Savvy Networkers have the second highest average personal income ($93,500) and may often have the word ‘Consultant’ in their job description,” Anderson says.
- “Senior Executives” (est. 8.4 million) are somewhat less tech savvy. These folks use LinkedIn to connect to their existing corporate networks. They hold “power jobs” which they are quite content with, and are likely to have been invited by a colleague and then realized how many key contacts were on the site and started building connections (32 on average). “Senior Executives have the highest average personal income ($104,000) and have titles such as Owner, Partner, Executive, or Associate,” Anderson says.
- “Late Adopters” (est. 6.6 million) are likely to have received numerous requests from friends and co-workers before finally jumping in. They are no very tech savvy and are careful in how they use LinkedIn, tending to connect only to close friends and colleagues. As a result, they have the fewest number of connections (23 on average). Late Adopters have the lowest average personal income ($88,000) and have titles such as Teacher, Medical Professional, Lawyer, or the word “Account” or “Assistant” in their job description.
- “Exploring Options” (est. 6.1 million) may have a job, but are open and actively looking for other job options. They have the lowest average personal income ($87,500). But, they are fairly tech savvy and use social networking or both corporate and personal interests.
Other findings include:
- Most people connect to people they know, including those they’ve met only over the phone.
- LinkedIn users like the professional and business oriented look and feel of LinkedIn compared to other networks like MySpace and Facebook.
- LinkedIn types tend to be more senior.
- The majority (66%) are decision makers or have influence in the purchase decisions at their companies.
- And most interestingly, the greater the number of connections, the greater the likelihood of higher personal income. Those with personal incomes between $200K-$350K were seven times more likely than others to have over 150 connections. (Note to self: More connections!)
So what about you? Do you use LinkedIn? Or do you prefer Facebook? MySpace? Something else? Which type of user are you?