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Most of us have undertaken a personality analysis at some point, whether it be as an questionaire assesment, at a work session or in a trashy magazine. Obviously not all of these are as helpful as others, but they do help us understand that we are all different and behave in different ways.

Knowing more about who we are and why we act the way we do, can help us grow as a person and develop. At the same time it can help us understand how we interact and network with others. All very useful when looking at how to influence change in our organisations. We know we all work differently and have different needs. Therefore it would seem logical, that one approach to enterprise social network adoption, will not work for all.

Social Networks are all about people and relationships. Each person has a different WIIFM (what’s in it for me) and will find value in different areas. But that does not mean all is lost when looking at an adoption strategy.

Borrowing heavily from the UX (User Experience) community, I have been thinking about the different personas that I have found within social networks. Looking at these “types”, or personas can really help when formulating your strategy. Whether it is a personal social strategy or one for your organisation.

What are some of the different types of social network users?

Lurker: Credit -http://artdesigner.lv/

The Lurker: AKA The watcher
These people simply observe what is happening around them, but they do not participate.
Online communities and networks are made up of a large number of lurkers – and this is typically where people start off before graduating into one of the other social types.
A Lurkers primary motivation is to see what is happening around them.

Social Butterfly:  Credit http://www.socialmediadigger.com/

The Social Butterfly: AKA The people person.
The life of the party. Nothing is really happening until this person turns up.
They are everywhere and everyone knows their avatar.
A Social Butterfly’s primary motivation is to connect with others and be seen.

The Giver: Credit http://artdesigner.lv/

The Sprinkler: AKA The giver.
Sprinklers love to share what they know. They are the communicators and social reporters of your network. They share nuggets of information to reach as many people as possible.
A Sprinkler’s primary motivation is to share information, any information.

The Influencer: Credit http://www.iconshock.com/

The Influencer: AKA The thought leader
Influencers can start movements on social networks. They are the trendsetters. People look to these experts for what to do next.
An Influencers primary motivation is lead.

The Digital Contrarian: Credit http://fasticon.com/

The Digital Contrarian: Otherwise known as the opposition.
Digital Contrarian’s like to “play devils advocate”. They much prefer the safety of what things were like before and are not afraid to express their opinion on this – whether that is email, or fax, snail mail – they like the “old way of doing things”.
A Digital Contrarian’s primary motivation is to oppose.

What type are you?
Have I missed anyone you have seen out there?