You know those really shitty high school parties you went to when you were in your teens, and even though they always sucked, you’d ALWAYS go to the next one?

And the thing is you didn’t really want to go, but felt you had to, because FOMO. But the party ended, and you left wondering how you wasted 5 hours of your life in the name of socialising, when all you really did was play fetch with the host’s dog. Ugh thank god that stage of our lives is over!

Yeah, well you do that every day. Dear reader, welcome to Facebook, AKA a bad high school party. Facebook has its’ own cliques, they might have different names to your classic high school one, but at the end of the day tomayto tomahto.

According to a research paper in 2015, Facebook can be divided into 4 different segments, or cliques if you will.  They are identified according to their consumption and creation. They are, Attention Seekers, Devotees, Entertainment Chasers and Connection Seekers.

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So at the party, we have the Attention Seekers, (you know exactly who I am referring to) who are characterised by low levels of consumption and high levels of creation on Facebook. They can be known to use Facebook in order to foster admiration, appreciation and even jealousy of their Facebook friends.  They will glamorise their statuses and be sure to update us all of what they are up to. EVERY. FREAKIN. MINUTE…… Mate, we know you went to Adele last night, we were updated every 2 minutes!

Furthermore the article found that Attention Seekers usually will comment on their own threads thanking their “fans”, but very rarely comment on the posts of their friends, simply because they do not take the time to read through their news feed.

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Then we have the Devotees, essentially they are Facebook’s cheerleaders, but at a party, theyre more of the whingers. They love Facebook because its a place for them to vent and find support from their Facebook friends. Their statuses and comments are usually long, and text based, rather than image based.

Overall, these users are seeking some much-needed emotional support (#virtual hug). Unlike attention seekers, Devotees are highly involved in generating new content for their walls, as well as reading and commenting on their friends’ status updates.

Then,  the Entertainment Chasers, who are identified by their low levels of consumption and creation. They mainly use Facebook when they’re bored, or avoid being bored. They usually use their phones to access Facebook, therefore allowing them to to check what everyone is up to whenever there is a low level activity. These are your classic “Facebook stalkers”, or at a party, the gossipers.

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Lastly, there’s the Connection Seekers, the host of the party. They have high levels of consumption and a low level of creation on Facebook. Connection Seekers are social people who enjoy using the Facebook medium to enhance their daily life friendships. They also use Facebook to maintain past and present friendships when geographical distance or differing schedules get in the way.

Basically Connection Seekers have found Facebook to be the perfect virtual hangout to have fun with their current and past real-life friends. Connection Seekers usually don’t post original content and do not share their daily lives on Facebook. However, they often comment on their friends’ posts and updates. If they do post content, its often impersonal in nature and it is a way of sharing their interests or entertainment bits with their network of friends. Personal updates are generally saved for important life events. Ya hear me? Important! Jennifer no one cares what you had for lunch.

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So it’s really important for Digital Marketers to understand that not all users of Facebook are created equal. The more tailored the marketing is for each segment, the more fondly the marketing will be received.

It is recommended that brands recruit and empower the Attention Seekers and Devotees.

For example, Attention Seekers are the stars of their Facebook community and can serve as very powerful real-life celebrity endorsers, an influencer. Brands should tap into the fact that they can empower attention seekers to become the face of the brand in their Facebook community. Attention Seekers will create the needed social buzz and use their online presence to endorse the brand, making it  ‘cool’ in each attention seeker’s social circle.

However when it comes to Devotees, given that they spend large amounts of time on Facebook, marketers should encourage these high creation–high consumption individuals to create, post and circulate their own brand-related content on the brand community’s page as well as their own wall.

To target Entertainment Chasers, marketers should use entertaining videos, quizzes, polls, and games. It is also highly recommended,  that marketers combine entertainment with competition by having contests offering various monetary rewards. The monetary rewards can lead to word-of-mouth advertising.  Further research found that coupons collected through branded entertainment are perceived as personal achievements and are therefore most likely to be redeemed and shared with friends.

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Lastly, when it comes to Connection Seekers, the brands should remember that even though they are fostering a brand community, it should not be about the brand. Rather the emphasis needs to be about the lives of those who USE the brand. This is the best way to engage Connection Seekers.

So, there you have it, thats everyone at the shitty high-school party. So even if you don’t end up using this information for marketing purposes, I’ve saved you the need to go that party you have this weekend. Now you can spend your Saturday night watching Netflix without the FOMO….. your’e welcome.

I want to  know what you think, what kind of Facebook user are you? Have you found brands actually use this information to target you on Facebook?

Shelley Barr-Waanders

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