The social technographics profile

When you think of marketing to your target market you may think of geography.  Where is the physical location of the target market?  You may focus on the demographics.  What age range is my target market and what level of education do they have?

Have you even thought about the technographic profile?  If you haven’t thought about this profile, I would strongly encourage you to do so.  Li and Bernoff (2011) introduce the social technographics profile and identify seven different groups of people involvement in the groundswell: creators, conversationalists, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives.  The list is seven different groups of consumers, from the most involved to the least involved.

To apply this to a real life company, I have decided to relate this to a website that has gotten a lot of attention recently.  I am going to analyze tinder users with the social technographic profile.

The first step to finding the technographic profile is to find out where the users are and then who the users are (a great website for this is  The next step is to input this information to create the technographic profile (with this website:   To my surprise, India has the highest percentage of users at 23.0% and, exactly as I predicted, male users account for the majority of the site’s audience.

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I took this information and used it to identify the social technographic profile of Tinder users.  I made the assumption that the majority of users were between the ages of 18-24 as every single photo of matched couples on their webpage was in this age range.  Unfortunately, India is not a country on the list of available technographic profiles.  As an alternative, I will be using the second ranked country (19.6%), United States.

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There is a significant amount of joiners and spectators within this technographic profile, so I will briefly describe them:

Joiners are individuals who participate in or maintain profiles on social media networking sites (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

Spectators are individuals who consume what the rest produce (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

If I was marketing for Tinder, this information gives me so much insight into how I am going to target my market and invite participation in groundswell.  I think they might have accessed this information before they launched the site because the platform of tinder focuses on these two groups.  Joining a dating site and reviewing their profiles.  For those of you who are not familiar with Tinder, users create a profile and can swipe right when you like another profile or swipe left to disapprove of that match.  This function in and of itself is exactly what spectators thrive off of.

Li & Bernoff (2011) ask readers a final question, “why do people participate in the groundswell” (p. 60).  They have collected a list of reasons for participation: keeping up friendships, making new friendships, succumbing to social pressure from existing friends, paying it forward, the altruistic impulse, the prurient impulse, the creative impulse, the validation impulse, and the affinity impulse.  From the list they have created, Tinder answers the final question with two reasons.  For Tinder, people participate in the groundswell 1) to make new friendships and 2) because of the prurient impulse.


Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies (expanded and revised edition ed.). Boston, MA: Harvard Businesss Review Press.


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