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Social media is not just for the young: 33% of online adults are Conversationalists—i.e., they post status updates at least once a week to social websites such as Facebook and Twitter—according to a study from Forrester Research.

More than half (56%) of Conversationalists—a new category on Forrester's Social Technographics Ladder—are female; and although they are among the youngest of social media user groups, 70% are age 30+.

Below, Forrester's updated (4Q09) Social Technographics Ladder, which groups consumers into seven categories of social media participation:

The addition of Conversationalists to the ladder is a reflection of two changes, according to Forrester's Josh Bernoff: "First, it includes not just Twitter members, but also people who update social network status to converse (since this activity in Facebook is actually more prevalent than tweeting). And second, we include only people who update at least weekly, since anything less than this isn't much of a conversation."

Looking for real-world examples of businesses achieving their social media marketing goals? Our 47-page case-study collection, Facebook Success Stories, shows you how to increase brand awareness, target specific markets, promote new products, and create communities that engage users. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Among online adults who participate in social media at least monthly:

  • 70% are Spectators (compared with 33% in April 2007): They read blogs and tweets and watch user-generated video at least once a month.
  • 59% are Joiners (19% in 2007): They maintain a profile on a social networking site.
  • 24% are Creators (13% in 2007): They publish a blog, update a Web page, or upload user-generated video.

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