Studies often classify us into demographics, psychographics or—more recently—by our "online influence" scores. The real question for today's social-savvy marketers is, What makes us connect and share in our digital worlds?

In partnership with agency JESS3, Brian Solis has documented user traits across social networks and put them into 18 categories in a nifty Behaviorgraphics poster.

Some personality types you may recognize:

  • Problem Solvers. Among the most common roots of conversation in social media are the question-and-answer sessions: people seeking solutions from anyone who will rise to their aid.
  • Curators. A small but increasingly influential group that works diligently to find and share what captivates them, often by topic or interest.
  • Connectors. People who are really good at bringing others together. They constantly invest in the quality of their networks by creatively matchmaking in the social sphere.
  • Producers. You know them: The content they generate across networks speaks volumes.
  • Egocasters. Self-promoters who believe their thoughts are a universal reality.
  • TMIers. A spin on the acronym for "too much information," these users flirt with—or flagrantly cross—the line between what's OK to think privately, and what's OK to reveal.
  • Complainers. When we love something, we talk a little; when we're upset, we talk a lot. Complainers use discontent to fuel social engines. And they're even more willing to voice their $0.02-worth with the rise of Social CRM.

How can one marketing program address all of these different types? By being considerate. At the heart of all things social is benevolence—(generally) unselfish behavior that engenders recognition and reciprocity.

The Po!nt: It really does take all kinds. This list may leave you feeling schizophrenic, but a benevolent approach can tie it all together. Your social efforts should be invested with a clear purpose and a genuineness that cultivates trust, vision and collaboration among your team—and users.

Ready to chart a new course with better B2B marketing? Join us June 13-15 in Boston for the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum 2011. With two days of knowledge-packed sessions, plus two pre-conference workshops, you'll be navigating your way to new leads and sales in 2011 and beyond.

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