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The Motivations and Types of Social Media Users

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The Motivations and Types of Social Media Users

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Online communication is simply another form of communication.

Participatory and interactive communities tend to form around specific online and social media communication practices – generally, communities (groups) are defined by the adherence of their members to a set of shared values; beliefs; norms; and ideas.

Socialization commonly occurs in the context of the first contributions made by newer members – contributions may receive more/less positive responses from more established participants, if you will.

In turn, this very well can impact a newer member’s sense of belonging with the Community – they may contribute more frequently (being appreciated by others) or discourage them (negative feedback).


Using a very simplistic analogy, Communities consist of (3) basic aspects:

Community Leaders – these are the individuals who support the core values and contribute constructively;

General Members – these are the individuals who display a good adherence to the core beliefs and contribute on a regular basis and;

Marginal Members – these are individuals who have limited adherence to the core norms and contribute infrequently.


What motivates an individual, professional, and/or business owner to actively engage with our pages?

How many times have we asked ourselves this question?

Sure, we all enjoy the reciprocation of feedback, interaction, and the establishment of relationships; however, if we take a moment of pause to ask “Why”, we may be able to better understand the dynamics of the motivation behind an individual.

I have been wrapping my arms around this question for a few weeks. We never will know the true motivation of any given individual; however, a few thoughts to consider may take into account:

The needs and wants which users identify themselves and in the community in general;

The rewards and gratifications which they are likely to receive or achieve resulting from participation and/or interaction and;

Driven by individual self interest, such as the accumulation of greater social and/or professional status.


As always, I would welcome any and all comments; thoughts; suggestions; and insights as well as express my gratitude in advance for your considerations.

Return to Weekly Small Business Owner Review.

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