The online behavior, attitudes and interests of people from all walks of life are blending together online, according to research by Gartner. Gartner is calling this behavior/engagement “Generation Virtual” and defines four levels of engagement – creators, contributors, opportunists, and lurkers – related to the extent to which customers engage with other customers and the level of engagement that businesses and other organizations must have to enable them.
Findings about these Generation Virtual segments:
- Up to 3% will be creators, providing original content. They can be advocates that promote products and services.
- Between 3% and 10% will be contributors who add to the conversation, but don’t initiate it. They can recommend products and services as customers move through a buying process, looking for purchasing advice.
- Between 10% and 20% will be opportunists, who can further contributions regarding purchasing decisions. Opportunists can add value to a conversation that’s taking place while walking through a considered purchase.
- Approximately 80% will be lurkers, essentially spectators, who reap the rewards of online community input but absorb only what is being communicated. They can still implicitly contribute and indirectly validate value from the rest of the community. All users start out as lurkers.
Image source: MarketingChartsChannels: behaviour, community, engagement, online, Social Media