Over the past year, we have posted a number of blogs about the ways people consume social media and content from their smartphone devices. The trend continues to be that 10% of social media users post 90% of the content online. The heavy users like to post whatever is on their mind on a daily basis. Whether it be what they had for lunch, latest news comments, random pictures they find funny – these daily posters provide most of the material seen on a social media feed.
On the other hand, the vast majority of people are either ‘lurkers’ (which we wrote about in a past blog) or a casual poster. Our observations across Here I Am and other social media outlets indicate about 10% of users are very active, 20% are lurkers and about 70% are the casual posters.
What drives the largest group, the casual poster? This is an area we are exploring as we continue to provide a welcoming place for anyone to share. We find that posts mostly fall into two broad categories, and continue to try and understand the motivations behind each post.
Family Life Events
Milestones that occur throughout our lives which people like to share with a wide circle of acquaintances. This is a form of news, and ensures family and friends are aware of the latest developments in life. Baby’s first steps. Graduations. The passing of a loved one. Birthdays. While some of these events may be quite emotional, social media provides a great outlet to tell the story once to a wide circle of friends and family.
The occasional light-hearted moment
A casual user tends to post these items sparingly. Our hunch is that for every one post they make, they likely thought about making a number of others. With the aspect of driving likes and popularity, the casual user thinks a great deal about a post they make in this regard – there is a fear of no one else liking the post. They hold a high bar as to the quality of the picture of video before posting an item, hoping others will like what they see.
Most social media platforms focus a great deal of effort to engage the casual user. Algorithms actively promote content from a user if it has been a long time since their prior post. Sometimes they go beyond subtly pushing posts to the top of the feed with more direct lines like ‘Tom has posted for the first time in three years, check out his latest post’.
At Here I Am, we continue to take the perspective to meet people as they prefer to engage. Silently engaging – either via lurking or via casual posting – is completely fine. Most posters on social media mirror the many personality types present in the world – people engage in whatever manner they are most comfortable.
Just like in a church, all are welcome, it does not matter if one is the loudest voice in the choir, the friendly face that smiles at you, or the person who prefers to sit in the back pew and sneak out before service is over. All are welcome, and we hope our app delivers on that promise.