Classifying and Profiling Social Media Users: An Integrated Approach

Abstract

The fast evolving business practice and the continuously changing users’ profiles attract researchers’ interest, such as Brandtzaeg& Heim (2010) and Brandtzaeg et al. (2007), Constantinides (2011), Hsuan (2008). However, the current classification studies allows for users’ segmentation in specific social media application and only one at a time (e.g. SNS, blogs). Thus, Van den Beemt et al. (2010) and Brandtzaeg (2010) called for integrated classification researches. The study addresses the gap of users’ segmentation within all social media applications exploring how Greek users could be classified according to their “motivation of use”, “usage patterns” and “social identity” (n=270). This is the first study that attempts to classify users on the basis of their common demographics (age, gender, educational level, income, and marital status), motivations of use, behavioral patterns - such as frequency of use and usual activities-and social identity in the environment of all social media types. The present study explores users’ behavior (n=270) by providing a classification scheme along with a detailed profiling of the resulted clusters. Implementing cluster analysis results indicated that users can be classified into three categories (“Information Seekers”, 27%, - “Operational and Psychological Boost Benefits Seekers, 47 %”- “Communication Seekers”, 26%). The “social identity” factor was also used through Anova Test presenting noteworthy differences among the emerging clusters. The current research contributes to develop a users’ classification scheme treating social media as one single category. The paper ends by providing theoretical and managerial implication serving helpful insights about social media patterns.



Author Information
Zoe- Charis Belenioti, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Andreas I. Andronikidis, University of Macedonia, Greece
Chris Vassiliadis, University of Macedonia, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: EuroMedia2015
Stream: Social Media and Communication Technology

This paper is part of the EuroMedia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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