Yesterday, we published the annual refresh of our Forrester social consumer segmentation. In 2021, consumers who use social media at least weekly (the heaviest users we survey) overwhelmingly prefer to interact with friends/family over brands/companies and influencers on social media.

The real question for brands is: “Does my target audience want to interact with my brand on social media?” For some brands, the answer might be “absolutely,” but for others, it might be a harsh “absolutely not.” With social media rife with ills and marketers contributing to the problem, all brands should be reassessing their social marketing plans and data privacy plans — starting with a deeper understanding of their target audience’s behavior on social media. Use Forrester’s POST methodology (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) to get you started. Do a deep dive on “P” for People. Forrester annually tracks four types of social consumers:


Match your audience to one of these social consumer segments. Survey them to learn if and what they expect from your brand on social media. From there, you can make go or no-go decisions on social marketing. (And remember that stepping back from social organic or ad presences does not mean abandoning social media entirely; social media is still a critical consumer research and insights source.) To help shape your plans, our annual refresh report compares the four social consumer segments against consumers’ media streaming services, retail behaviors, and financial activities to give you a broader picture of the segments’ affinities.

We’re here to chat more. Reach out to Forrester for a guidance session here.