Twitter’s popularity has never been higher. You can’t pick up a a paper or go to website without reading about how it’s the ‘micro blogging tool of the decade’. You can use it to catch up the latest online argument between Lily Allen and Perez Hilton hear breaking news before it reaches the paper (think the recent Tiger Woods accident), and even Obama is Tweeting messages of thanks to the populace. You can use this resource for house hunting, job searching and creating brand awareness, and there’s also an active community of Tweeters who comment on each other’s posts, driving traffic to sites via retweets and positive reviews.
Considering Twitter gives one unfettered access to millions of people, more PR people than ever are signing up. This is partly due to its popularity, and partly down to their management deciding it would be a good idea to ‘get with the times’. Sky News has created a ‘Twitter correspondent position’ and there are numerous Twitter apps to make tweeting easier, from using a plug in application such as TwitterFox to TweetDeeck on your phone.
It’s never been easier to Tweet- but are you? And what’s your type of Tweet? Read on to discover which category you fall into…
Here are the ten main Twitter types of people you’ll find online.
The Shameless Self promoter also known as the Auto Feeder/ Autobot
‘Hi I have a website isn’t it great? Everything I ever write will be sent to my Twitter account, so you can click on the links. Please, please click on the links, but I’m not going to tell you anything else about me or ever bother to update my account. But click pleeeease, go on!’
Yes, you know who you are. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with linking posts from your site to your Twitter account, but if you update 10 times day and never have any personal info on the tweets it’s essentially just internet spam now isn’t it? You might not be offering me Viagra but you’re still touting for business.
‘Today I had breakfast and then I went to work. Oh shoot- I’m almost out of charac-‘
Sound familiar? When one first joins Twitter the initial response is just to Tweet voraciously; on anything that takes their fancy, from burnt toast to travel card issues. It’s not to say the more experienced Twitter user wouldn’t mention those, but they might make them more entertaining, and better spelt.
But we love our newbies, as they remind us of our early fumbling footsteps into the brave new world of Web 2.0. If they never progress though, one has to wonder if a/ they’re under fourteen or b/they just see Twitter as one long Facebook status update.
The Web 3.0 Queens
These people were on Twitter pretty much from the day of its conception; they have all their Twitter apps sorted, and update a couple of times a day. Their tweets are succinct, entertaining, and provoke debate, and they’re savvy enough not to @reply EVERYONE, which is a sure way to lose followers. But you daren’t stop following these folk as they’ll have the Qwitter application installed and be notified when you leave. You can find them gathering at Twestivals and muttering dire things about newbie’s who are cluttering up their feeds.
The Tweet because I’m told to user
Yes Mr PR Guru, Twitter is a good resource for reaching journo’s. But you can reach them anyway- via their email and phone. Clogging their feeds and sending them frivolous messages of fakery is not the way to go, and there are a wide variety of companies who have a disproportionate amount of new users in the last few weeks, which seems like a forced duty rather than a past time. And if you’re only on there to promote biscuits/software etc you’re hardly going to pepper press releases with revelations of your drunken shenanigans, as that wouldn’t be professional. Oh, don’t be professional, that’s not what it’s about– it’s the work/play combo that gets you a Twitter following.
The Anxious Follower gatherer
Friend me! Friend me! It’s a competition to see who’s first to 100, no, 200, no 1000! They never stop adding people, yet provide very little content of interest and guilt you into adding them with inquisitive DM messages.
The Power communicator
Are you Tweeting or are you using this service as an IM client? Everything you say is littered with @soandso and @other important friend and we’re frankly bored baffled and left cold by this vacuous outpouring. Go install MSN again, or you’ll be defriended RIGHT now.
The C list celebrity
Yes, I’m sure the whole world is fascinated by the ramblings of Philip Schofield and MC Hammer, but you won’t find Brad Pitt on here now will you? The fact that porn stars and Big Brother stars inhabit this domain is as good reason as any to keep your private life private. This probably won’t affect most of us though, unless you have an inclination to make it onto the next series of X factor. (OK, a few notable A-listers do inhabit Twitter, such as @neilhimself – Neil Gaiman etc, but they’re firmly in the minority).
With every new function Twitter adds comes an array of people anxious to be the ONES that provide the bestest most useful lists ever (pause for obligatory exclamation marks). They’ve spent the last god knows hoe many days compiling and feverishly comparing lists in every category from ‘tech bloggers UK’ to the ‘favourite tea makers of America’. Seriously, h0ow do they find the time to do this? Their aren’t that many people employed as social media guru’s/experts etc are there? Are there?!
The Twittered out
They tried it, they didn’t like it, yet their account is still live and they’re following you, in numbers if not in heart.
The Twitterholics/ Twitter addicts
Similar to the Web 3.0 queens and the the newbie int he level of their updates, they’ll share stuff about their life from the moment they wake till they go to bed, and will post ‘So sorry I’ve been quiet’ messages when they go offline for a weekend. The trend for Twitterholics can be epitomized by the likes of @shinykatie, whose recent childbirth exploits sparked a Twitterwide hashtag of #katielabour with hourly updates including contraction info and pain. This may be an extreme example (and we all followed #katielabour with interest) but it goes to show you that where there’s an iPhone there’s a way, and services like Vlingo and Audioboo make it possible to update by voice with no typing involved. I foresee a lot of road rage Tweets with these services!
The question remains- which type do you fall into?