This article was first posted a few months ago. Since then, amongst others, we’ve had one or two politicians start to follow our tweets. Whilst they might not be allowed to talk about their tweeting motives in public, we thought they may find this an interesting (and educational) read …
What kind of Twit are you?
1. The link pirate
Spend the majority of your tweets dropping links to other people’s stuff. Combine this with a retweet, and you are off to a good start. i.e. Retweet someone else’s link. Continually. This results in exposure to the original tweeter (who will thank you for exposing them) – and has the additional bonus of exposing you to the owner of the link. Best of all – you’ve spent absolutely shit all time composing the content, and your followers give you a great big slap on the back for “finding” such a great link. Go you.
Commonly found browsing Digg / Delicious / Reddit home pages for juicy tit bits, in the hope that someone cares that they found it.
2. The retweeter
Spend the majority of your tweets, retweeting other people’s opinion. This can indicate that you a). Share the opinion or b). You want to get on their radar (because they are big blogger in niche X, Y or Z), or c) you retweet them in the hope that one day they retweet you. The cynic in me says that 80-90% of retweets are just that. Just take a look at Retweetist – you can easily see who the top dogs getting retweeted are. But are they top dogs because they have an audience already? Some are. Mashable for example. Other’s are just Internet Marketers with potentially huge reach – who are being coat tailed. In fact such is the power of the RT that Twitter has a spam cloud to deal with automated RT’s. Plenty of Twitter users want completely rid of RT’s and are creating filters to lose them. Combine the Retweeter with the link pirate and you find another monster. The retweet thief.
Commonly found browsing your most recent tweets, will have a high following count
3. The discoverer
These are the people whom I value most. Along with conversationalist, they are the people that REALLY find stuff. Not just the fluff that floats to the top of the delicious list, or does the rounds virally. The people who actively browse and read blogs, and discover the great content before the rest of the community turns it viral. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been on the receiving end of viral traffic before. It’s a warm feeling inside to know you are loved. But somehow, it loses it’s charm. It’s no longer a shiny needle in a haystack. Once it gets passed around the gem loses a bit of its lustre.
Commonly found reading blogs, keeps themselves to themselves until the treasure is found. Selfish – Sometimes doesn’t even share, and keeps the treasure for themselves.
4. The conversationalist
Uses twitter as an extension of MSN / Skype, often has to use twitter minimising tools or multiple tweets to get their point across. Doesn’t quite understand why it’s limited to just 140 characters. Conversationalists can be argumentative / keen debaters. Sometimes uses links to substantiate claims / points of view. They are most likely to be owners of low traffic, personal sites, or not have website’s at all. If they tweet a link, it more often than not will be to help someone, or as a reference – normally not out for personal gain.
Commonly found on Facebook, Bebo, Friends Reunited, MSN messenger or Skype. Sometimes all at once.
5. The twitter expert
Give me a break. Go read the UN-guide to Twitter. There’s more Zen tips in there than you can shake a stick at. And no we don’t need a freakin’ book to mould us into champion tweeters.
Commonly found giving advice, or trying to make a quick buck from an E-book.
6. The Narcissistic
The ego has landed. Oh yes. This piss artist commonly ignores tweets from the retweeter or the link pirate, mostly ignores the conversationalist – mainly because there is some gains to be had from the first two. Generally one way conversation, (with bottom feeders) – either listen or go away. If they tweet a URL, it will 9 times out of 10 be their own, and they may also have a web application which adds noise (from their own site) to their stream. Only interested in driving traffic, and promoting themselves.
Commonly found hob knobbing with social media experts or other narcissistics. May also be busy reading a “how to tweet” Ebook on Twitter.
7. The scam artist
What’s the best way to gain money from Twitter? That’s right, setup a pyramid scheme that puts you at the top of the most followed list, and then use that to spam other people’s twitter streams with ways of making money. If you are going to get sucked in by this crap, at least acknowledge that it won’t be long before the currency of followers gets cashed in. And you become the sucker getting sold, or spammed.
Commonly found concoting a brilliant internet marketing scam somewhere.
8. The webbot
Half man half machine – Like the Terminator and similar to Fembots in Austin powers, this user will lure you in with their charm, and then proceed to integrate regular tweets with one’s coming from an automated service running on their website. They have one goal, to drive traffic to their site. Problem is though – you can only communicate with one half.
Commonly found double checking their Google Analytics.