[04.21.11]
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What’s Your Twitter Personality?

This post is about knowing your Twitter personality. If you have one, that is.

Twitter personality, online social networking, twitter, microblogging, tweet, personality, persona, followers, purpose

So in some ways this is a silly question.  Because your answer might be:

Mine!

But after tossing around in the social media clothes dryer for a while you start to notice things.  The more you look.  That there are distinct types of people and distinct personalities.

I’m not the only one who’s noticed this.  I liked this post from Tremendous News called “8 More Tweeter Types.  Which One Are You?

And there’s another issue.  Folks on Twitter are not always who they seem.  In fact some are just the opposite of what you’d expect based on their Twitter persona.

I know a few people who are downright unfriendly on Twitter and puppy dogs in real life.  So sometimes you follow people on Twitter based on their online persona and are a bit baffled when you meet them at a conference or the local coffee shop.

And in some ways this inequality is unique.  People networking on LinkedIn seem more true to form because they need to be.  There’s usually more on the line.  It’s harder to hide.  And with Facebook you are more likely to know someone personally.  So you have to be yourself.  Or someone will call you on it.

But Twitter is a different space.  You can create a persona.  And sometimes that makes sense.  Your Twitter bio and photo may be the only personal branding exposure you get to some people.  And how will you stand out without a persona, right?

It’s such a busy space.

But I’d much rather you be yourself.  And maybe heavily accentuate a real part of you.  That supports your purpose online (making friends, doing business, networking, etc).  Instead of you being someone else.

But establishing a personality on Twitter takes time.  You can try to “be yourself” on Twitter from day 1, of course.  But not everyone can do that.  Because trying to be someone, even you, can feel strange and inauthentic.

But, just for fun, here are the Twitter personality types I see:

None

Is this really a personality?  Well, no, but a huge % of people struggle on Twitter because they only tweet their own stuff or quotes from dead people.  They never interact (use @) with others.  Not the way you want to be seen online.

Helpful

This seems like a nice place to start on Twitter.  Looking for people to help (which can include sharing helpful content).  But also actively responding to @mentions or direct messages with questions.  This personality gives Twitter a bit more of a community feeling.  Instead of a cavernous one.

Fun

They share fun stuff.  And they do it with lots of exclamation points.  I like to follow fun people as long as there is some substance behind the communication from time to time.  Too much fun feels inefficient. And often includes too many personal updates (“just had a latte”).

Sarcastic

These folks look for subtleties, mistakes, judgement errors and the like.  And then call them out for us to see.  Often these make for great tweets.  As long as they aren’t hurtful.  I like sarcasm, generally.  Provokes people to think.

Authoritative

Seems like some people know everything.  And they tweet with the assumption that you know that they know everything.  Some can get away with it because their followers need their confidence.  And some just come off as cocky.

Abusive

I follow a few people just for sport.  This is the personality that is furthest from mine and the one I least understand.  Why someone would build a Twitter following based on tearing others down, I don’t know.  Some people just have really strong opinions and can’t stand to see conflicting ideas get a voice.

Friendly

You see the smiley faces.  You see a lot of @messaging.  And a personal comment on a lot of re-tweets.  For someone new to Twitter, friendly personalities are like a lighthouse on a foggy night.  A person to head toward and follow.

Clever

A brother to “sarcastic” but without the personal or hurtful tone.  I like clever.  And I like tweets that make me think or chuckle.  For those who truly use Twitter for micro blogging, “clever” is an intriguing persona.  If you can pull it off combining humor and smarts. And I think “interesting and educational” can deliver important social credibility.

Off The Wall

Ever read a tweet and just say “Huh” or What”?  Some come out of left field and some utter complete gibberish.  Off the wall personalities seem to tweet very random and unrelated things.

So, what’s your Twitter personality?  And what should it be to allow for your time to be more productive online?

If I didn’t mention your Twitter personality or if you’ve seen others I missed, let me know.

And tell me how you feel about them.

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Personal Branding

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