[04.21.11]
54 great comments!

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.

Photo Credit


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags:
Categories: Personal Branding
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  • I’m sure several of those fit my twitter profile. Overall, I would describe my online personality the same way I define my offline personality – authentic: what you see is what you get. Open, transparent, quirky, opinionated, honest, irreverent and I try to never take myself too seriously.

    To me it is interesting that many people seem to overlap their various sm accounts. I’ve always maintained different purposes and mostly different audiences for each channel I use.

    LinkedIn, in my case is for business and professional networking. On my personal Facebook page I interact with friends and family. On my “work” Facebook page, I post content pertintent to my profession and that which is hopefully meaningful to those who “like” the page.

    Twitter, IMHO, is not necessarily a blend or hybrid of the the other two, but I do tend to post random thoughts along with business related content. Though I personally know many followers (many of whom I also follow) twitter is by far the least intimate venue from my perspective.

    I would be curious to know how people feel about seeing their LI connections and FB friends twitter feeds on those sites. Personally, I find it to be TMI, clutter and distracting to see tweets on LI & FB.

  • Tim,

    Thanks for the great post. I would say that my Twitter personality is still under development, as I have just really started to actively use it in the couple of months. At the same time, I enjoy taking opportunities listening to experts in the arena, so I am constantly getting tremendous advice that I am trying to implement. Thanks as always for the great advice!

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  • I like those words you use to describe yourself. And you are very straightforward – I see that in your posts! And, yes, I tend to separate each SM platform in a similar way. But it gets interesting as friends you met on Twitter become closer. Then you have to decide whether FB makes sense. I think the blending is inevitable!

  • There’s nothing wrong with “under-development”. I think so many people are out there trying to figure out their public persona. Many are uncomfortable with being public at all and establishing a personality is over the top. That’s why I like helpful as a personality. Attracts relevant people (perhaps not as fast as “outspoken” but again, it depends on your social media purpose.

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  • Grailmduewell

    Twitter is a very interesting social media tool and it could be fun, good or bad and it depends how you put it to use in different perspective. As a job seek, I have been told that twitter is a great tool or another source of twitting to land an employment. I am on twitter now, still learning it and I love to follow people who tweets with purpose and authentic truth to their identity (be yourself). There are certain people out there on twitter that I like and would like to follow and learn from them. I would tweet my personality very carefully with conservative image. As Tim put it, “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. As always Tim! Great post and great point of views out there. Your time is greatly appreciated. All the best!

  • Grailmduewell

    What’s your personality on Twitter? How do your followers see you? Whether your purpose is business or personal, does your personality support your purpose?

    For someone still learning about twitter, my characteristic identify me as someone twits with a friendly and conservative personality, and that reflects on my perceptions and how my perspectives followers view I as a person, twits w/purpose and integrity, online and offline, business or personally. Twit could be fun, good or bad. It depends on your perspective. How your viewer can really see clearly through your vision and mission about authentic you. We can only wish that everyone could twit with purpose, respect and integrity, but not let anyone down by abusing the privileges of others whom will enjoy the use of this great social media tool as tweeter.

    As a job seeker, I have been told that twitting is a great source of branding out yourself and landing that niche of an employment, you’ve been waiting for, timely and accurately. It’s also a great way to doing business, networking/meet people, make friends and branding yourself out and stands out from the rest. There are certain kind of people out there that I like to follow and learn from. Those they identifying themselves as authoritan w/power, authentic, just by being you and twit w/purpose.

    As Tim put it, “For those who truly use Twitter and whom combine “humor and smarts, “interesting and educational” can deliver important social credibility. Thank you to Tim’s Strategy and ideas for sharing this Fantastic Article with us all. Your efforts and time is greatly appreciated. All the best! 🙂

  • Thanks Grail – appreciate you adding your thoughts here.

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