Some Twitter Personalities
While I was working on my Twitter psychology article, a friend from Twitter, @spideas asked me a question about introverts on Twitter. I have had conversations with my introverted friends and looked at the deeper psychological implications of Twitter. I realized that there are so many personalities on Twitter it might be fun to go through hundreds of the people I follow and follow me and categorize their tweets. I put together a list of some of the personalities on Twitter and their tendencies based on my knowledge of psychology and personality. This is not an exhaustive list. This is also not a complete description. There are exceptions to every category. Hold off on the hate mail.
Twitter appears to be a great place for introverts to communicate. It is a safe haven because they can write when they want and how they want. They can keep their relationships at a distance and they don’t have to divulge any personal information. They also are free to share information at pace that is comfortable for them. Of all the social places in the world Twitter is far more comfortable than the vulnerability of Facebook and more social than LinkedIn. Keep in mind that just because one is introverted, doesn’t mean they don’t have friends or want to communicate. They just want a safer place to do it.
The extrovert is seen on Twitter regularly. Part of their personality is to be the “life of the party”. They usually are. They are involved, active, quick on their feet and engaging. However the extrovert can get frustrated with Twitter if they are not being responded to. They may not get the attention they hoped. Once the extrovert gains a solid following they love it. If it takes too long to gather that following they move on to other things. The problem with the extrovert is that they can’t stop talking. Because of their many “tweets” throughout the day many people believe they have no life outside of Twitter. They can be, at times, very overwhelming to the average Twitter user.
The logic thinkers struggle with Twitter because there is so much emotional angst going on. Remember Twitter started as a tech forum. Many of the original Tweeps became frustrated and started their own groups. You will still find that many of these logic thinkers have a unique set of followers and do not respond to mundane talk. They like people like themselves. They like being involved with Twitter discussions that make sense and make a difference for their world. They have little time for everyday chatter. They are very good at weeding people out they do not want to talk to.
For the “feeler” Twitter is fertile soil. There is no better place to emote with other emotional people than Twitter. They connect easily with other “feelers”. They can get their emotions on the table. You know who they are because each tweet is filled with emotion. They are the best at responding to others, and they wear their emotions on their “tweets”. You know when they have a good day or a bad day. For some, the emotion can get overwhelming. You will more than likely have a few that you follow or follow you. You need to judge for yourself how much emotion you want in your day.
This is a common person you will find on Twitter, they usually pass along some philosophical thought or quote to try to make a difference in your world. They are convinced that providing a good piece of philosophy that they are making the world a better place. If it goes on for too long however, the philosopher is quickly forgotten, ignored and eventually unfollowed. Everyone has a little “tweetosopher” in them. On occasion it can be good. Too much philosophy however can get old very quickly.
The humorist is a character. Many times they try to combine their profession with humor. All of us, from time to time will have something funny to say. However, these people try to put something funny out there all the time. If they are really funny, people love to follow them. If they are not funny, they get booed off stage by being unfollowed. Understand that humor especially in these tough economic times is a very powerful tool. If you have the gift of humor, it is a good idea to use it. It adds a side to you that people can connect with. Like everything else, you can push humor too far and lose people in a hurry.
The “informer” always has a piece of information that they believe is worth reading. If you choose to be an informer you need to have more good pieces of information than useless pieces. I good informer is well read and is used as a resource. You probably already know some good ones or at least have a few in mind. The problem with information is that if that is all you provide then you have no time to interact with your intended consumer. Why? More than likely you are spending time looking for good information to tweet. Remember people on Twitter like being communicated with, not just thrown constant information. I also want to caution you about being over informative, because there are widget companies out there that people sign up for and they post informational links automatically. Many long time Twitter users see this as a violation of Twitter etiquette. If you become only an information source you may be seen as nothing more than an automated service and not a real person.
The Social Media “Guru”
The “social media guru” tweets about all things social media. They want to be resource of good information and interesting topical source for social media marketing. Some of them are people fascinated with social media and are starting a new career. Some of them are marketing people looking for a job or clients. In either case, this is their way of demonstrating to the world in 140 characters that they know their stuff. What I find interesting about this group is that they talk the talk, but they don’t walk the talk. They will tell you that you should engage with people to be successful in social media, yet they spend most of their time telling people about social media on Twitter without much personal interaction. I follow a number of them for informational purposes. However, I have unfollowed more than I follow over time. Their information can be good, and beneficial, but you never see who they really are because they are too busy talking about social media. They make themselves inaccessible by their lack of interaction. It is an inconsistency that can become frustrating. As my best friend said to me before he died, “a walk talks louder than a talk talks”. I still think it is true.
The healer has some gentle or encouraging word for people who are struggling with life. It seems that their whole focus is looking on Twitter for any followers who are “down in the dumps”. It’s not a negative. They like knowing that they have the potential to make a difference in someone’s life. They enjoy the feeling they get by knowing they have encouraged someone to take a positive step. The problem with the “healer” is that he or she can spend so much time trying to heal people that you never know what or who they really are. In looking at some of the tweets they demonstrate that they can be enabling and at times co-dependent. They need another persons drama to fulfill them. Psychologically speaking it’s not healthy. I have at times wondered, “Who heals the healer”. Another “healer” is the best answer I have.
It’s not hard to spot this person. They are always looking to sell their product or service. They have a belief system that if they put their products or services out their long enough someone will buy from them. I am sure some people do. They do not care what other people think about them, or if people unfollow them. In their mind it only takes one sale for them to be convinced that Twitter works for sales. They can be good at interaction; it’s their lure to bring you in, then…Kapowee! They are of all the personalities the quickest to get unfollowed.
The Business Networker
This person has one reason and one reason only for using Twitter. Network. They look to follow people that would be a good addition to their business network. They are not interested so much in the personal minutia; they just want to build a large following of people that can potentially help them now or in the future. They are not bad Twitter users; however they will quickly unfollow someone in their network if they do not contribute to their goals in business. For them if the conversation strays too far away from business they let you go and look for some other person that can take your place.
The truth is I am probably a little bit of all these personalities and more. I am a bit of a narcissist like most people on Twitter. I like people to read my tweets. I like the feeling it gives me. I am concerned about using good etiquette and want to be part of the good experience on Twitter. Over time I have discovered that to interact with people and engage with them is very rewarding. I have noted that I spend more time responding to people’s “tweets” than I do creating them. I have also developed tremendous relationships, which I value. I probably spend more time worrying about being a good Twitter user than I spend worrying about the benefits Twitter actually can provide for my business. I am told by some business people that it is a poor business model. I have learned that if you are genuine on Twitter, you can have some of the best supporters and evangelists you could ever ask for. It is my humble opinion, having people like them create a great foundation for any business model.
You can always find me on Twitter @InternetDoctor.