Twitter is on the rise. There's no doubt about it, and it will continue to rise. One of the things about Twitter that makes it such an attractive service is the variable nature of ways it can be used. So you're on Twitter, you're starting to follow some people you're interested in, and now you're getting a few followers of your own. So what's it worth? Who is out there? Well, I've found in my various endeavors with the Twitterati that there are only a handful of different kinds of users. Who are you reaching? Which ones are going to do anything for you or your brand?
The Non-Twitterers (Twuggles?)-
- The Clueless - Sure they've HEARD of Twitter, but why should they care? They just got on Facebook. Like they need another thing to keep track of.
- The Skeptic - "I don't get it." These people signed up for Twitter a while ago and started following their friends. The first time they yawned at the screen they tabbed back over to Facebook. The Skeptic understands what Twitter is, how it works, but hasn't seen why it is worth their time. I think everyone starts off as a skeptic, and eventually becomes one of the other types.
The Proletwiriat -
- The Loudmouth - "Getting ready to eat some cereal." "Eating the cereal." "Ooof. Too much cereal!" Ok, we get it. You want to tweet about your every move. I understand that Twitter is a great way of sharing ideas and information, but there is such a thing we in the biz call TMI: Too Much Information. If you are tweeting more than 8 times an hour and never adding any value, then you might want to think about your priorities. What are you gaining by telling 1,000 people you just heated up soup?
- The Wallflower - On the other end of the spectrum, you have the Wallflower. This guy hardly has anything to say, and when he does, it is usually, "Ugghhh, Mondays!" He mostly listens and responds to the people he knows, and occasionally will send through a nice RT. Sometimes the Wallflower will go without tweeting for days or weeks, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know exactly what everyone he follows is up to.
- The Inside Joker - The inside joker tends to release things into the Twitverse that are funny only to him and his friends. That's mostly who he talks to anyway, rarely actually reaching out to new people or retweeting anything someone from outside his circle.
- The Linkmaster - Beware the Linkmaster... For he will clog your stream with an endless cavalcade of (mostly) useless links! Seriously though, I enjoy seeing funny pictures, links, videos, and that sort of thing, but I have probably already seen it. However, the linkmaster is the first place I look when I need to find something current and quick. He knows his stuff, but might need Adderol.
The Tw-elite -
- The Guru - This guy is an expert! (An expert at annoying everyone with hair-brained get-rich-quick Tweets.) The Guru has all the answers and all the qualifications to help you make the kind of money you have always wanted. They are Internet Marketers, Web Strategists, and they want nothing more than to help you and the rest of their 17,000 followers find success. Unfortunately, their tweets are nothing more than hyperbolic drivel.
- The Celebrity - Celebrities offer up a peep show into the lifestyles of rich and famous, and in doing so, they are actually doing a lot of good in helping ordinary folks see either how "real" they are, or more likely, how awful. Twitter is just another good reason to have a smart phone for some celebs, and for others, it is a way of disseminating good quality pieces of information and insight. Also, occasionally, you might get a shout out from a celebrity you admire just by saying "thanks for what you do." That's what happened recently when I @ replied and then received a thoughtful DM from the very funny Rob Corddry.
- The Noblemen - Don't get me wrong here, there are some people out there who have great things to contribute to the Twitterati, and I thank them for it. I've met some interesting people through Twitter, and I've gained quite a few helpful bits of information through the people I follow. These big boys are the ones who are doing it right, as they aren't too loud, and what they do say adds some value to my life and career.
The "Others" -
- Robots - Robots will auto-follow you and send you DM's with no value or actual discussion-based queries. Sometimes, these robots are just glorified ad-distributors who only want page hits. Unfortunately page hits do not always equal product sales. There are good robots, too, though. Sometimes the nameless and faceless info-aggregators can be good to just follow and stay up to date with what is going on. There's a place for our metal minions in the Twitterverse, let's just make sure they don't go all *T2* on us.
- The Twaracters - Possibly one of my favorite uses of Twitter, there are plenty of accounts out there who are nothing more than characters or at least caricatures of others who provide some well-needed laughs in my Twitter stream. Some notable ones you might want to check out are Darth Vader, Bizarrobama, or my personal favorite: Sensei John Kreese.
Of course, this is just a small representation of the many, many kinds of people using Twitter. Just make sure you use the service in a way that benefits you as well as the people who are following you.
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