As of late, a number of people (parents, friends, recruiters) have been asking me about Twitter and whether or not they should join. In this girl's opinion Twitter can either be an up-to-the-minute news source, a new method of marketing, a tool of self-aggrandizement or the RSS feed reborn, depending on who is using it.
Here are ten types of Twitter users I have encountered so far.
1. The Thought Leader
This is my favorite Twitter user: the one who has pearls of wisdom to share or inspiring ideas. I find these people to be entrepreneurs, editors and engaging individuals. They usually have a finger on the pulse of something good.
2. The Oversharer
HBS research shows that 90% of all tweets come from 10% of users. I theorize that 90% of that 90% fall into the category of "the Oversharer" -- a person who tells you all too often "What's Happening." Examples:
- "I just ate two whole bags of M&Ms, but not the green ones." [TMI]
- "My guy is the best kisser in the world." [Gross TMI]
- "Can't stop singing that @taylorswift13 song!!!" [Try]
- "Running five minutes late for mtg. Ugh." [... then why are you tweeting?]
- "Just saw Avatar." [... and?]
3. The Marketing Machine
Though Twitter has yet to turn a profit, it has helped other companies (and politicians) to win big. By June 2009, for example, Dell had earned over $3m from Twitter-related promotions. Other companies have used Twitter to answer customers' questions, announce sales and bring their brands to life. Some do it well, others #fail.
4. The Celebritweeter
This encompasses all those B-list actors, reality stars, pop-tart musicians and scenesters who use Twitter to "connect" with fans, bolster their personal brands and/or score sponsorship deals. Props to you if you're in this category, but I get a sick stomach thinking about a world where this is common practice.
5. The 'Trending Topic' Tipper
"Hey guys! I wanna beat the #TigerWoods trending topic. Tag your tweets with #OmgWhatevs -- I wanna prove we can do it! LOL! LMFAO! LUV U!"
6. The Aspiring Porn Star
No, HotBabe4U I do not want to follow you. Block.
7. The Mystery Tweeter
This is the person who is following 824 people but has 0 tweets to his or her or its name. Even stranger is when the Mystery Tweeter has 43 followers, despite no tweets?
8. The Search Engine Stalker
If you post a tweet about your recent cruise vacation and suddenly have four new followers with the word "cruise" in their usernames, you've been hit by Search Engine Stalkers. Web-crawling tools are making it even easier for these people to find and follow you. Creepy or cool?
9. The Curious but Uncommitted
Usually the first post from a person like this reads, "Just joined Twitter. Not sure what it's all about." It will usually be their only post for at least a month. In fact, RJMetrics research reveals that only 65% of Twitter users will ever post a second tweet.
10. The Tortoise
This user is slow to react, re-tweeting a timely story two days after it has already made its rounds across every other Twitter feed. But at least the Tortoise is otherwise using Twitter appropriately?
Which other types would you add?