The Five Smartest Kinds Of Twitter Users Which Ones Are You Most Like?

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The following is a guest post by Dave Larson aka @tweetsmarter on twitter. Dave is someone who i have my utmost respect for on twitter.  For the past 4 years, Dave has answered and helped thousands of Twitter users worldwide. Enjoy!

There are a lot of smart ways to use Twitter. And there are a lot of fun kinds of people to follow—comedians, family, friends, and so forth. But which kind of users make best advantage of all the social networking site like Twitter has to offer? While it’s hard to break the wide diversity of users into narrow categories, there are a few common types that are worth knowing and learning from. However, most of the people you will meet will be a combination of several of these types:

1. The Helper-Mentor

 Probably the highest value interaction in social media is using your expertise to help someone. Why? Because:

  1. It delivers value.
  2. It increases connectedness to your community.
  3. It builds your reputation.
  4. It is efficient (you’re sharing what you know with people who need your help).

This is one reason why social media is such a helping place: it lets you build communities that looks to you as a leader and mentor in your area of knowledge. Almost all of the smartest kinds of Twitter users are also helper-mentors to some degree.

  • Typical Day Job: Social Media Manager, Hobbyist.
  • Best feature: Always there when you need them. Help with a smile.
  • Typical Tweet: Great question! Here is a link that tells you how to do fix your problem [link 1], and here is the story of how that problem happened: [link 2]
  • Typical Twitter Tool: Optimizers such as BufferAppTweriod or WhenToTweet, full-featured dashboards such as CoTweetHootSuite and MarketMeSuite.
  • Example User: @TweetSmarter, @AskAaronLee
  • Typical Twitter Advice: Don’t tweet when no one is listening. Buffer your tweets to automatically reach the most people and increase your Klout score.

 @AskAaronLee, for example, raised his Klout 11 points in less than a month using BufferApp.

2. The Introducer-Retweeter

This is someone who is always recommending other people, and always retweeting their friends and new contacts. They are great at publicly complimenting people. Lots of tweets that start with “.” so that everyone can see a conversation where they are praising someone. Lots of tweets with multiple Twitter users in them to help people be exposed to more users, and carry on conversations with more than one user.

  • Typical Day Job: Sales Person or Business Owner.
  • Typical Tweet: Here are my favorite Twitter mentors: @user1, @user2, etc.
  • Best feature: Helps everyone they connect with become more popular on Twitter.
  • Typical Twitter Tool: Almost anything, including
  • Example User:  @LeoWid
  • Common Twitter Advice: When you tweet to recommend people that you think are worth following, say WHY you think they are worth following.

3. The Learner-Networker

This is the person who has learned to connect with others in their field for learning and networking. These are the personal learning network (PLN) experts. So what is a PLN?

“A PLN is a reciprocal network that you create to learn from, connect with, gather information or resources, create with and finally share what you have learned.” – Colette Cassinelli

  • Typical Day Job: Teacher or Job Seeker.
  • Best feature: Someone that can connect you instantly with large groups of engaged users.
  • Typical Tweet: #EdChat If you read  [link] you’ll see why I think educators can’t ignore the value of using Twitter as a PLN.
  • Example User: @ShellTerrell, @Joe_Bower
  • Typical Twitter Tool: MonitterTweetchat
  • Typical Twitter Advice: Visit the Twitter chat directory to find a Twitter chat on a topic you care about.

4. The Super Sharer

These are typically some of the most retweeted users on Twitter. The best of these users become your destination for news and entertainment beating out places like Yahoo or the Huffington Post for your attention. These are the aggregators, the curators of popular content.

  • Typical Tweet: #Breaking: Secret Diary of Steve Jobs published online [link].
  • Typical Day Job: Web Entrepreneur or Blogger.
  • Best feature: Great popular content, always safe to retweet.
  • Example User: @FlipBooks, @GuyKawasaki
  • Typical Twitter Tool: Full-featured schedulers with analytics such as ObjectiveMarketer, HootSuite.
  • Possible Twitter Advice: View both general stats about your Twitter account and stats about #FF, % of replies and retweets, etc. (a tool like Twoolr will do this for you).

5. The Expert

One of the greatest features of Twitter is the ability to connect with experts from around the world. Smart, focused and always looking for better ways to find and share information, many of these users were early adopters of Twitter. In fact these are the users that helped shape how people have come to view how Twitter can be used.

  • Typical Day Job: Journalist or Consultant.
  • Typical Tweet: Key takeaways from today’s live event are as follows: [insight 1], [insight 2], etc.
  • Best feature: Your best source for information about their area of expertise.
  • Example User: @ACarvin, @Jowyang
  • Typical Twitter Tool: TweetDeck, Twitter Search, Google Alerts.
  • Typical Twitter Advice: Specific information about their area of expertise.

How About You?

Do you know some people who fit in these categories? Do you see yourself as more of one of these types than another? Are there other categories you think should be included? Leave a comment below or question in the box below. I’d love to hear from you.

About Dave Larson: 

As @TweetSmarter, Dave Larson have answered thousands of questions for Twitter users worldwide over the past 4+ years. His goal is to assist and empower everyone he comes into contact with.



  • CassiusBlueCo

    Very cool analysis, I do see myself in all of the categories (at least a little bit). My Twitter strategy is really to fit into the “The Helper-Mentor” category with alot of “The Expert” mixed in.

  • TweetSmarter

    An awesome strategy! :-))

  • ADRsocialmedia

    I’d love to say that I’m a combination of all of the above but in reality I’m probably a Helper-Mentor. I do strive to be an expert but I’m a far way off. This post is an excellent example of the different categories that we all fit into on Twitter. I do agree that social media, in general, is a very helpful place and that Tools like Bufferapp and Hootsuite help immensely. Thanks for sharing this.

  • LeoWid

    Amazing post Dave and thanks for the mention. I really love how this just shows there is room for everyone on Twitter, with all these usecases in place! :)

  • Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    Being the “Helper” can be a great way for someone new to social media or coaching to build their confidence. It’s been my experience that most people when getting started sharing what they know with others, are scared to do so because they don’t realize how far ahead of most people they are on their particular subject matter.

    They falsely believe most people know as much or more than they do and this is why the idea of coaching others scares them. But if you lurk on Twitter looking for your own personal Batman light to shine, you can prove to yourself in baby steps how much you really are and how in demand your expertise is.

    I’ve neglected this position and settled into being a “Sharer”. But when I want to get serious about hanging out on Twitter, this “Helper” position is a can’t lose posture to become known for. Thank you Dave for reminding me of this all to important lesson.

  • markwschaefer

    Dan, love to see you coming out to blog. I love what you do on TweetSmarter. And I know your name is Dave. Old habits die hard. Keep up the good work my friend.

  • ShirleyWilson

    I’m one of your new followers and really found this blog post helpful. I appreciate the great resources you shared and examples for each “twitter type.” I think I primarily fit in the Helper / Learner / Networker categories though striving for “expert” status one day.

    On another note, I must say I love your Blog tag line: “Personalizing Business, Professionalizing People” — Spot on! Looking forward to hearing more from you…

  • ed_han

    I have absolutely no idea what type I most resemble but honestly love the way the types are described, esp the sample tools & tweets. Superb!

  • mariafullofmace

    I try my best to be 2 and 3!

  • phillipdodd

    Dave, this is one of the most useful posts I’ve ever read. The tools listed have already helped me immensely. Thanks so much for sharing! 😀

  • TinaLussier

    This is the best Twitter article I’ve ever read! Now I have to research most of these services you’ve included. Thanks Dave! Excellent!

  • mscrimsonlips

    f#3 for me, Learner-Networker. I can honestly say I learn more on twitter than on any other SM platform. @BrennerMichael I follow the most re learning marketing and social media.

  • @argosguesthouse

    I seem to be leaning to 2 & 3. I’ve learned so much since I started this year about my area-the #Okanagan & love introducing myself, locals & tourists to all that is here.

  • AskAaronLee

    I agree with Dave, an awesome category, i think most of us who spends time engage, learning and helping will definitely fit in between both like Dave.

  • AskAaronLee

    @LeoWid Thanks fro dropping by Leo, always great to see you here. Indeed, twitter is a great place for everyone, that is why i love using it so much. Cheers!

  • AskAaronLee

    @ADRsocialmedia Big thanks to Dave for this amazing post. I think most of us that spends a great deal helping others will definitely be in the helper and tend to be the expert by people that we have helped. Just like how i view Dave as the expert.

  • AskAaronLee

    @@argosguesthouse Wow, love to hear more. Great to see you doing what you’re doing.

  • AskAaronLee

    @mscrimsonlips Love @BrennerMichael , he’s an amazing blogger and has great personality too. Agree that he is a definite must follow.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting :))

  • AskAaronLee

    @TinaLussier Thanks TIna, Dave is AMAZING. Enjoy the tools that he have recommended, do ask him on twitter at tweetsmarter or ask me anything if you need to :)

  • AskAaronLee

    @phillipdodd Enjoy and have fun with them! let us know which is your fav tool :)) Have a great week!

  • AskAaronLee

    @mariafullofmace Always great to be in those categories. Hard work too! Keep up the great work Maria.

  • AskAaronLee

    @ed_han I can always help you by answering that :))

  • AskAaronLee

    @markwschaefer So is it Dave or Dan? Hmmm! something tells me there is something I don’t know here. :))

  • AskAaronLee

    @ShirleyWilson Thanks Shirley, I am following back now. Sorry I wasn’t earlier. Dave wrote an amazing piece for sure. Love his blog post.

    Thanks for the compliments. ~hugs~

  • AskAaronLee

    @Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 Hello Nerd #2 aka Lewis,

    I agree that is can definitely help someone to build their confidence, using twitter and blogging has definitely helped me build mine for sure.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us Lewis.

    I guess most of us are afraid that we know is already something others know and forget that there are a lot of people that don’t know about it.

  • phillipdodd

    @AskAaronLee Thanks! I’ll be sure to let you guys know when I find my favorite. So far I’ve only had a chance to mess around with Tweriod a tiny bit… so far, very impressed.

  • GetGravitas

    Terrific post. I’d like to think I’m #5.

  • jmitchem

    What about people who don’t fall into any of these buckets? Are they not smart? I’m a writer – and I have never aspired to be anything other than myself on twitter. I think it’s dangerous to push people into categories like this. By virtue of the headline that employs the term “smart” – this promotes automatonic use rather than the human element. Be yourself. Everything else falls into place.

  • ericastacey

    I think this is a good article BUT it can be possible to be a bit of a mingle of all of the above, rather than fitting neatly into one category.

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