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:
- It delivers value.
- It increases connectedness to your community.
- It builds your reputation.
- 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 BufferApp, Tweriod or WhenToTweet, full-featured dashboards such as CoTweet, HootSuite 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.
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 Twitter.com.
- 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: Monitter, Tweetchat
- 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.