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Nine Styles of Tweeting

02/26/2009

Twitter poses a standing question, “What are you doing?”

Deer-eyed newbies can freeze a little and reply, “What do I post?” After about 30 days, I began to ask a new question,  “How was I posting?”

Twitter provides an invaluable context for engaging numerous overlapping communities. My Twitter home page provides a real-time record of actual content. Services like tweetback.com will back up my posts.

Bain Collection, Library of Congress

Bain Collection, Library of Congress

Still, the strategist in me wanted to understand the types of conversation. The marketer in me wanted to find out the most effective (i.e., engaging).  Interestingly, I found nine styles of Tweeting emerge.

  • Socializing.  Posting life, food, kids. Many Twitter followers sign on and off with a post. For social posts that add great texture to your professional profile, see @ebrenner
  • Relating. Relating provides a real-time window into your business process, life, or goals. You may tweet an accomplishment, attendance at an event, or experience of a brand.  For a developing story of two documentarians, visit @archiCULTURE
  • Engaging. Requesting information, feedback, or opinions on any number of topics. Your individual followers, Twitter group members and the at-large Twitter community can post a reply. For example a query on “Web” or “web” was posted by @BrettfromTibet
  • Espousing. Providing expert tips, resources, and connections.  Tweeting forward means getting back. For example, I tweeted special opt-in methods for overzealous entrepreneurs who could risk selling vs. telling. Visit @eamcc
  • Reading. Tweeples are highly literate and social, so sharing books and information comes naturally. Posts feature a keyword “Read” and the url. As a courtesy, I try to cite the author and source. A regular poster on social media is @rbroitman
  • FYI’ing. Sharing great data, hard news, and timely information. Tweeples are great at documenting sources and providing links. That’s how Twitter’s value is growing for real-time research. You may choose to follow papers, organizations, or just plain-out friendly experts, such as @shelleyryan
  • Replying. Providing encouragement, information, or opinion to someone else’s post. (Works in combination with engaging and self-promoting.) See @randolphmase
  • Retweeting. Forwarding a copy of someone else’s post that you found useful and interesting.  Great retweeting is demonstrated by @igrafix
  • Acknowledging. Extending welcomes to new followers, thanks, cheers, and support also comes naturally to the Twitter community — or at least mine (Thanks!).  Some who’s especially personable is @ kyleplacy

Tweeples devour statistics. Every day, there are new algorithms and software for measuring “success.”

For me, it’s about relations, and here’s what I learned: on a daily basis, engagement increases relative to the variety of my tweets.

Best,

P.S. Please respond and recommend some of your own Twitter style heroes.

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