Understanding Tweetmanship: How Do You Use Twitter?

There are all kinds of ways to use Twitter to promote your personal brands and your clients. I want to thank one of my clients, Kathy Simmons at NETSHARE, for pointing out an article from Jason Falls profiling new insights about how people tend to use Twitter from Social Media Today. Falls breaks Twitter types into four basic marketing categories:

The Conversationalist: These Twitterers offer ongoing chatter about day-to-day activities that serve as an extension of their brand and their company. These folks engage in the online conversation on an ongoing basis, and many can garner a solid following by being sincere in adding to the conversation and weaving their sales message in a natural way.

The Conversational Marketer: These online networkers use a more direct marketing approach. They link to their blogs with greater frequency and tend to promote their latest online post, book, or event. These Twitterers do tend to engage with their audience, but they never lose sight of the fact that their primary objective is to promote themselves. The trick is to promote yourself while adding to the online conversation, rather than just pointing to your online brand and saying, “Buy my stuff!”

The Salesman: Then there’s the Twitterer who is all about the promotion. This person spends more than half of his or her Twitter posts pitching themselves and their products. Is this counter to the social media code of conversation? Only if you don’t add anything. There are ways to promote yourself and your brand and still add insight. It’s all about making what they have to offer part of the online exchange.

The Broadcaster:  These Twitterers don’t engage in conversation but rather provide a one-way shout-out of content. Some might consider this kind of promotion spamming, but not all broadcasters are spammers. Some have real value to add, even if they choose not to engage in conversation. Think about the true broadcasters, like CNN and other specialty newsfeeds.

So whether you are promoting yourself or your clients, think about how you need to engage in the Twitter conversation. Even if you can identify yourself with one of these four basic Twitter types, ask yourself, “Am I adding to the online conversation?” To make Twitter work for you, you need to engage, even if you do so in a way that suits your personal style.

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