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December 03, 2009


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Janet Barclay

Ariane, it's true that Twitter shorthand can be hard to understand, especially when people try to cram too much into those 140 characters. In some ways, Facebook is a lot more user-friendly, but where you may get fewer ads, you get more drivel like Farmville, and that drives me even more crazy!

You've raised an interesting question about whether personality type influences a person's preferred social media platform. I don't know whether anyone has studied that specifically, but they did a survey on the MBTI blog on personality types on Twitter http://www.thembtiblog.com/2009/06/updated-what-is-most-common-mbti.html and there's another interesting conversation taking place at http://www.trainingreality.co.uk/blog/Google-wave-and-thoughtless-communication.php so clearly you are onto something!

Ariane Benefit

Excellent and very enlightening post Janet! I think you achieved your goal of making Twitter easier for people. But I still like Facebook better : ) Like you said, there are too many ads for me on Twitter. Also, I find that the restriction of 140 characters makes people use so much shorthand that I don't understand what they are saying a lot of the time. Like you said if you don't follow and engage with other's, there's not much point. I also like being able to see people's photos with their post.

Would love to see a study of personality type and how it correlates to people's choice of Twitter or Facebook. Most people seem to prefer one over the other. Any thoughts?

Janet Barclay

Tim, I'm glad it was helpful! It took me several months from the time I signed up for Twitter to when I actually figured out how to make good use of it. Now one of my goals is to try and shorten that learning curve for other new users.

Darlene, it wasn't until I looked through my feed specifically to get examples for this post that I realized what a high percentage of the tweets are ads in one form or another. It worries me that the value of Twitter may decline if people just start tuning out the messages altogether. That's why it's so important to engage with others, and not just tweet.

Jeff, thanks for the compliment! My post focuses mainly on business because that's how I use Twitter, but it can also be used to communicate with people with other shared interests, such as hobbies, local events, just about anything really! Feel free to ask if there's any way I can help you use Twitter effectively.


Great post Janet. I can see now how Twitter would be very helpful if you had a business. From your Tweets I see you are using it quite well! Thanks for the info! Keep up the great work.


Great post, I have been on twitter now for about six months and I know that everyone is selling something to me. They all want the same thing and then it is fun to just throw something enlightening in the tweet, along with maybe, the name of your product.


Therran and Janet hit this right on the head. Congrats both of you for letting us know more about social media and everything that revolves around it. I love your 10 steps. I have just started to use twitter and from here on in I will be utilizing your techniques.

Thank you

Janet Barclay

Melodee, just be thankful I couldn't come up with two more examples! :)

Anne, I know just what you mean. I think of all the social media platforms, Twitter may be the hardest to figure out. Everyone seems to use it differently, and there's so much information out there that it's next to impossible to digest it all before you have some actual experience under your belt. Of course, the fact that they keep changing things doesn't help either!

Since getting started is the hardest part, I'm hoping this post will help some people (maybe Melodee?) get their feet wet.

Anne Blumer

Janet, Thank you for such a clear explanation of how to and how not to use twitter. Great tips--wish I had know these when I first started tweeting!

Melodee Patterson

Great explanation of the different types of tweets, Janet. One of these days I just might give Twitter a try :-)

Silly question - can you say the title of this post 3 times, fast?

Janet Barclay

Therran, I noticed your post while I was working on mine, and was much relieved to see that we weren't covering the same ground!

Your post provides a much more comprehensive explanation of what I refer to here as Tweet Type #9, so the two do go hand in hand very nicely. Thanks so much for your comment.

Therran Oliphant

Love the post, Janet. I think it gives a clear descritpion and explanation of how people use Twitter. I am often confronted by people in my organization saying how dumb they think it is, because they don't get the conversations. That is usually followed by, "it doesn't make sense to me, why this is valuable."

Check out my post about valueing the Retweets! http://www.communitymarketingblog.com/my_weblog/2009/12/social-media-roi-via-retweets-and-forwards.html.html

They could be used in conjuction, to bring people up to speed with how and why!

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