Social media takes place online, but everyday stereotypes still abound. We’ve put together a sampling of some of the most common characters online. If you blog, tweet or update take a look and make sure you don’t fall too heavily into one category. Remember to operate like you would at a dinner party, it’s the incongruities and authenticity that will make you stand out. Have fun!
aka: the Cheerleader, the Megaphone, One-Note Nellie
“Enough about me, now for even more about me.” This guy exhibits an inability or unwillingness to do anything but incessantly self-promote. Self-promotion is great, it’s even greater when people actually listen.
Try this Instead: For a message to really resonate with an audience you need to do a couple of things. First, figure out who you want to talk to and what you want them to do. Once you know that, learn about your audience, where do they hang out? Often you’ll find a reciprocity of interest, “Hmm, you went to the effort to figure out that I like kittens? Ok, tell me more about your decorative ball draft busters.”
The Copy Cat
aka the Serial Retweeter, the Paraphraser, the Bandwagon Jumper
You know that friend that always begins a sentence with, “Joe was saying that…” as if their every thought is merely a regurgitation of something someone else said? That’s the copycatter. Technically speaking they are following one of the golden rules of social media, which is to share. The only hitch is, you also need to share original thoughts.
Be original: Most articles you’ll find about social media online will at some point say, “It’s your place to realize an authentic voice for your company.” You should feel free to retweet or share great content, but don’t be afraid to take a stand. Whether that’s coming out as a Trekkie or saying that you are closed Sundays because family comes first.
Just like not everything is about you, not everything has to be bad. Being the sorriest, least winning, ever on the edge of despair guy is not going to win you anything but the cold shoulder. Picking you up is not the world’s job, hanging with you in a tough patch, sure, listening to your every lament and dispute is just tiresome.
Remember: Don’t feel like you can’t share your low moments, but remember, the words you put online are not accompanied by a smile or body language to soften their tone. Share a voice that includes laughter, sincerity and spontaneity.
aka the Pot Stirrer
It’s fair to say that most of us have heckled at some point, it might have been under our breath or at the tv screen, but we’ve surely had nasty or contradictory thoughts. Trolls take those impulses and act on them, leaving anonymous disparaging comments or bread crumbs on places like twitter and facebook that spark unrest and breed ill-will.
Really no advice, here: If you are a troll, just stop.
This gal has it all—followers and friends, she’s listed by legions and has subscribers numbering in the thousands. She is liked and favorited and literally shows up on every blogroll and following list of all social media neophytes.
Quality over quantity: Upon reaching a certain level of popularity, engagement changes. Sustaining a dialogue with 1,000s of people is daunting, impossible really. Don’t obsess about numbers, focus on actions and influence. Share something of value, comment on something, as relationships are built, influence will grow.
Angry Birds. Farmville. Mob Wars. Vampire Saga. Nobody, and I mean nobody cares about the cow you found, or the hit you put out on Jimmy. This kind of free time should be put to good use.
Please: Consider that this may mean important things you have to say will never be heard. Get an X-box. Don’t tweet or spam Facebook with your gaming.
Schedule. Diet. Workout. Playlist. REPEAT
Dude: Get a journal.
The inane thoughts that are shared run the gamut from dull to inappropriate.
“OMFG my dog is humping the couch.”
“Eating noodles and they keep slapping my chin.”
“The line at Best Buy is so long. Blue and yellow are so primary. Do you like Kit Kats?”
Also very drawn to the status update/chain letter: “If you believe that kangaroos are sweet you’ll post this to your wall, if you don’t its* clear your* a heartless waste of human”
Our advice: Remember what mom said and tweak it a quarter turn—If you don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t be afraid to be quiet.