9 Types of Twitter Follower – and How to Treat Them

Credit: BigStockPhoto.com

Credit: BigStockPhoto.com

There are several types of social media users in the Twittersphere. Some ‘tweeps’ will be helpful to you, while others will waste your time. Knowing Twitter users’ quirks and traits can show you their likely motives. When you know how they operate, and why, you can work with your followers more effectively. Use this guide to enjoy a better experience with your Twitter connections.

Gatherers
These particular tweeps will only follow you to get you following them, then will sneakily unfollow soon after. You can tell these types of social media users, as they’ll have a considerably larger amount of followers than they are following. Looking at their profile, you may even wonder why they chose to follow you at all. They probably don’t care who you are, and are using your follow to boost their numbers.

If you suspect someone may be a gatherer, either don’t follow them at all, or use a social media tool, such as Qwitter, to let you know when people unfollow you. As soon as a gatherer unfollows, you can reciprocate. You’ll likely never hear from them again.

Supporters
The supporter is someone interested in your field who shares your content fairly often. They may even be in a similar business and offer a service or product that complements yours. This is the sort of tweep you may be able to partner with at some point.

Take the time to build your relationship with supporters. They are your allies, and you must make them feel engaged. Connect with them on other social media channels, including Facebook, Google+ and Linked In. Share their best content, too. It’s important to have personal conversations with supporters to help deepen the relationship.

Bouncers
These are tweeps who continually switch between following and unfollowing you. It’s all part of a strategy to become seen as an authority on Twitter. They will follow you, and when you follow back, they will unfollow you to raise their ratio of followers to following.

Unlike gatherers, if you unfollow a bouncer, they will probably follow you again. They may bounce back between unfollowing and following several times. You will usually find that once this dance has been done for a while, they will stick to following you, so as not to risk losing you as a follower. Often these people will be close to your field of work, so if the bouncing doesn’t drive you completely crazy, the connection may be good for you both after all. But be wary of working directly with someone who does this sort of thing to manipulate their numbers.

Broadcasters
Broadcasters are only out to sell and self-promote. Only follow a broadcaster if you don’t mind repetitive sales tweets clogging up your feed. A broadcaster won’t engage in conversation with you, and their tweets are most likely automated.

If you find a broadcaster’s repetitive tweets aggravating, use a social media tool to filter them out of your main tweet feed. You may even choose to unfollow them for the sake of your social media sanity. Bear in mind that you’ll lose them as a follower immediately if you do.

Listeners
Listeners are both selective and responsive people. These tweeps will take the time to comment on content that they enjoy or resonate with. If you pose a question on Twitter, you can expect the listener to respond. They are usually members of the public, rather than other business people.

Have short conversations with your listeners and show interest when they answer questions. This is a loyal follower, and they can drive interest to your Twitter profile. You might even ask them to retweet stuff they especially like, but don’t ask too often. Listeners are quite discerning, and will choose carefully what they wish to share.

Connectors
This type of tweep is concerned with connecting people over social media. You may find yourself mentioned in their #FF tags for ‘Follow Friday,’ along with a host of other names. Connectors are useful. You should follow them, as they probably know a lot of people.

Thank a connector when they mention you, but keep it brief, as they’re usually busy. Hit the “reply all” button to ensure everyone else on the tagged tweet gets the message too. Usually one or two members of the group will retweet or respond to your shout-out. Check out these tweeps’ profiles — they may make great connections as well.

Fanatics
Fanatics are your super-followers, and a wonderful type of tweep to have on your followers list. They will read almost everything you say, and will favorite and retweet your messages regularly. This is someone who has probably already bought from you and will do so again.

Be sure to thank your fanatics often and mention them personally from time to time. It is always good to let your loyal fans know you appreciate them. A true fanatic will be very vocal about how great you are — and you need to make sure they continue to feel that way.

Serial Requesters
These are tweeps who address you by your twitter handle, as if talking to you personally, and continually ask you to retweet their content. Some of it may seem relevant to your field, but other items be completely off-message. You’ll probably retweet a few messages, before beginning to feel burdened by their repeated requests. If you look at the serial requester’s feed, you may find that they’re sending the same message to dozens of people.

Ask this type of tweep, in turn, to retweet your stuff. If they oblige, there’s no harm in supporting one another, as long as the messages are relevant. If they don’t reciprocate, ignore all further retweet requests. They will usually take the hint and stop asking.

Latchers
The latcher is likely trying to build their Twitter following and will connect with anyone and everyone. They will latch onto you from tweeps you are already connected with, whether or not the field is relevant. They may have discovered you by reading through one of your Twitter friends’ followers lists.

Don’t mind the latcher too much, as long as their content is inoffensive. If you follow them back, they will usually stay as a lifetime follower. Latchers are people you’ll rarely have to talk to, but they may add a useful extra digit to your follower count.