What’s Your Twitter Personality Style?

May 18, 2009  

After giving a presentation last week on Personality Poker to a client, one of the other speakers discussed social media and Twitter.  The emcee for the event asked me to comment on which personality style uses Twitter.

My response was, “All of them.  But WHY they Twitter and HOW they Twitter differs.”

We designed Personality Poker to focus on attributes rather than activities.  The reason is that activities do not differentiate personality styles, motivations do.

Nearly everyone reads.  You are reading this blog.  Maybe you read books.  Maybe you only read toothpaste tubes.  It doesn’t matter what you read.  The fact that you read is less interesting than WHY you read.  This  may give insight into your style.  Do you read to learn as much as possible?  If so, you might be an analytical “spade.” Experiential “diamonds” may read to escape.  Competitive “clubs” may read to make them more successful. Emotional “hearts” may read romance novels (I’m joking about this one…maybe).  Of course this is a broad generalization.  In reality, we read for different reasons at different times.

HOW we do what we do also helps us understand our personality.

I am primarily a “high diamond.”  That means I love new experiences.  Travel is my favorite activity.  I am thrilled to be returning to Copenhagen and Greece to speak next week.  What is interesting is HOW I plan my travel.  Although I knew about this trip for many months now, I just made my flight reservations an hour ago.  I still haven’t booked my hotels.  Spontaneity is a cornerstone of my personality (which admittedly is a strength and weakness).  Many people travel.  But HOW we travel may differ.  For example, clubs (especially “low” clubs who are methodical), would have everything planned out well in advance.

So WHY we do things and HOW we do things are indicators of our style.  Not what we do.

So back to Twitter.

If you were to assess who Twitters, I suspect you would find a good cross section of people.  I know many who are competitive clubs and Twitter to help them be successful.  The heart-oriented Twitters are more interested in the connection with other human beings.  Spades may be more data gatherers. Diamonds may be using Twitter because it is new and cool.

I’m a diamond.  I don’t Twitter to become more successful or grow my business (the club style), although that would be nice.  I don’t Twitter to build relationships with people (the heart style), although that too would be nice.  My motivations fall more into the spade (my secondary style) and diamond (my primary style).  I spend more time reading tweets than writing them  And I tend to read more about topics than people.

I use Tweetdeck.  This software allows you to create columns with filters.  For me, my first filter is the word “innovation.”  Anyone who uses the word innovation in a tweet shows up in that column, even if I don’t follow them.  The next column is Boston.  I am interested in my community and the “cool things” going on (a very diamond attribute).  The next column is Boston Innovation.  Finally I get to my friends status updates, replies and direct messages.  The other columns change over time and often feature a client’s name.  Click the image above to see my Tweetdeck.  And no, your eyes are not going bad.  I blurred out the conversations…

Based on WHY I tweet and HOW I tweet, you might get a good sense of my personality style.

Based on the limited information provided in this article, I would love for you to answer the following 3 questions:

  • What do you think is your primary style (analytical spades, creative/experiential diamonds, methodical/competitive clubs, people-oriented hearts?
  • Why do you Twitter?
  • How do you Twitter?

I plan on doing more formal studies on Twitter personality styles in the future.

P.S. I love this story…The other day I did a Personality Poker session with a client.  Someone in the room came to me with their hand – a combination of hearts (lovers of people and relationships) and “high” clubs (lovers of action and competition).  He laughed and said, “I love to play tennis.  And I love to kick the butt of my opponent (a typical high club attribute).  But afterward I feel bad for the person I beat (a heart attribute).”

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2 Responses to “What’s Your Twitter Personality Style?”

  1. Paul Hobcraft on May 20th, 2009 9:42 am


    Thanks for the article, blending your personality poker deck with twitter but it was the Tweetdeck that got my attention and within a few minutes was up and running with it- all thanks to you. So what does that make me in your deck?

  2. Stephen Shapiro on May 22nd, 2009 9:24 am

    Paul…hard to tell your style based on what you did, because I don’t know why you did it. My guess would be that you are a club – probably more action oriented (a “high” club). I do know that you have quite a bit of analytical spade too. What makes you fascinating is that you take a very analytical and pragmatic approach to innovation. I think something the differentiates you in the marketplace.