What kind of Twitterer are you?

Today, @RyanHealy asked:

If somebody isn’t following back, does that influence whether you unfollow them or not?

My first reaction was, “no, I follow people to read their tweets, not for the follow back.” I’ve always felt that unfollowing someone just because they don’t follow you back proves that you were lying when you followed them in the first place.

But then I got thinking. There are different types of Twitter users, and one kind could legitimately unfollow if they’re not followed back without being a self-serving liar.

Here are a few kinds of Twitterers:

The Ego Farmer

This is the person who follows all 11 billion people who are on Twitter (or however many there are) in order to get as many followers as possible. They check their follower count a few times a day, and swell with pride every time they see that they’re still ahead of Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen, and President Obama combined.

They never read a single tweet…except their own.

The Spammer

Spammers also follow all 11 billion Twitter users, and then they tweet affiliate offers 100 times a day. They unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow them back.

And they never read a single tweet. Period.

The Junkie

Junkies follow people whose tweets they want to read, and they read all of them.

Junkies may or may not tweet every once in a while. They don’t stick to any particular theme.

The Newswire Junkie

Newswire Junkies are like regular Junkies, except that they keep their tweets pretty much on-topic. If they want to tweet about different topics, they create new accounts for each. It’s all about the information. Or entertainment. Or whatever topics they use Twitter for.

The Twitter Dater

Twitter Daters follow people who they want to build relationships with (for whatever reason). They respond to their tweets and try to engage. They don’t follow 5 billion people because they know they can’t build real relationships with that many people at a time.

If a relationship isn’t working (the other person doesn’t engage in the conversation, they don’t get followed back, or get unfollowed), they make a clean break, unfollow and move on with their lives.

Salesmen

Salesmen will engage anyone in conversation in order to build a responsive audience to promote products to. They follow a lot of people and spend a lot of time interacting, but aren’t really interested in relationships. They follow the money.

Whores

These folks will engage anyone in conversation in order to build a responsive audience to pimp products to. They follow a lot of people and spend a lot of time interacting, but aren’t really interested in relationships. They follow the money.

What’s the difference between a salesman and a whore? Whores are more honest about their intentions!

The Slacker

Slackers join Twitter because they weren’t doing anything else at the moment. They tweet about what they had for breakfast or which historical figure their moldy pizza looks like. They may or may not follow anybody or be followed by anybody.