While the following post may be drastically overgeneralized, it reflects what I think a person’s Twitter account says about them. It may not always be true; in fact, I’m certain it’s not always true. These are my quick-draw reactions to what I see, however, and I wonder if you agree. Let me know if you don’t!
You have a private account
Duh. You are a private person and likely you use Twitter as a tool to communicate with personal friends only. Also, you may be sharing things that you don’t want future employers to know about. Like those crazy pics from the club.
You have a large following, but follow few people
You must be some sort of rock star! Also, you are likely interested in building your personal brand by broadcasting messages to a large following, rather than hearing what others have to say and carrying on an active dialog.
You follow many people, but only a small percentage follow you back
You probably follow a lot of celebrities, industry leaders and news organizations, who rarely follow you back. You use Twitter as a newsfeed to replace or augment other media outlets. You also may be a little obsessed with celebrities.
Your “following” and “followers” counts are pretty balanced
You are actively engaged or at least interested in having a dialog with people, whether it is a smaller circle of people you actually know and have met or a larger circle of people who share similar interests.
You make it clear in your profile that you #FollowBack
You are interested in developing a large following either for marketing purposes (i.e., creating an audience to spam) or because you equate large followings on Twitter with “fame” (i.e., poor man’s celebrity). NOTE: This also goes for those who follow people only until they follow back, at which point they are unfollowed, causing confusion for the person who was followed when they try to send a direct message, only to discover they cannot because the other party unfollowed shortly after a reciprocal follow was realized.
There are quite a few spam accounts, SEO companies and porn sites following your account
You don’t monitor who follows you or you don’t care enough about who follows you to block them. Or, you like porn.
You post frequently throughout the day
You may be lonely, seeking affirmation and response from others via Twitter. OR, you may be a business that seeks to keep your name in front of prospective customers (who likely are unfollowing at this moment). Or, your mom said she wants to know where you’re at and what you’re doing at all times, and Twitter is the best way to keep her informed.
You haven’t posted since March 2011
OK, this could be a lot of things, and a few of them might not be so great. The best scenario is you tweeted 30 or 40 posts and didn’t get the response you thought you might, so you became disinterested. Or maybe you tweeted too much and then finally forced yourself to quit your Twitter addiction because it was consuming too many of your waking hours. Another scenario is that your Twitter account was tied closely to a job you no longer hold, which may be a positive (if you hated the job) or a negative (if you remain unemployed). It’s probably a best practice for individuals and the companies that hired them to clean up these “loose ends” since they do make a brand statement about both.
Another, more final, explanation might be that you have passed away, leaving behind a legacy of untended social media accounts. I can’t tell you how often I’ve reviewed a Twitter account that had once been tremendously active but suddenly stopped and wondered to myself if something tragic had happened to the person whose face once appeared regularly in my feeds.
Your only tweets are FourSquare updates
You want your friends to meet you in person to converse. Or, you set up the FourSquare feed to Twitter a year ago and forgot about it.
You mostly post pictures of yourself at home, at work, on vacation, and everywhere in-between
You want to show everyone just how awesome your life is. Plus you find it difficult to write using your smart phone.
You mostly post links to industry articles and share experiences from your work
Your use of Twitter is totally professional and you prefer Facebook or an actual face-to-face interaction to share what’s going on in your life.
You mostly post pictures and tweets about your cat(s)
You’re a cat person.