A simple but incredibly useful model of influence says that we persuade from four positions. Here’s a summary of what I reckon to be their various strengths and weaknesses in Twitter content. The different effects though apply to any context where we influence.

‘I’

Bowel movements, inconsequential meals, dramas with their hamster…

An I lets us into every tiny detail of their lives. Boring narcissists – ‘ don’t you get it’s about ME too, you jerk!’ – their frankness may cause us to trust them, readily. We know, often much too much, about where they’re at.

‘You’

A You tweeter attends to lots of online marketing advice and knows they must alert and connect with their audience.

BUT… a You can’t help telling the rest of us what we should do, as well: ‘ You should go in this direction. My empathy with you is such I know this’.

These are the aunties and uncles of Twitter – often running blogs like this one. Please don’t let this prevent you reading on…

‘We’

‘Hey folks, we’re all in this together….let’s all suffer/rejoice/lynch the fascist’.

A We tweeter recognizes a constituency of similar people to themselves and appoints themselves cheerleader on our behalf.

Ironically a We sets themselves above the rest of us as a rabble-rousing visionary: how can we dare to feel differently when they’re whipping us up into a (usually) pc frenzy?

A We can make assumptions that make you cross.

‘Observers’

Ah…an all-seeing, all-objective god of twitter who tells it like it is. Forget touchy-feely from them – it’s just hard analysis and the definitive worldview. And no other news stream needed when these definers get pronouncing.

Some of these folks are desperate to be serious leaders in their field.

But – thank goodness, too, for Observers – for when creative in switching context and expectation, they make humour.

Like this tweet:

New Study Reveals Most Children Unrepentant Sociopaths onion.com/9bYsJX #OnionChildren

And on that note, it is now time perhaps to return to your favourite position.

But remember (or should it be ‘remember?’): like sex, in twitter it is flexibility which helps.

Tweet on, comrades.

ps
Talk to Compel is a lovely little coach-yourself book which gets your voice into top gear. By me.

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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Worrying that I exhibit all of these features at different times. Multiple personality is allowed? I hope?

    Reply
  2. Like tweeting birds, whatsthepont, human beings come in many varieties and certainly at Mrs Motivator we welcome every type of personality: multiple, bi, and single issue…

    And may I ask, please, who have you visited as today? Am rather hoping for Napoleon, Larry David or some guy who owns a massive chocolate business…

    Reply
  3. Like whatsthepont, I too seem to be a Schizophrenic tweeter. But that’s probably because I am able to tweet for me and for my business from the same account, which is why I like the platform so much. It allows me to speak to those who are my personal friends as well as my business contacts.

    I’m not sure what’s going to happen now that Twitter are bringing out dedicated business pages. Will the ensuing split of personalities be too much for my fragile psyche… or indeed my poor typing fingers?

    Reply

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