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Broadcaster, Curator & Conversationalist: How businesses use Twitter

Yesterday I published a short white paper on how Swedish businesses use Twitter for their official corporate accounts. I looked at more than 350 corporate accounts and especially at the ones with most followers. These top accounts behaved in very different ways and I sorted them into three different categories, labelled Broadcasters, Curators and Conversationalists.

Broadcasters

Mainly use Twitter to publish messages, often with automated feeds from other sources, such as Facebook or press releases. Rarely engage in conversations, answer questions or retweet other users’ tweets. Low share of retweets and replies.

Curators

Actively filter and select the most interesting content on certain topics and share with their followers. Are thought leaders who mix their own expertise with retweets of other sources in the community. High share of retweets.

Conversationalists

High degree of interactivity with other users. Often use Twitter as a tool to help customers, answer questions and engage with the community. High share of replies.

Twitter graph

Depending on which of these categories a corporate account falls into, the way the company staffs its Twitter account also varies. I would imagine that it doesn’t take a lot to become a Broadcaster, just add a number of your own sources that automatically feeds into Twitter, plus the occasional manual entries and you are all set to go. To become a Curator, you would possibly need a person or a team that are some kind of thought leaders, who are interested in the company, the products and the industry. People who read a lot, who like to be in the forefront and lead the way forward. For Conversationalists you typically need a team that can be online constantly and are able to network within the organization so that they quickly can find the answers to customers’ questions.

What other skills do you think are necessary for each of these types of Twitter profiles?

Posted in Business, Twitter.

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5 Responses

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  1. Eirik says

    I like this approach. Often get stuck in the middle, trying to take care of all 3 categories. Next year I think we will see more companies finding out what will suit their business objectives the most.

    Type of skills needed – I think you need to be extremly savy in knowing and understanding your key audiences (stakeholders if you like).

  2. kullin says

    Hi Eirik, good to hear from you. I don’t think that there is anything that says you can’t try both curation and conversation, but I think that one generally tends to lean towards one or the other, depending on your goals and strategy.

    Happy New Year, by the way.

  3. Petter says

    This is a good post. I think that Twitter is going to be more popular this year 2011. In Sweden, there are many people whor doesnt use Twitter. But they will start now, i think.

    Petter

Continuing the Discussion

  1. A Little Birdy Told Me…Week of 1/10/11 « PR in Pink linked to this post on January 14, 2011

    […] How Businesses Use Twitter (by @kullin):
    […]

  2. Do we have to talk about “conversations”…? linked to this post on February 10, 2011

    […] do! They need to figure out what they want to be: person or economic construct. Active or passive conversationalists? Motivator or creator? Former sender or modern vendor? Brands might build a consitent dialogue but […]



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