What’s Your Twitter Style? From Kanye to British Petroleum

Style is personal,” says head of social innovation and executive leadership at Twitter, Claire Diaz-Ortiz. “And so is social media.”

The celebrated author of Twitter For Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time, @Claire trains organizations and social enterprises in her TWEET model, a framework to get the most – and give the most via philanthropy, social good and cause marketing – through Twitter.

According to Diaz-Ortiz, the formal constraint of the 140-character limit is the key driver of communication styles on the platform.

“As you adapt to tweeting regularly, the way you view and summarize what you see around you changes as well. Twitter skims the foam off the top, leaving you the essence of your words and thoughts.”

The key to developing your own personal style on Twitter, she says, is locating your raison d’tweet. “Don’t get on Twitter because the guy on the corner told you to. Get on it because you have a purpose.”

Diaz-Ortiz is clear that the best style to own is your own style, she offers four popular modes of Tweeting that new or recent users might want to take a cue from:

1 The ‘let it all hang out’ a la Kanye West style of unfiltered insane brilliance. Who doesn’t want to twitpic a $40,000 velvet couch, after all?

2 The ‘buttoned up and playing it safe’ brand of some Fortune 500s.

3 The ‘public relations approved this tweet’ style of BP in the midst of an oil spill.

4 The ‘I’m here to ridicule you’ style of utter sarcasm a la mock accounts of said BP accounts during said oil spills. Mimicry works. Many a fantastic humor account on Twitter has been a spoof of another.

This article originally appeared in MISC Winter 2013, The Style Issue.

the author

Robert Bolton

Robert Bolton is head of foresight studio at Idea Couture. See his full bio here.