Tweet this and you may be surprised what kind of social media animal you are.

 

Social media as a phenomenon is successful because it satisfies a few basic human needs. We are all programmed to connect, to gossip, to show off our status to the pack and to want to know what everyone else is doing.

I recently read an article that suggested all users were the same mindset, a totally ridiculous idea as there are many types. So forget Myers Briggs, this is myer’s blog guide to social media types. I have no idea what bird Twitter’s logo is, but here’s 10. Which one are you?

1. THE STARLING. Starlings are pack birds and move in groups. It’s all about feeling connected, you must always be part of the group. So get lots of friends, lots of followers and follower lots of people too.

It’s important to know what is going on in the pack or you may get left behind, in fact this can be more important than real life. And keeping up with the pack is essential. This is a perfect example of submissive ‘social norming’ where the pack behaviour dominates the individual’s behaviour. You may recognize the typical teen girl here. You see them walking about with phone in hand so absorbed they are cut off from the real world.

Many psychologists have deep concerns about the effect SM has upon vulnerable teens minds. (I think this is the bird most like the Twitter logo.)

2. THE CROW constantly crows for seemingly no reason, they just seem to like making a noise. See the comparison to Twitter, or maybe it should have been called ‘crowing’ rather than twittering. For the Crow it’s all about getting attention by making noise and humans being social animals need attention. The more social media noise we make, the more we feel we are being herd. The fact few people are actually listening is not the key factor. It’s about monologue not dialogue.

They also like to criticise, YouTube is a must, here it’s acceptable to slag off the video. A Twitter fact, 50% of al Tweets come from just 0.5% of Twitters, 90% from just 10%. And I bet a lot of those are PR agencies! That’s a lot of crowing.

3. THE PEACOCK. What you Tweet or post on Facebook or LinkedIn says a lot about you. We all know that social media is the best lie ever. We can fake an identity, make people think we are dynamic, party going people who live for the moment and live life to the full. That we have hundreds of great friends who all love us.

There has been a defining type of party image that now results in what is called the ‘Facebook pose’. Hands spread out, head towards camera, wide eyed and big mouth open. Yet we also reveal another side, one that shows we are caring community grounded people with a passion for justice. And we like cute kittens too.

Psychologists say that this act of making ourselves look like we are living wonderful lives actually has a downside, we can easily feel inadequate, that others are actually living better lives for real, so leading to depression and isolation.

4. THE MAGPIE is one creature that seems to display OCD. Some people just can’t help themselves, collecting as many friends as they can, endlessly Twittering and messaging the world. It’s an obsession, a deep psychological need. They search the web for articles to collect.

Every new social networking gimmick becomes another chance to waste more time in between therapy sessions. Take Pinterest… perfect for exercising your OCD, the chance to post your collection of nothingness so others can view it. They are also the same at home in, where they cover the fridge in notes, sayings and postcards. You know the type.

5. THE OWL. Some people just like to be know it alls. One upping on others to find the newest, must unusual or extreme blog, article or video. They want you think how clever, finger on the pulse, trend hunting person they are. Desperate for recognition.

6. THE VULTURE is all take and no give. They use SM for their own greed gains. They love networking with a mission, linking up with people who may serve a use. Often bragging about their ‘who’s who’ list of connection.

Ambitious, driven and curious, they also prey upon others, listening but never returning. They nose into your picture gallery, interrogate your messages, what you are up to, check out your friends and then next day make that comment that lets you know they are watching.

7. THE PIGEON has been called a ‘rat with wings’ or ’a flying goat’ as it eats almost anything. Pigeons are interested in offers, deals, knowing what’s happening. They are hanging around everyone to pick up the scraps. Social media sites are like crumbs on the pavement, the next meal. They like to re-message other people’s messages, finds and ideas.

8. THE PARROT does it because everyone else is doing it. Not much else to say really.

9. THE PENGUIN is a light user of social media they almost don’t count. They don’t do a lot. They pop in and out as they please. No loyalty except to vouchers. They are on SM because they occasionally need to be.

10. THE DODO. “I don’t do social media.”

I’m sure we could add anouther 10 types, what would an Eagle be? Or a Pelican? Or an Ostrich?

So where do brands fit in? Do we have a special category for them? I’ll let you figure out if most just end up as crows or as one of the others.

If you like this article don’t forget to impulsively click the LIKE button, or why not post it on your Facebook page and look one step ahead, and Twitter it too. #SMbirds

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