We all know that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have shown tremendous growth in the past years; and because of their increasing popularity there is a need to understand how these applications affect the nature of online communication and interpersonal relation.

According to the Hyperpersonal Model (Walther 1996), we are able to create a desirable image of ourselves online through selective presentation, idealization and reciprocation. Depending on what messages we choose to share, our audience may construct an idealized image of us, our relationship with the followers, and so on.

Research shows that mixing different types of posts on your twitter account is the key to increasing connection with your audience, building your fan base, improving your online image and influence.

Today we will talk about the types of messages that help you increase your online presence and communication with your audience on Twitter. Twitter is a new form of electronic word of mouth marketing for your brand. Therefore, it is very important to examine how and why people use Twitter.

For example, according to Kim and Lee (2010) college students use Twitter for 6 main reasons: entertainment, passing time, social interaction, information seeking, and information providing professional advancements. Twitter also serves both interpersonal and mass communication purposes (Jansen et al 2009, Palser 2009). It also helps users keep in touch with friends and colleagues, gather information for work and personal interests, broadcast messages to a large audience of followers, and allow for a dialogic communication between companies and consumers.

According to the Bales IPA communication framework, Twitter messages fall into 2 categories. Depending on the goal of the posts, tweets belong to either task communication group (where the tweeter coordinates actions and provides information) or socio-emotional communication group (where the tweeter expresses agreement, disagreement, or emotions in general).

So let’s quickly go over each messages orientation.

Types of task/ instrumental messages:

Ask for opinion
Ask for suggestion
Ask for information
Give opinion
Give suggestion
Give information

Socio-emotional Messages

Positive socio-emotional messages

Show solidarity
Show tension release
Show agreement

Negative socio-emotional messages

Show disagreement
Show tension
Show antagonism

Certainly, if you attempt to create positive self-presence online, and develop more positive relationships with your audience, try to avoid using negative messages. However, for some companies, these negative messages work very well and serve as a way of getting people’s attention. Only YOU know what presence you want to project online.

In any case, researchers suggest mixing messages from the two categories (task and emotion) in order to establish your online presence. Remember that task-oriented messages promote awareness of your brand, and allow your audience be not just passive, but active participants. This is very important for keeping them engaged and for learning about your customer. However, task oriented messages are less influential. In order to augment your online presence with your online influence you need to mix in emotional posts. They will help develop a favorable image and get more retweets from your follower.


Now, what I would like for you to do is, underneath this video, please share what messages that YOU tend to gravitate towards. Did you notice certain types of messages that you post more than others? How can you improve your perfect mix?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Marina Kostina, CEO & Founder of Wired@Heart (www.wiredatheart.com) is a distance learning expert, a trainer and an online business coach. She is a co-author of an Amazon Bestseller, "The Golden Climate in Distance Learning", a winner of Oppenheimer Family Foundation Grants, and STARTALK 2012 grant, and has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences. She provides training to entrepreneurs on how to leverage their businesses online, build online connections, develop online presence, and transcend distances.