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Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for anyone who wants a simple guide for using Twitter effectively, April 2, 2012
This review is from: The Tao of Twitter: Changing your life and business 140 characters at a time (Paperback)
Why I read The Tao of Twitter:
Twitter is one of the social-media technology companies with a growing influence around the world. I first read about Twitter more than four years ago. I understood that it broadcast messages called "tweets" in 140 characters or less. Unfortunately, I did not know how to use the service effectively.

Since I am now in the final months of a 45-year prison term, I'm trying to educate myself more on social media. I've never accessed the Internet directly, but I've worked hard to build a web presence over the past 15 years. I want to use my website in ways that provide value for people seeking to understand prisons he people they hold, and strategies for overcoming adversity. I suspected that learning more about how to use Twitter would be a good use of my time. My wife researched books that described the service and when she found The Tao of Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer, she sent it to me.

What I learned from reading The Tao of Twitter:
I learned a great deal about using twitter effectively from reading this book. As a federal prisoner I've never had the privilege of logging onto the Internet. From what I'd read in the business news, I knew that Twitter was growing remarkably fast and I instructed my wife, Carole, to reserve a Twitter "handle" for me several years ago. Since then, she has tied my Twitter account to my websites, facebook, and LinkedIn presence. Although I didn't have a coordinated strategy, somehow I've built a following of more than 800 Twitter followers. Still, it wasn't a coordinated strategy, and I knew that I was not using the site effectively. I expect that the information I learned from reading The Tao of Twitter will help me make a more effective use of the 140-character tweets that my wife broadcasts on my behalf.

The author begins his book by acknowledging that, like many people, he didn't initially grasp the significant influence Twitter could have as a tool for business. He quit using the service after a brief try. Then he decided to try it again, and he researched the service more thoroughly. In so doing, he discovered that by incorporating a Twitter strategy, he could build a "tribe" of targeted followers who would work in unison toward mutually advantageous goals. The key to success with Twitter, he found, was in sending regular tweets on a relevant subject. By sending a minimum of three tweets each day, Mr. Schaefer found that he could increase traffic to his blog and build a client base that contributed to increased sales for his business.

Mr. Schaefer offers several useful strategies for attracting targeted followers. He advises users to include a photograph when setting up the user profile on Twitter. The profile should link to the user's website. The biography should include keywords that may help users searching for information a user can provide. He also suggests that Twitter users aspire to build a tribe of at least 200 followers. To do so, he recommends the use of public "lists." That data point helped me because I didn't even know about lists. Apparently, they can help Twitter users find the types of targeted followers that may have an interest in the specific content that an individual creates.

A related site, TWELLOW.COM is "like a yellow pages for Twitter," the author wrote. Users can sign into for free. When they do, they will find an exhaustive directory of Twitter members by category, industry, and specific interests.

In addition to setting up lists, the author advises following other Twitter users with shared business interests. Twitter users can tweet an introduction to their followers. It's an effective way of conducting market research. Another helpful third-party application that Mr. Schaefer recommends is

How reading The Tao of Twitter will contribute to success upon my release from prison:
Since I rely upon my wife to manage my web profile, I try to provide her with as much help as I'm able. We're a team in every way, but since Carole has a full-time career as a nurse, it can be difficult for her to keep up with the amount of content I produce. She has agreed to help me build my Twitter following by posting a minimum of two tweets that I will send her each day. She also will implement the strategies that I learned from Mr. Schaefer's book. When I'm home, I will take over the responsibilities of building my Internet profile, and what I learned from The Tao of Twitter will give me a real advantage in using Twitter effectively. I recommend the 96-page book to anyone who wants a simple guide for using Twitter effectively.
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