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The Definitive Twitter Guide: Making Tweets Work for Your Business: 30 Twitter Success Stories From Real Businesses and Non-Profits Paperback – August 20, 2010
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Shannon Evans is an author, instructor, developmental editor, and worthy adviser for creative professionals who want to set themselves apart from the pack. Her books provide a common sense approach to technical information in ways that allow her readers to think differently about subjects while offering them practical tools to implement. Drawing on her extensive writing and editing experience as well as her own publishing journey she is currently working on a "How to Get Non-Fiction into Print" series. Shannon began her career as a writer and publisher of her own nickel paper in grade school. The paper, while highly popular was short lived due to the lack of technology to support replication. She continued publishing underground news papers and pamphlets throughout her years of schooling. After completing a degree or two and accumulating more experience in editing her work and that of her friends and sorority sisters, she moved on to teaching, motherhood and raising a house full of children who loved to hear her stories and avoid her red homework editing pen. While facing the challenges of raising small children, going to school, and teaching full time, Shannon felt that she still had too much spare time on her hands so she began writing and editing for various regional and national women's and educator's magazines. With her kids grown and her hands idle, she turned to writing full length non-fiction and teaching writing workshops. Shannon's workshops and discussion groups are much admired by professionals seeking ways to writing a non-fiction book that still "tells a story". Whether coaching entrepreneurs on the ins and outs of writing a book or in how to create an author's platform that sells, her classes are all well attended and often standing room only. Her frank, down to earth approach to writing a book for the layperson leads the participants to a finished book in hand's in no time! Shannon has a wide and varied background in both the practical and the pragmatic aspects of the business world. As an entrepreneur she loves nothing better than teaching professionals how to write a book that sets them apart from their competition. When she is not writing or teaching she can be found coaching boys' lacrosse, biking, fishing or clamming somewhere in the Seattle metro area.
Top customer reviews
But in being average, I feel that I'm like a lot of people out there. I use Twitter, but probably not to the full potential. I have a blog, but I'm sure I could do more with it. Just like a lot of other people out there. Given that, I feel uniquely qualified to tear into this book and give it a good once-over.
I think this book is essential for those who want to use Twitter for more than telling us what you are making for dinner. When I talk to young people, many want to start some sort of business. That's great, and for those people I suggest finding ways to use Twitter to their best advantage. The Definitive Twitter Guide should be your first stop.
This book is extremely well written, to the point that it could hold my attention long enough for me to read it, start following it, and get up here and write a bunch of words about it. If you are like me, young enough to use Twitter but old enough to be slightly intimidated by the tech, Shannon makes the information accessible.
The PF guy in me wants to leave it at "buy this book", but the teacher in me feels the need to jump in as well. Any of my students will tell you that I rarely give "A's". This is one of those times.
A few months ago, I dragged my mother (a woman in her late 60s) onto Facebook. She has a hard time getting used to it. In fact, she'd like to delete her account but she doesn't know how. Unlike my mom, businesses need to use social media to build relationships, engage with potential customers, and promote themselves. But businesses, like my mother, often don't understand how to use social media tools--like Twitter. This is where Shannon Evans' book, The Definitive Twitter Guide: Making Tweets Work for Your Business, is most valuable. This book will help not only businesses fully understand and use Twitter's potential but also individual Twitter newbies.
I should first provide a bit of context for my review. I've been on Twitter for two years. I've found it to be a wonderful tool for networking, making friends, and keeping up with the latest news (I love to be the first one to know things--just ask my hub). However. Getting on Twitter and figuring things out can be a daunting and time-consuming experience. This book provides both a history of the social media platform and an instruction manual for using it. First and foremost, Evans emphasizes that Twitter enables relationships and can aid your business only as much as you commit to building relationships via tweets.
Evans starts with the simple premise of twitter and builds on it. At the beginning of each chapter you get the "dummies" version of a concept related to tweeting and by the end of it you've got a map for advanced and streamlined twitter use. While her writing voice is authoritative, Evans explains things in layman's terms. This is a quick read and I love how the book demystifies social media without a lot of social media jargon. In some parts, Evans is downright funny (like when she calls spammers "carnies" on page 73). The organization and graphics in this book are great, serving to demystify the ins and outs of tweeting and advanced twitter use. While the title suggests that her audience consists of those wanting to learn more about Twitter for business purposes, Evans' book would be great for anyone looking to improve the quality of their tweets and the depth of their personal/professional networks.
The book has two problems and they have more to do with the genre than with the actual text. The 'real-life' examples of Twitter success in business and non-profits are really just excerpts rather than case studies. I wanted extended examples but then I'm a sucker for narrative (and that's probably why I wanted more). Newbie twitter users will be glad about Evans' judicious use of examples and the attention she gives instead to the hows and whys of tweeting. Secondly, the nature of this genre (social media instruction) threatens the long-term value of this book. Technology evolves so rapidly these days that, while I can't predict that Twitter will be passe in the next few years, some of these third party clients listed in the book might be. This kind of book loses cache after the second year or so because of the changing nature of social media. Still, if you want to learn how to use twitter or if you want to take your tweeting to the next level, this is a great book. I've been tweeting for over two years and still found a lot of useful information to hone my tweets. For example, I love the DM-ing tips on page 77 and also I realized I'm sometimes guilty of those "me, me, me!" tweets she cites as poor practice. Chapter 9 outlines ways to measure how tweeting can affect a business so I intend to use that info to gauge how tweeting affects my blog's traffic. Bottom line: newbie tweeps will benefit *greatly* by using this book. Experienced tweeps will enjoy Evans' book and learn some tricks they didn't know before.
Shannon Evans does a great job describing how to use, understand and get the most from Twitter. The book is well written, informative, and has great illustrations to guide you. The introduction about using social media to build a brand is especially relevant and informative.
I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is a little behind the times on "the Twitter."