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The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time Paperback – July 24, 2012
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"The best book on Twitter you will ever read." -- B2B Marketing Magazine
From the Author
Since the first edition of The Tao of Twitter came out in 2011, I have been amazed at the outpouring of love for this little book that comes across my desk each day. People have told me it has changed their lives. Agencies have bought the book by the case to teach social media to clients. And at least 30 universities are assigning this to business and journalism students as required reading.
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Twitter has received great attention because of its role in various political revolutions during the Arab Spring. While that may have demonstrated the power of Twitter, many people, who then looked at Twitter for the first time, might have been unsure, how this medium could help them.
The author explains all ins and outs of basic twitter plus how to take it to the next level. Anybody following the book can look like a pro in one week. Beyond that Mr. Schaefer delivers the URLs and twitter handles for various outsourceable twitter services, some of which I, a regular twitter user, had never heard of. Very cool. & many thanks.
Schaefer's statistics speak for themselves. Any marketing person should look into this.
" 79 percent of Twitter followers (versus 60 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to recommend brands since becoming a fan or follower. And 67 percent of Twitter followers (versus 51 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to buy the brands they follow."
On the flipside, every individual consumer should look into twitter too. Chances are that consumer input will be heard better and faster via Twitter. In fact, Schaefer tells Heather Armstrong's story
"who had just purchased a new washing machine to keep up with the diapers of her prodigiously-pooping newborn, discovered that her $ 1,300 appliance didn't work. After several weeks of botched service calls, Heather vents on Twitter..."
This is where Schaefer's book excels: Instead of giving the typical bullet lists, which can be found on blogs "7 Ways how to..." he tells stories, which readers can relate to and apply to their own lives.
Lastly, I would like to point out where Schaefer excels most: He explains that even if at first glance it might look different: Twitter is PERSONAL.
It is about demonstrating real class and style. In chapter 3: `Offering Authentic Helpfulness' he suggests to always tweet thank-yous after somebody helped. This in itself is nothing new but it is the author/expert's style, which makes all the difference. Here is his example:
@jfloyd helped me with a problem today. You should definitely follow Jeremy.
These 78 characters demonstrate that Mark Schaefer can teach how to build personal relationships. Instead of tweeting annoying "Gave you +1K", which are really nothing but attempts to brag, Schaefer's tweet shows how to make all tweets personal.
If you plan to read only one book about social media this entire year, I recommend "The Tao of Twitter"
Gisela Hausmann, blogger and author @Naked_Determina
The mantra of this book is "targeted connections, meaningful content, and authentic helpfulness... At its heart, Twitter is a business networking tool... Think of yourself in a networking situation... Would you stand there and read press releases? No... You would seek out great people to connect with, discuss subjects that are interesting to you and them, and look for ways to work together. Twitter can work exactly the same way... It's all about P2P--person to person connections."
The first step in building a network on Twitter is to start following people. "You need both quality engagement and quantity of followers to ultimately be successful." The author recommends following back everyone who follows you, except for obvious robots and spammers. He sends a mixed message by writing, "Remember that you are trying to build a relevant and targeted community. The more people who follow you, the less real interaction you will have with them, so choose your `tweeps' carefully." Hmm. On a side note, Schaefer currently has over 60,000 followers and he follows more than 26,000, presumably chosen carefully.
A related topic is "social-influence-scoring models, such as Klout." He gives two examples. A person with 250 followers sends out a tweet that is retweeted or commented on by 15 people, yielding a 6% engagement ratio. A second person with 10,000 followers sends out a tweet that is retweeted or commented on by 50 people, an engagement ratio of 0.5%. I understand that the first person probably has a more targeted network, but I'm not sure I would agree that someone who engages with 15 people is more influential than someone who engages with 50 people. Maybe this confusion is cleared up in the author's other book, Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing
Chapter Ten suggests numerous ways to use Twitter for business. One example is customer service. "What's the world's favorite Twitter activity? Complaining! ... Most businesses MUST be listening on Twitter!" He adds, "One of the biggest opportunities of social media is `humanizing' the brand... Businesses should aim at involving their own employees to be `brand beacons' on Twitter instead of relying on an outside agency."
A variety of applications and websites are available to help manage Twitter activity. Quite a few are mentioned in the book (e.g. Seesmic, TweetDeck, HootSuite, Twubs, Listorious, wefollow, TweetChat, Twitterfall).
Engaging on Twitter does require a time commitment. If management is reluctant, a "useful tactic is the pilot program... Ask your boss if you can test it for six months." The author recommends that every organization have a social media policy and he provides a link with hundreds of examples.