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twitter means business: how microblogging can help or hurt your company Paperback – November 14, 2008
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This is a completely business-oriented book about Twitter, ideal for those companies and small business owners wondering, "Why" and "How can something so simple as a 140 character status update be useful to my business?" This book answers this question and provides many helpful examples of companies large and small who use Twitter, describing exactly how they have benefited. It gives you many ideas about how Twitter can be used to help you in business, no matter what type of work you do.
The book includes a nice resource section called "Twitter Tips, Tricks and Tools". The book is a quick read, and quite short (135 pages), but to the point and well worth the expense. I just read another Twitter book called "Twitter Revolution" and found that there was not a huge amount of overlap; both books helped me to understand what the Twitter phenomenon is all about and how to use it for myself. If you're serious about using Twitter for business, get both.
Not only does he show the reader the benefits of Twitter but he shares stories of how to and how not to use the service.
Julio has done a great service to all of us in the business world. He has also done a great service for the Twitter platform as well.
This is definitely a must read.
I have been on Twitter myself for about a year or so and I really had not yet figured out the benefit, other than social. For instance, quite often when I would tweet some information here in Bangkok my aunt in Arkansas, quite literally halfway around the world, would receive the information on her phone. (A "tweet" is Twitter lingo for a short message on Twitter - all tweets are 140 characters or less). This benefit was very clear. But Julio Ojeda-Zapata really opened my eyes.
First of all, the author has shown the reader how companies can use Twitter to help repair their image service wise. The example he gives is how Comcast keeps an eye on what people tweet about them and then they would follow up on complaints. Other companies such as JetBlue, Zappos and Whole Foods use Twitter in different ways ranging from getting out information their businesses want their customers to know, to using Twitter as a way for employees to communicate with one another, down to promoting customer loyalty. There was one great example where Zappos promoted a cocktail reception for Twitterers with their CEO in San Francisco.
On top of the great examples of the many ways these companies are using Twitter near the end of the book Julio Ojeda-Zapata also gives us lots of information on Twitter applications that help us to greater integrate Twitter into our social media and also to make it a more effective means of getting the word out. I have been working on these since I finished the book.
Personally I have to say that I thought the chapter that concerned the author's coverage of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis entirely by tweets (over 700 of them in the end) was not only fascinating but was also a clear sign of how Twitter is used to get the word out, not only for the news, but also on policy. Did you know that as of the writing of Julio Ojeda-Zapata's book that the number one account being followed on Twitter was Barack Obama? More than 100,000 people were following his tweets.
There was one issue that I do think that the author should have taken a bit more precaution with and that has to do with one chapter that he wrote with tweets from his Twitter connections... I don't know whether this was something that was overlooked or whether it was something that was considered but was decided best left alone but the chapter in question was a bit unintelligible, especially when people where responding to the tweets of others. What was the source of my confusion? Simple. Julio Ojeda-Zapata left the tweets in order that he received them rather than the order that one would normally read a book. So in this case I think it might not have been spelled out clearly enough that if the reader really wanted to get the most out of this chapter he should start from the beginning (bottom) and read the tweets backward. Then it makes more sequential sense.
Nevertheless, this was a wonderful book to read because it really opened my eyes about Twitter on a business and a personal level. It also was short enough I could read it in an afternoon. If you think that your company should be in the Twitterverse and you are considering a policy regarding Twitter then I highly recommend that you buy this book!
With fascinating detail, Julio Ojeda-Zapata has created a page-turner with plenty of creative fodder to teach readers about the business uses of Twitter. As he explains on page 5, "Twitter means business. That is, a service initially meant for informal communication between individuals has recently become the darling of businesses, large and small. Such firms are finding the "Twitterverse" a fine place to keep an eye on their brands, and what is said about them."
If you wonder about the numbers, just look on page 9: "according to site-analytics service Compete, Twitter saw more than 2.5 million unique visitors as of August 2008, a 443 percent increase over the previous year."
Throughout the book, Ojeda-Zapata captures the various applications in "Twitter Lessons" which are scattered throughout the book. With little effort, the reader will easily be able to apply these Twitter uses to their own business.
I quickly highlighted and flagged my copy of TWITTER MEANS BUSINESS. I want to use it as a reference which I will use repeatedly until the lessons in this book become second nature to my own business use of this valuable tool.
The one missing piece in TWITTER MEANS BUSINESS is a thorough index but this lack can be filled in with a later edition of the title. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to open new opportunities for their business through Twitter. @terrywhalin
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