“I don’t get Twitter. What can I do with Twitter that I can’t do with Facebook?” I have heard this question over and over again. The answer? A LOT.
I’m not knocking Facebook or any other site in this post. I just finished reading The Twitter Book, and it was a fun read, with a simple and easy-to-follow (no pun intended) layout. You really don’t know what you’re missing until you check out this book—and as future editions are already planned, this book is just the tip of the iceberg.
The book layout is in a sideways rectangular format (pardon me, as I don’t know the official book format type) as is another O’Reilly book, the nicely done Social Media Marketing by Dan Zarrella). Every other page gives clear screenshots and callouts with examples of what they’re describing in the text.
Here’s a quick breakdown with a few highlights of some things that helped me:
- Chapter 1- Basic overview of what Twitter is and how to use it. (I learned some new, simple hashtags here, as well as nuances about using @ replies. For example, if you start a tweet with an @ reply, not as many people will see it—only those who are following you and th@ person.)
- Chapter 2- Ways to track searches Twitter and mine it for useful links and other information. (This chapter has a BUNCH of great sites that I had a list on a separate sheet of paper for when I got back to my PC. Awesome. I already use TweetDeck occasionally but was too lazy to figure out certain features, but they’re explained here. Also, I didn’t know that Favorites were bookmarks just like with IE, either. Duh.)
- Chapter 3- Etiquette for retweeting, using direct messages (DMs), @ replies, and conversing with other “Tweeps.” (I’m still a little confused about the DM thing, so I just use @ for everyone unless it’s a private comment. The explanation of when to use “RT” versus using “via” was also very helpful.)
- Chapter 4- Sharing links, pictures, and participating in events. (What was new to me was OH = overheard. I haven’t seen that before.)
- Chapter 5- Detailed information about how to set up your profile, bio, and background so that people can find and “follow” you.
- Chapter 6- Business considerations for corporate Twitter accounts, including strategies, enhancing customer loyalty, and integrating your brand with other similar brands of interest to your customers.
The main recommendation I’d make is to put the detailed information about setting up your profile page, background, etc. (as described in Chapter 5) earlier in the book. I’d make it the new Chapter 2. I’d also use a different typeface for the main text, as some letters are easy to get confused with others (case in point, the URL shortener ls.gd vs. is.gd—the latter is correct but the typeface reads “ls.gd”).
As you can see, I learned a lot of cool tips from this book, as well as interesting and knowledgeable people to follow. The Twitter Book is a great primer for anyone who wants to expand their network, supplement their job search or customer base, or make new friends and contacts.