Book Review: The Tao of Twitter
“The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time” from educator and business consultant Mark W. Schaefer is a quick read about the value of building connections rather than focusing on concrete sales when it comes to Twitter. The book is filled with examples of how personally connecting with other Twitter users—his first example is structured around a simple tweet that he was watching a football game—has led to business opportunities for Schaefer, although he is quick to note that this requires cultivation and time.
His strategies, such as being “authentically helpful” to other Twitter users, include various examples that help give a rounded view of how following his advice could reap numerous benefits by increasing their engagement and letting go of traditional marketing tactics when adopting Twitter as a tool. There is a short section on integrating a personal feel with a large corporate account, but the tactics are limited to designating a “face” to the company or having individuals “sign” each tweet they make on the company account. While a couple of the examples include larger corporations, the real value is found with how smaller businesses and professionals can further their brands through these small-scale interactions.
In addition to discussing engagement, Schaefer includes some very welcome sections on account maintenance, utilizing Twitter chats, increasing engagement, and building followers. The book puts a heavy emphasis on how to use Twitter, but there is little in the way of help for conceptualizing a tone or turning content into 140-character posts. In ending, Schaefer notes that one can only “learn by doing,” which may be a drawback to those looking for more specific strategies for infusing their professional tweets with a more personal tone. Even so, the concise guide offers enough examples and strategic advice on how to utilize the network as the social tool it is while never losing sight of one’s professional goals that it is beneficial for those looking to better understand how to leverage Twitter.