Full of enthusiasm, I bought copies of Mark’s book not only to read myself, but to give to clients, as a handy reference once our work together ended. I received a curious response: “Rhonda, do you think I’m really going to read a book on Twitter?”
Maybe I should have titled this post “Twitter is not meant for everyone”! It really comes down to a mindset, as this little book explains. Mark boils Twitter down to a sweet little formula:
Business benefits (of Twitter) =
Targeted Connections + Meaningful Content + Authentic Helpfulness
The bottom line: You won’t succeed on Twitter by pushing out one way marketing messages about your business. Twitter is P2P (person to person). Sharing content leads to interactions and awareness … and in the best of circumstances, true relationships and trust. Trust is the ultimate catalyst to business benefits, and that must be earned.
Back to the Tao: Here are some of the book’s highlights for me:
- Twitter how tos: Lists, hashtags, optimal time between tweets( 2-3 hours), optimal # tweets/day (3 – 11), etc. … these details matter, and are explained fully.
- How to define your target audience, and determine what content they would find most helpful. (A business communication strategy is must, and Mark outlines a very sound thought process).
- “Blogs and Twitter: “…some have likened Twitter to the trailer to the blog’s movie”. I love this image, and it is very true and valuable advice for bloggers.
- The importance of culling your followers: Here’s one aspect of Twitter that I never thought about:
“…Remember to cull your followers by blocking obvious spammers…”
Why is this so important? The core measure of most influence scoring systems such as Klout is an ability to show how many people react to your tweets, and how often. The quality of your content and level of engagement is important, but you need to do some audience maintenance from time to time, using a tool like Twitcleaner or something similar, or the level of engagement and influence gets diluted.
So… Is Twitter for Everyone? In my experience, no. I say this with some misgivings, because the business benefits are real. But some of my clients who could benefit the most, have neither the time nor the mindset.
All in all: If you are willing to dedicate real resources to Twitter, and are open to the new opportunities that can come from real conversations and being genuine and helpful, “The Tao of Twitter” will show you how to go about it.
(You might also read a favorite post about Twitter over on Mack Collier’s blog which touches on similar themes — highly recommended).
Please weigh in: is Twitter for everyone? … yes, or no?