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You may have guessed that I love Twitter! I am an avid user and it brings almost half the traffic I get to this site. I also get to connect with some amazing people through it that I would never have connected with otherwise (and may never meet in real life!)
If you don't know anything about Twitter, read this first. For the purposes of this post, I will assume you know at least the basics.
So, I was in London a few weeks ago and wandering around Waterstones bookshop at Piccadilly Circus. This is a 6 storey bookshop that bibliophiles can spend all day and all their money in. Fantastic! Already laden with books, I went to the business section and saw Tee Morris' All a Twitter: A Personal and Professional Guide to Social Networking with Twitter face out on the end row of the internet/social media section. I am fan of Tee's podcast novels and also his social media work so was keen to check out the book (listen to an interview with Tee here).
I was also surprised and delighted to see my own face on the front cover (just under the T and w in case you are searching!). I had of course provided permission, but didn't expect to see me on a book cover in this illustrious store. It was all I could do not to point myself out to the cashier!
So, onto the book review itself because this is a book that has something for everyone!
If you are new to Twitter or have not even tried it yet, the book contains everything you need to get into it successfully. Screenprints for actually what to do, recommendations for how to use it and lots of tools to help you get into the TwitterVerse.
Here are some of the things I found important from the book and my own comments, remembering that I have been on Twitter nearly 6 months and am a ‘power user'. I thought I knew it all… but how wrong could I be!
- Setting up a profile. There is a good section on this and I consider it so important to think before you create your Twitter account. I talk a lot about author branding at the moment, and Tee goes into this outlining his own 2 accounts @teemonster and @ITStudios which serve different purposes. It also explains the importance of the photo and profile background creation, which is surprisingly powerful in enticing people to follow you.
- Using Favourites. I had not really grasped Favourites before. I just used them for ‘bookmarking' while browsing on my iPhone ( I use the Tweetie app). Now I realise that other people can see your Favourites and they can serve to show others what you are interested in. So when you follow someone, check out their favourites and you might learn something new!
- New Tools for Twitter. You definitely need tools to get the most out of Twitter, otherwise it is a confusing stream of multiple consciousness. I have my favourite tools (TweetLater, Tweetie and TweetDeck currently). Tee gave me some more to have a look at that I was aware of but after reading, I actually went to have a look at them. Check out Mr Tweet for finding new people and recommending them. I am currently investigating WordPress plugin Twitter Tools for my own blog based on the book's recommendation. I'm also aiming to try to use TwitPic more, as I usually just do link tweets. A big find for me from the book was Twitalyzer which analyses your tweets and can also be used with Google Analytics. I am happy to find that my Signal-to Noise ratio is ‘astonishingly high' at 97.2% which means I am generally useful, my Generosity is also high but my Influence and Clout could use some boosting!
Twitter for Authors. Tee outlines some of the ways that writers and authors are using Twitter to express and write in a new genre. Twitfic is being used successfully by authors as well as short poems, haiku and fiction over multiple tweets. Even best-selling author Philippa Gregory will be tweeting from her next novel's protagonist so it is turning into a mainstream activity. Commentary of events can also enhance the experience for those there and also help those who missed out. I followed Book Expo America on Twitter and loved being more involved with up to the moment news!
- Using Twitter for Marketing. This is a subject I am passionate about and Tee does a good job of outlining how to do it. You can use the tools to promote your blog and podcast, as well as offer custom avatars, do a Twitter competition or announce events. Obviously Twitter is not just about marketing yourself, it is about connection. I disagree with Tee on some of his points here, but you can have your own opinion! I tweet a lot of links to other people's work – probably 80% of my tweets are to other sites/blogs and promoting others. Tee suggests tweeting a lot of links is not a good thing, but I have found this is what my Twitter brand is now known for and people use me as a source of information. I am recommended with #FollowFriday because of this information and get great feedback so I continue. I also follow people back if they have ‘author/writer/book/publisher' in their profile. I manage the number of people I follow with Groups on TweetDeck so I follow certain feeds of people I am connected with. But this is how I use Twitter, and is not for everyone!
Overall, this is a comprehensive book for people who have not yet embraced Twitter and want to know what it is all about – but it also contains a whole stack of information that more seasoned Tweeters will enjoy! It is also a fun book which enlivens dry screenprints with anecdotes about specific Tweeters and experiences on Twitter.
You can buy the book on Amazon here => All a Twitter: A Personal and Professional Guide to Social Networking with Twitter
There is also a blog and podcast that keeps the content updated.