Learn Twitter for business: A great guide for SMB owners

May 18, 2009 •

I follow only around 100 people on Twitter. Only those who are really relevant to my interests and really engaging. Clare Lancaster is one such person. So when she told me she’d written an ebook teaching businesses how to use Twitter FOR business, I assumed it would be very good. I was wrong…

Clare’s book isn’t good, it’s great!

Now, before I offer my review of her book, let’s get one thing straight: I’m not benefitting from this review at all. I don’t earn any commission, nor any kick-back of any other sort. I just loved the book, so I thought I’d recommend it to my readers.

So here’s my review…

Synopsis of ‘Using Twitter for Business’

The book’s title says it all. It’s simply a guide to “Using Twitter for Business”. Nothing more, nothing less. I can’t put it any better than Clare when she says the book is “is a straightforward and concise guide designed for beginners, who don’t have time to search the Internet looking for ways to use Twitter effectively or to read lengthy e-books.”

The Good

  • Easy to read – Clare’s writing is conversational, so it’s very easy to read. The book’s design is very nice too, so you don’t feel like you’re labouring through ‘War And Peace’.
  • Clare ‘gets it’ – Clare understands that Twitter’s real power is that it gives you the ability to develop personal relationships and use them for business ends. And she shows you how. She’s 100% on the money when she says that if you get it right, “you will receive back in ways you can’t imagine”.
  • It’s detailed – Clare offers a bulleted list of tips for using Twitter for marketing. And another list for using it for customers service. And another list for using it for business development. All with practical points you can start using immediately.
  • It’s practical – This ebook’s doesn’t isn’t just vague fluff. Clare actually steps you through the signup process and the Twitter interface and conventions (it’s something of a Twitter manual!), then goes on to discuss how to build a quality network that delivers a return on your time investment (not just motherhood statements here – she even gives a few examples!).

The Bad

Not much bad to point out, really. It’s a great intro to Twitter for business. There were a couple of things though:

  • No mention of Twitter desktop applications – I would have liked to see some discussion of the desktop applications you can use instead of using twitter.com (much as you use Outlook for email instead of logging onto your webmail). Desktop Twitter apps are a great time-saver, and should be considered by anyone who’s using Twitter for business. TweetDeck’s my personal favourite at the moment, but I’m keeping a close eye on Twunami. It looks very promising.
  • Not enough on WHAT to tweet – I’d also have liked a little more discussion on how to choose WHAT to tweet (what to talk about when you post updates on Twitter). You don’t want to bore your followers or overwhelm them, and you have to make sure everything you tweet is directly relevant to the type of followers you want to attract. There’s a bit of an art to this. Perhaps Clare will include it in her second version…?

Conclusion

All-in-all, a very nice introduction to Twitter for business. It doesn’t really contain much that’s not freely available elsewhere on the Web, BUT in Clare’s book, you have it all in one place (which is a huge time-saver) and you know it’s all spot-on advice (because Clare’s a very engaging Twitterer herself!).

I heartily recommend Using Twitter for Business to any small business owner or marketer who’s new to Twitter. At just $14.95, you can’t go wrong!

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Update - Nett, Panels, Quick Guides & Koshie wrote on September 4th, 2009

[...] great feedback that I received from my “Using Twitter for Business” guide has prompted me to turn my 8 [...]

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