What is Twitter?
Twitter is a communication tool where you can share what you’re doing, thinking, saying, reading as it’s happening and follow what other people are doing too. Since it’s limited to 140 characters, the messages are brief and easy to follow.
Why Should I Sign Up?
You get a chance to connect directly with amazing people—whether to stay in touch with friends, keep a pulse on what’s going on around the world, or learning how to improve your business. You can connect to anyone from business experts like Marshall Goldsmith to celebrities like William Shatner, athletes like Lance Armstrong to authors like Neil Gaiman, news feeds like CNN to street food vendors like Van Leeuwen Ice Cream , even the whale hanging in the Museum of Natural History!
What Would I Say?
Something. Nothing. Anything. How you use Twitter is up to you. Answer the question of “What are you doing now?”, share an interesting article you just read, or you can simply follow what others are saying. It’s all up to you.
Who Should Follow?
Well of course you should follow AMACOM for updates on our books, information from our authors, and our giveaway Wednesday for a chance to win some AMACOM books. We also participate in the weekly #followreader discussion.
Here are a few of our authors who are actively tweeting away:
Rick Mathieson, author of The On-Demand Brand and Branding Unbound
Scott Fox, author of Internet Riches and e-Riches 2.0
Chuck Martin, author of Smarts and Work Your Strengths
Marilyn Suttle, co-author of Who’s Your Gladys?
John Baldoni, author of Lead by Example and Lead Your Boss
Patrick O’Keefe, author of Managing Online Forums
Eric Garland, author of Future, Inc.
Susan Wilson Solovic, author of The Girls’ Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business and The Girls’ Guide to Power and Success
And a few of the other feeds we like to follow:
American Management Association
New York Public Library
Los Angeles Times Books
FIFA World Cup
Duke University Press
Heather McCormack, Book Review Editor at Library Journal
Amy Cosper, Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine
Eve Tahmincioglu, career columnist
Bethanne Patrick, book reviewer
Christine Thomas, book reviewer
Did You Say Giveaway?
Yes! Every Wednesday at 12:00 noon Eastern (USA) time we start a giveaway of five AMACOM books. Just follow the directions to win the book for that week, either by @ replying (@AMACOMBooks), retweeting (RT @AMACOMBooks), or recommending the book to someone else (Hey @AMACOMBooks! I think @AMAnet wants a copy of The On-Demand Brand!).
Wait a Minute. What Did You Just Say?
Yes, Twitter has it’s own lingo, so people could communicate easier with the 140 character limit. It’s easy to pick up, so don’t worry.
Tweet = update or message posted via Twitter
@twitterhandle = reply or mention: if it’s the first thing in the message, it’s part of a conversation; if it’s anywhere else in the message then it’s a mention
RT @twitterhandle = retweet: passing someone else’s tweet on to your followers
DM twitterhandle = direct message: a private message from one user to another (unlike the public @ reply)
This All Sounds Far Too Complicated
We can make it easier! Or rather, here are a few tools we recommend for keeping tabs on Twitter.
Tweetdeck = a software program you can download to your desktop to easily read Twitter by separating information out into different columns
Hootsuite = a web-based program that also separates Twitter feeds out into different columns and allows you to schedule tweets
Digsby = a software program you can download to your desktop and easily read Twitter through an icon in your system tray
I’m Undecided. Do You Have Some Reading Materials for Me to Peruse?
Here are a few resources to help you get a handle on Twitter.
What AMACOM Authors are Saying About Twitter
“Think ‘give,’ not ‘sell’ on twitter. I give quotes, links to valuable blog posts, articles and videos, and I freely retweet posts of value to my followers. I found that there are pre-exisiting hashtags that connected me to ‘my people’ for example #custserv and #customerservice we already being used and I was able to tap in. I have received radio interviews, requests for articles and guest blog posts, and was even booked for a speaking engagement thanks to twitter. I also got a great review in Gladys Magazine when I discovered them on twitter and sent a direct message offering to send them a book.” —Marilyn Suttle, co-author of Who’s Your Gladys?
“Be wary of those placing ‘rules’ around Twitter. Twitter is what you make it and it comes with the ultimate equalizer: the ability to follow or unfollow whatever or whoever you want.” —Patrick O’Keefe, author of Managing Online Forums
“I resisted using Twitter and Facebook as an author for the longest time because I didn’t want to become one of those shameless self-promoting writers. But after acquiescing, I found that Twitter was a great place for me to continue a conversation with readers and colleagues through value-added links, provocative thoughts, and insights related to my topic. And sparingly (1 for every 10), I offer updates on the book or other activities and ironically, these posts are the ones most commonly re-tweeted or that lead to some of my best speaking gigs.” —David Livermore, author of Leading with Cultural Intelligence
“Twitter has been connecting me with a larger community of customer service experts like no other medium lately. Opinions are strong – sometimes they’re heated – but what a great soapbox – look, I’ve just been re-tweeted!” —Rich Gallagher, author of How to Tell Anyone Anything and What to Say to a Porcupine
“Look past the hype about Twitter to recognize it as a powerful tool to help grow your business. You can reach new customers and connect better with current ones in a friendly real-time format. Twitter is not as trivial or as difficult as you may have been told – just think of your tweets as really short email newsletters! The Twitter.com web site is a pain to use. If you want to put Twitter to good use, try free programs from Tweetdeck.com or Hootsuite.com to make your ‘tweeting’ a lot more efficient and effective.” —Scott Fox, author of Internet Riches and e-Riches 2.0
What AMACOM Employees are Saying About Twitter
“Twitter has a unique ability to bring together a far flung collection of hobbyists, fans, journalists, bloggers and the others to have ongoing conversations about their favorite teams, trade rumors, stats, fantasy leagues and more. And by far flung, I’ve followed Yankee fans in England, Dubai and the Philippines; a former major leaguer who’s currently playing in Korea and those are the few that come immediately to my mind. Many of them have become good friends who I speak or chat with on a regular basis after the games and after the seasons have ended – and not just about baseball. As a freelance music journalist and photographer, I’ve been able to promote and discuss my own various projects as well as get a good sense of what music or other trends people are talking about, as well as an opportunity to talk shop with other music journalists across North America. I can’t speak for everyone who’s used Twitter but I’ve found an eclectic, ever changing community of fans, friends and nerds.” —William Helms, Editorial Assistant
“Twitter doesn’t make sense until you are a part of it. My favorite bad metaphor: ‘a cocktail party with people around the world.’ News is constantly breaking; it’s often the first place I hear about industry shake-ups, media moves, new books, and great articles. I’m constantly making new connections.” —Alice Northover, Publicist
“I really only monitor Twitter on my Blackberry using the Ubertwitter app. I don’t follow many users but I get some great information. On the business side, I follow a couple folks in publishing whose opinions I find valuable on industry trends, although I don’t always have time to follow the links they send. On the personal side, I like following the updates from Westchester Magazine that has links to weekend events and reviews, and tweets from a cooking blog I follow reminds me to go back to the blog – and of course the links make it easy.” —Rosemary Carlough, VP of Sales & Marketing
We’ll tweet you back!