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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 19 December 2012
More than 100 other reviewers at Amazon US have already covered most of the key points I would have made, had I read and then reviewed Mark W. Schaefer's book sooner than now. That said, I still want to add my voice to other reviewers when suggesting that, for those thinking about signing up or have only begun to do so, The Tao of Twitter is probably the single best source of information, insights, and advice.

Since its founding in 2006, Twitter has achieved and continues to sustain extraordinary growth. It now processes hundreds of millions of tweets each day by its members whose number will soon exceed one billion, if it has not already done so.

Schaefer shares my high regard for Tao Te Ching, a primary source in which Lao Tzu ("Old Master") suggests a "way," "path," "route," "doctrine" or even a combination of values and principles that can help a person achieve atonement. That is, to become "at one" with one's self and with others, of course, but also with creative and spiritual forces that many people believe are divine. Jesus once declared, for example, that he (He) was the way and the light to salvation. Millions of non-Christians and especially believers of Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism also seek atonement, if by a different way following a different light.

I agree with Schaefer that Twitter is an enabler with immense potential power that can be activated in a variety of different domains: spiritual, social, economical, technological, commercial, or some multiple thereof. He wrote this book to help guide and inform those who are committed to leverage Twitter power to facilitate, expedite, and enrich "sharing, connecting, teaching, and entertaining" those with whom they are connected and interactive and do so "in the moment -- from every corner of the world."

The material in this book is eminently practical. However, ultimately, I think its greatest value will be measured not so much in terms of what it helps the reader to do but in terms of how much it prepares the reader to help others achieve the atonement to which I referred earlier.
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on 30 October 2014
I recently started a social media marketing internship and i decided that i needed to read up on the subject as my previous knowledge was merely knowing that twitter, linked in, google + and the like existed.
I started with Social Media Explained by Mark W Schaefer and enjoyed it so much that i then moved onto Born to Blog and now here i am with The Tao of Twitter.
This book is a must for anyone who is interested in, works with or merely wants to know what social media is.
Since reading his books i have:

Set up Google+ and Linked In
Gained 250 new followers on twitter in the space of two weeks
Written pieces in group discussions
Been accepted to be a guest blogger
Made valuable and insightful connections
and finally gotten a better idea of how i can succeed in my job.

The Tao of Twitter is an easy to read but informative book. It will inspire you with the stories of how one tweet can lead to business and networking opportunities.

Twitter has replaced the old sit down networking events where all anyone cares about is giving you their card. Twitter is a global networking opportunity that you can't afford to miss out on.

My advice for anyone is to buy social media explained, then move onto this. Finally if you want to get serious about social media buy Born to Blog and Return on Influence. You won't regret any of those purchases.
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on 17 July 2013
The Tao of Twitter shares the author's experience with Twitter, showcasing the business and personal connections that he's made on this social media site. I love that he goes back to his first impressions, and how he gradually began to use the site more and more as he understood how useful it could be.

It's easy to get side tracked on Twitter. People get sucked into the follow-back game, and they get caught up in the idea that they needs thousands of followers in order to be taken seriously. But that's not what it's about.

Social media is all about networking: it's about the people you meet and engage with. It's not about building massive numbers of followers. Mark W. Schaefer makes this very clear through the examples he provides in this book.

This is a great book for anyone who is new to Twitter and who isn't quite sure what it's all about. It's also for people who might have tried the site a few years ago and still think it's all about sharing what you had for breakfast.

It's not. It's about online networking: meeting interesting people, sharing content that you find useful, and helping others out. As Schaefer says, it's all about P2P (person to person) connections.

He talks about authentic helpfulness, and finding your tribe, and how to attract the kind of followers you want to have. I like this book because, while he provides clear steps for beginners to take, he goes beyond the technical steps of getting started and really explains the philosophy behind connecting with people on Twitter. This is something that people keep forgetting to explain about social media: it's about the people you meet, not about the number of followers you have.

Most importantly, he focuses on a "mindset of helpfulness." For business owners using Twitter, this is an ideal place to connect with existing and potential clients so you can help them out. There are so many ways to help in 140 characters or less. Read The Tao of Twitter to learn how.
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on 23 September 2014
It's very obvious when you read this book how easy Twitter is to use, but more importantly it's bursting with excellent tips that you can implement immediately. That's not all, this book showers you with inspiration! Every chapter sparked new ideas as to how I can use twitter in my profession (education) and if you are a business and need to harness the power of social media you need this book!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been using Twitter for a good few years now and whilst I've had some fun, I was looking for more meaningful interactions. This book gives some really brilliant examples and ideas of how chance "meetings" (or should that be tweetings?) have led to big and beautiful things.

The book addresses all the questions a new Twit (?) would want to ask, as well as helping existing users to make better use of their accounts. I am already seeing a difference in the way people interact with and follow me, so I can say that these methods are definitely worth a try.

Recommended for anyone wanting to use Twitter as a tool for their business, but also some relevant points for the hobby user.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've dabbled with Twitter but was conscious that I'd never really used it to its full potential so I was intrigued by this book. It contains anecdotes about the power of making connections through Twitter, as well as useful information about both Twitter basics and more advanced features. The author is quite focussed on using Twitter as a business tool, but many of the ideas will work just as easily for making non-business connections as well. The emphasis is very much on the fact that the true power of Twitter is making links between the real people who use it and this is quite an inspiring thought. It was a fairly quick read, but I can see myself returning to some of the precise practical tips in the future.
Definitely recommended even if, like me, you aren't particularly interested in the business potential of Twitter.
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on 13 August 2013
As a social media coach I like to read other people's perspectives on the topic. I've read a few that just touch the surface or explain things in "management speak", but Mark manages to give practical advice and explain the benefits in a flowing, simple conversational way.

I will happily recommend The Tao of Twitter to attendees of my workshops and to anyone who says "I don't really get Twitter"
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Mark Schaefer explains how he, too, had a false start or two before he really found out how to make Twitter work as a business marketing tool. Schaefer is a marketing consultant and business academic - and now a marketing consultant specialising in social media - a proverbial one man band, and his advice, distilled down to the essence, is to communicate on Twitter in the same way as you would at a face to face networking meeting, like BNI or a Chamber of Commerce. You wouldn't read out press releases, make defamatory statements, make relentless sales pitches nor be gratuitously rude at that sort of a meeting. (Well, actually, I know some people who have come rather close to doing that, but they didn't get anywhere, so we get the message.) So, as you might at a face to face or "IRL" meeting (In Real Life - an interesting Twitterism, considering the implication that Twitter isn't real, but there we are!) you spend some time chatting about other subjects, finding out what's going on in someone's business and finding out how you might help, all short of a pushy sales pitch, you are much more likely to prosper. Provide meaningful content and be genuinely helpful.

Schaefer spends a little time discussing how bigger corporates and even medium sized companies can remain personal while complying with company policies and public relations strategies. McDonald's, for example, has its extensive Twitter team tweet on the same account, but the "sign off" their tweets with their initials, and people can follow links from the Twitter profile page back to the website and see the people behind the letters. US telecoms giant ATT has individual accounts in the style of @ATTSusan, another useful option. This knowledge alone made reading the book worth it for me. The author's preference, however, is to allow people to tweet in their own names, and with a single account that they are using for purely personal conversations as well, but I know how difficult that idea is even for quite small professional firms, for example, terrified as ever of some legal or professional breach.

The book will be most relevant, however, to small and medium sized businesses. It describes business development strategies that are directly at individuals in a personal way, not to market segments or the world in general. Schaefer recommends putting a post-it on your computer: Social Media is P2P (person to person) as a reminder that you're aiming to interact with real people. Schaefer doesn't explain the very basic mechanics of setting up a Twitter account - i any event that's fairly obvious - but he does explain most of the next steps that you have to take to get it to work effectively for you, and then goes on to explain some more advanced techniques, some of which I haven't tried but must check out, like Chats, Brand Pages and advertising.

I find myself, rather like Schaefer not so long ago, someone who has tried twitter but, not having found it to have brought quick commercial successes, has given up again. If you're in the same position - or if you are getting some returns but it's just absorbing too much time - then I think that this book may both inspire and give you some useful new techniques. Twitter is not for everyone, Schaefer admits, but that may be rather more to do with them personally than it has to do with their commercial or professional sector. If you're prepared to give it a go, The Tao of Twitter, short and accessibly written, is well worth a read.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2013
I loved this book from the moment I picked it up. It's written to be helpful and explain at the same time. If you nor the author appear to understand the subject then there is little help. A few years ago I wasn't convinced by all this twitter stuff. I had used various IM tools and long ago, CB radio. So I started out with the notion that you log on and have a chat. Within minutes, or so it seemed, I was getting bombarded with advice over buying followers, SEO tactics and other scarey schemes. Despite all this great advice I plodded on and chatted some more. Sometimes threw a useful link to someone in reply to a question, sometimes a thank you. Slowly the followers increased.

When I picked up Mark's book, the message gelled. The basis is about understanding three basic elements:
Targeted Connections
Meaningful Content
Authentic Helpfulness

It all makes very good sense. No mumbo jumbo and plenty of explanation on how relationships and influence spreads. There are a couple of chapters which certainly added extra value for me. One covered 20 tips which included a final tip on removing twitter feeds from your site. The other was on twitter chats.

If you have used twitter for a while or not, I would advise you to read from cover to cover. Maybe even go back and do the same until it's instinct. Twitter is one of those channels that shows up how authentic people are. If you can understand that you are connecting to people rather than broadcasting, you will see real benefits. As will your connections.

I could not recommend this book highly enough. It has made a real impact on how I use Twitter and there is certainly plenty to keep referring back to.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Whether you're new to Twitter or have been tweeting for a while, this book will be of use. For those new to Twitter, the book starts from the ground up, with absolutely nothing assumed. For those who are more experienced, you will learn useful things you can begin to employ straight away to make a difference to your use of Twitter.

The first question people new to Twitter ask is: why bother? Isn't it all celebs and what you had for lunch? There's a lot of that on Twitter, but there's so much more. And, if you're a smart tweeter, Twitter can (to quote the book) help you to:

- attract new audiences and potential customers, partners and suppliers
- follow news on your industry, market, competition and customers
- solve problems quickly
- stay on top of the latest research, opinion, insights and competitive intelligence
- learn new skills
- strengthen new and existing business relationships
- open up low-cost marketing opportunities

I agree with all of that, having experienced the benefits of Twitter myself.

If you're new, the book provides a gentle but thorough introduction to how to use Twitter. It then guides you very gradually into building your competence on Twitter till you're a confident tweep. It would certainly have been a great help to me to have had this book to hand when I first started out on Twitter.

Intermediate and advanced tweeters will learn valuable new things too, such as how to get the most from Twitter in just 20 minutes a day. There is a lot of practical information packed into this little volume.

Criticisms? I could have done with more information on some topics - such as really drilling down into the detail of managing lists. Also (and this might be a US style of writing), there were a lot of homespun homilies in the book; now, I like a good example, but sometimes I'd like to know the point of the anecdote a little earlier. Also, I would hazard a guess that you'd find most of the content of this book free of charge by trawling the internet.

But that's the beauty of this book: you don't need to. In this book you will find everything you need for some time to come on the dark arts of Twitter. So, if you're wondering whether you should be tweeting for your business: you should. And if you want one book to get you started and keep you going, this could very well be it.
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