Cover image for The Twitter Book

Book description

"Media organizations should take note of Twitter's power to quickly reach their target consumers." --Tim O'Reilly (@timoreilly), in a Los Angeles Times interview, March 2009

This practical guide will teach you everything you need to know to quickly become a Twitter power user. It includes information on the latest third party applications, strategies and tactics for using Twitter's 140-character messages as a serious--and effective--way to boost your business, as well as how to turn Twitter into your personal newspaper, tracking breaking news and learning what matters to you and your friends.

Co-written by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein, widely followed and highly respected twitterers, the practical information in The Twitter Book is presented in a innovative, visually rich format that's packed with clear explanations and examples of best practices that show Twitter in action, as demonstrated by the work of over 60 twitterers.

This book will help you:

  • Use Twitter to connect with colleagues, customers, family, and friends

  • Stand out on Twitter

  • Avoid common Twitter gaffes and pitfalls

  • Build a critical professional communications channel with Twitter--and use the best third-party tools that help you manage it.

If you want to know how to use Twitter like a pro, The Twitter Book will quickly get you up to speed.

About the authors:

Tim O Reilly (@timoreilly), founder and CEO of O Reilly Media, has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. Sarah Milstein (@SarahM) frequently writes, speaks and teaches about Twitter; she was the 21st user of Twitter.

Table of Contents

  1. The Twitter Book
    1. The hashtag for this book is #TwitterBook
    2. Introduction
      1. What is Twitter?
      2. What's Twitter good for? Ambient intimacy
      3. What's Twitter good for? Sharing news and commentary
      4. What's Twitter good for? Breaking news and shared experiences
      5. What's Twitter good for? Mind reading
      6. What's Twitter good for? Business conversations
    3. 1. Get Started
      1. Sign up
      2. Quickly create a compelling profile
      3. Understand what "following" means
      4. Find the people you know on Twitter
      5. Get suggestions for cool people to follow
      6. Twitter from the road
      7. Test-drive the 140-character limit
      8. Trim messages that are too long
      9. The secret to linking in Twitter
      10. Figure out how many people to follow
      11. Join a conversation: the hashtag (#) demystified
      12. Key Twitter jargon: tweet
      13. Key Twitter jargon: @messages
      14. Key Twitter jargon: retweet
      15. Key Twitter jargon: DM
      16. Key Twitter jargon: tweetup
      17. Twitter jargon: Fail Whale
      18. Try it for three weeks or your money back—guaranteed!
      19. Get help from Twitter
    4. 2. Listen In
      1. Use Twitter Search
      2. Keep on an eye on hot topics
      3. Four cool tools for tracking trends: #1
      4. Four cool tools for tracking trends: #2
      5. Four cool tools for tracking trends: #3
      6. Four cool tools for tracking trends: #4
      7. Take advantage of advanced search
      8. Four important things to search for
      9. Advance your advanced search
      10. Track searches with RSS
      11. Track search with email alerts
      12. Track twittered links to your website
      13. Find out what people are reading
      14. Bookmark links to read later
      15. Use a life-changing third-party program
      16. Life-changing program #1: Twhirl
      17. Life-changing program #2: TweetDeck
      18. Use a great mobile client
      19. Follow smart people you don't know
      20. Figure out who's influential on Twitter
    5. 3. Hold Great Conversations
      1. Get great followers
      2. Reply to your @messages
      3. Retweet clearly and classily: Part 1
      4. Retweet clearly and classily: Part 2
      5. When via is better than RT
      6. What to retweet
      7. Troubleshoot your retweets
      8. Ask questions
      9. Answer questions
      10. Send smart @replies
      11. Twitter often...but not too often
      12. Three cool hashtag tricks
      13. Know your new followers
      14. Three tools to figure out your followers
      15. Unfollow graciously
      16. Don't auto-DM (for crying out loud)
      17. Don't spam anyone
      18. Fight spam
    6. 4. Share Information and Ideas
      1. Be interesting to other people
      2. Make sure your messages get seen
      3. Link to interesting stuff around the Web
      4. Link appealingly to your blog or site
      5. Link to a tweet
      6. Post pictures
      7. Live-twitter an event
      8. Overhear things
      9. Publish on Twitter
      10. Participate in fundraising campaigns
      11. Make smart suggestions on FollowFriday
      12. Post on the right days
      13. Repost important messages
    7. 5. Reveal Yourself
      1. Post personal updates
      2. Go beyond "What are you doing?"
      3. Use the right icon
      4. Fill out your full bio (it takes two seconds)
      5. Spiff up your background: Part 1
      6. Spiff up your background: Part 2
      7. Cross-post to your Facebook account
      8. Keep track of friends and family
    8. 6. Twitter for Business: Special Considerations and Ideas
      1. Listen first
      2. Have clear goals
      3. Integrate with your other channels
      4. Start slow, then build
      5. Figure out who does the twittering
      6. Reveal the person behind the curtain
      7. Manage multiple staff Twitterers
      8. Coordinate multiple accounts
      9. Make sure you're findable
      10. Be conversational
      11. Retweet your customers
      12. Offer solid customer support
      13. Post mostly NOT about your company
      14. Link creatively to your own sites
      15. Make money with Twitter
      16. Report problems...and resolutions
      17. Post personal updates
      18. Use URL shorteners to track click-throughs
      19. Engage journalists and PR people
      20. Integrate Twitter with your products
      21. Follow everyone who follows you (almost)
      22. Three key tools for business accounts
      23. Continuing the conversation