Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review and Giveaway of The Definitive Twitter Guide: Making Tweets Work for Your Business by Shannon Evans

A few months ago, I dragged my mother (a woman in her late 60s) onto Facebook.  She has a hard time getting used to it.  In fact, she'd like to delete her account but she doesn't know how.  Unlike my mom, businesses need to use social media to build relationships, engage with potential customers, and promote themselves.  But businesses, like my mother, often don't understand how to use social media tools--like Twitter.  This is where Shannon Evans' book, The Definitive Twitter Guide: Making Tweets Work for Your Business, is most valuable.  This book will help not only businesses fully understand and use Twitter's potential but also individual Twitter newbies.

I should first provide a bit of context for my review.  I've been on Twitter for two years.  I've found it to be a wonderful tool for networking, making friends, and keeping up with the latest news (I love to be the first one to know things--just ask my hub).  However. Getting on Twitter and figuring things out can be a daunting and time-consuming experience.  This book provides both a history of the social media platform and an instruction manual for using it. First and foremost, Evans emphasizes that Twitter enables relationships and can aid your business only as much as you commit to building relationships via tweets.

Evans starts with the simple premise of twitter and builds on it.  At the beginning of each chapter you get the “dummies” version of a concept related to tweeting and by the end of it you've got a map for advanced and streamlined twitter use.  While her writing voice is authoritative, Evans explains things in layman's terms. This is a quick read and I love how the book demystifies social media without a lot of social media jargon.  In some parts, Evans is downright funny (like when she calles spammers "carnies" on page 73).  The organization and graphics in this book are great, serving to demystify the ins and outs of tweeting and advanced twitter use. While the title suggests that her audience consists of those wanting to learn more about Twitter for business purposes, Evans' book would be great for anyone looking to improve the quality of their tweets and the depth of their personal/professional networks. 

The book has two problems and they have more to do with the genre than with the acual text.  The 'real-life' examples of Twitter success in business and non-profits are really just excerpts rather than case studies. I wanted extended examples but then I'm a sucker for narrative (and that's probably why I wanted more). Newbie twitter users will be glad about Evans' judicious use of examples and the attention she gives instead to the hows and whys of tweeting.  Secondly, the nature of this genre (social media instruction) threatens the long-term value of this book.  Technology evolves so rapidly these days that, while I can't predict that Twitter will be passe in the next few years, some of these third party clients listed in the book might be. This kind of book loses cache after the second year or so because of the changing nature of social media. Still, if you want to learn how to use twitter or if you want to take your tweeting to the next level, this is a great book. I've been tweeting for over two years and still found a lot of useful information to hone my tweets. For example, I love the DM-ing tips on page 77 and also I realized I'm sometimes guilty of those “me, me, me!” tweets she cites as poor practice. Chapter 9 outlines ways to measure how tweeting can affect a business so I intend to use that info to gauge how tweeting affects my blog's traffic.  Bottom line: newbie tweeps will benefit *greatly* by using this book.  Experienced tweeps will enjoy Evans' book and learn some tricks they didn't know before.

BUY IT: You can purchase Evans' book at Amazon here.

WIN IT: Shannon Evans has graciously offered one lucky reader of Moana Saves an autographed copy of The Definitive Twitter Guide: Making Tweets Work for Your Business!

To earn a mandatory entry, check out The Definitive Twitter Guide: Making Tweets Work for Your Business at Amazon, come back and tell me something you learned about the book. Mandatory means that if you don't do this first, all of your other entries will be disqualified.

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do:

1. Become a public follower of Moana Saves via Google Friend Connect (on the right side).

2. Become an email follower of Shannon Evans' blog here.

3. Follow @shannonevans on Twitter.

4. Follow me on Twitter.

5. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following:
#Win a copy of The Definitive Twitter Guide from @shannonevans and @moanasaves #giveaway 

6. Subscribe to my feed via RSS reader (right side) and/or email updates (left side).

7. Grab my button and put it on your blog until the giveaway is over.

8. Put Moana Saves on your blog list.

9. Like the Moana Saves Facebook page.

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S.  This giveaway ends on Monday, October 18th at 11:59 PM HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  One winner will be chosen randomly via  I will notify the winner via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner. 

Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation from Shannon Evans or her publisher to host this giveaway.  Any and all opinions are my own.
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