A Reflection on The Tao of Twitter

For those who are looking for some really valuable and useful information on how to use Twitter to promote your business, blog or own personal brand, I would highly suggest reading The Tao of Twitter by social media marketing expert, Mark W. Schaefer. I just finished reading it and feel like I’ve learned a ton of useful information about how Twitter can be used to create so many benefits that I had never even considered before.

In The Tao of Twitter, Schaefer demonstrates the impact that Twitter can have on your life and business and offers an abundance of techniques and recommendations on how to use the platform to generate important business and personal benefits. He suggests a specific “path” (or “Tao”) must be followed to truly reap the benefits of this platform. There are three essentials to this “Tao of Twitter”: Targeted Connections, Meaningful Content, and Authentic Helpfulness.

Through real-world examples and experience, Schaefer illustrates the importance of these elements and offers various practical techniques and tips for establishing them. For instance, in his chapter regarding the first component of the Tao—”Targeted Connections”—he offers “25 Ways to Attract Targeted Followers” and a variety of other techniques to help you build your “tribe” on Twitter. Likewise, in a chapter on the second element—”Meaningful Content”—he offers numerous techniques and recommendations such as a tweeting regimen for beginners who aren’t really sure how to decide how much they should be tweeting a day and how many tweets should be personal vs. professional.

“In an always-on, real-time, global world of business communications, the priority is on human interaction that leads to connections. Connection leads to awareness. Awareness leads to trust. Trust is the ultimate catalyst to business benefits, as it always has been.” -Mark W. Schaefer

An insightful chapter and what I felt was one of the most important themes throughout the book was about the last component of the Tao—“Authentic Helpfulness.” Nobody wants to just be sold to these days. If you can create meaningful connections with people and help them without asking for or expecting anything in return, people will trust you and naturally want to help you too. It’s this importance of a “human touch” that companies and people using Twitter and other social media platforms for business-related purposes need to remember. His points and tips on how people and companies can and should always practice being authentically helpful on Twitter are definitely vital pieces of wisdom to keep in mind when using this platform.

He covers so many more topics surrounding Twitter to get your head wrapped around basically all aspects of this crazy platform. One section I found to be extremely useful was his chapter titled “Lists—the Key to Twitter Sanity.” It’s easy for you to get lost in the chaos and “noise” of Twitter, but with his tips and ideas for using Twitter lists, I now understand that life could be so much easier for me on Twitter. By deciding what kind of information your looking for, you can create lists to reflect the information your seeking or simply just categorize your followers into groups to make life less complicated. This chapter will definitely be useful when organizing and grouping the people that I follow and for future business endeavors.

Other (but definitely not all) sections from this book that I found to be really useful were:

  • Chapter 11: “Twitter Time-Savers”
  • “An Indespensible Guide to Effective Search”
  • Chapter 13: titled “Next Steps,” particularly the “Analytics” and “Listening Platforms” sections
  • Chapter 14: “Becoming a Top Cat on Twitter Chats”

Regardless of whether you are just starting out on Twitter or are an expert looking for new ways to enhance your business on the platform, The Tao of Twitter will be an extremely useful resource and is a great read.


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