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twitter means business: how microblogging…

twitter means business: how microblogging can help or hurt your company

by Julio Ojeda-Zapata

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The essence of this book comes down to the four uses of twitter:

* Listening. You can get a twitter account and just follow others and listen and watch, you don’t have to tweet a thing. You can search for your interests or products with several search engines for twitter such as Twitter Search and Tweet Scan. From the book just one example: dell once overlooked a top blogger’s complaints about its laptop and soon was associated with the buzzphrase Dell Hell. The problem with listening is who to listen to? How to filter all the information form your followers and who to follow?. That is the most important question when using twitter for a while. Dr Shock uses tweetdeck and grouping those he follows. He has a group of known bloggers, Dutch group and the all group with all those he his following. He keeps an eye on followers and with enough interest the follower gets promoted to one of the groups.
* Speaking. Speaks for itself. Have a great website, blog or product? Spread the word in 140 characters.
* Engaging. Have conversations with your followers, get involved in discussions on twitter. Don’t know how to talk on twitter? to my opinion it is not very different from responding to blog comments. Check out Rules of Engagement for blogging from the US Air Force.
* Evolving. You can use twitter to communicate with your co-workers or promising talents, make twitter work for you.

The rest of the book is full of examples of businesses and how they use twitter for the purposes mentioned above. Mostly this is presented as twitter conversations. One of the conversations is 16 of 130 pages long. About 40 pages is on examples of these companies using twitter. Also the obligatory chapter about Twitter tips and tricks is present in the book.

Nothing here that you won’t find online. Online information about twitter is far better and more up to date, try TwiTip ( )
  vdbroekw | Mar 8, 2009 |
For anyone who twitters, Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s book, Twitter means Business: How Microblogging can Help or Hurt your Company, is for you. For anyone who doesn’t yet twitter, this book would be damned good for you.

I have been on Twitter myself for about a year or so and I really had not yet figured out the benefit, other than social. For instance, quite often when I would tweet some information here in Bangkok my aunt in Arkansas, quite literally halfway around the world, would receive the information on her phone. (A “tweet” is Twitter lingo for a short message on Twitter – all tweets are 140 characters or less). This benefit was very clear. But Julio Ojeda-Zapata really opened my eyes.

First of all, the author has shown the reader how companies can use Twitter to help repair their image service wise. The example he gives is how Comcast keeps an eye on what people tweet about them and then they would follow up on complaints. Other companies such as JetBlue, Zappos and Whole Foods use Twitter in different ways ranging from getting out information their businesses want their customers to know, to using Twitter as a way for employees to communicate with one another, down to promoting customer loyalty. There was one great example where Zappos promoted a cocktail reception for Twitterers with their CEO in San Francisco.

On top of the great examples of the many ways these companies are using Twitter near the end of the book Julio Ojeda-Zapata also gives us lots of information on Twitter applications that help us to greater integrate Twitter into our social media and also to make it a more effective means of getting the word out. I have been working on these since I finished the book.

Personally I have to say that I thought the chapter that concerned the author’s coverage of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis entirely by tweets (over 700 of them in the end) was not only fascinating but was also a clear sign of how Twitter is used to get the word out, not only for the news, but also on policy. Did you know that as of the writing of Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s book that the number one account being followed on Twitter was Barack Obama? More than 100,000 people were following his tweets.

There was one issue that I do think that the author should have taken a bit more precaution with and that has to do with one chapter that he wrote with tweets from his Twitter connections… I don’t know whether this was something that was overlooked or whether it was something that was considered but was decided best left alone but the chapter in question was a bit unintelligible, especially when people where responding to the tweets of others. What was the source of my confusion? Simple. Julio Ojeda-Zapata left the tweets in order that he received them rather than the order that one would normally read a book. So in this case I think it might not have been spelled out clearly enough that if the reader really wanted to get the most out of this chapter he should start from the beginning (bottom) and read the tweets backward. Then it makes more sequential sense.

Nevertheless, this was a wonderful book to read because it really opened my eyes about Twitter on a business and a personal level. It also was short enough I could read it in an afternoon. If you think that your company should be in the Twitterverse and you are considering a policy regarding Twitter then I highly recommend that you buy this book! ( )
  garydale | Feb 2, 2009 |
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Millions of internet users have fallen in love with the Twitter "microblogging" service, which lets them swap brief text "tweets". Now companies are embracing the service to engage customers, promote products and monitor what is being said about their brands.… (more)

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