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Book Review: Twitter for Good by Claire Diaz-Ortiz

September 16th, 2011. Filed under Authors,Media Reviews,Social Good

twitter for good claire diaz-ortizWe have seen the value that social media offers to businesses and individuals seeking to promote themselves. It only makes sense that non-profits and other entities can harness that same power to promote their causes.

That’s where Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s Twitter for Good comes in. Diaz-Ortiz is the leader of Corporate Social Innovation and Philanthropy at Twitter, so this book could not have come from a more expert source. It also could not have come at a better time, as we’ve seen how just 140 characters can change lives and even direct the course of revolutions.

Diaz-Ortiz has provided a framework for social organizations, both established non-profits and ad hoc causes or conferences, to make more effective use of Twitter. The acronym T.W.E.E.T—Target, Write, Engage, Explore, Track—is meant to guide the user to create a social media policy that will not just promote a particular cause at a particular time, but to open and maintain a meaningful dialogue.

The first step, Target, is arguably the most important. This is where the user needs to decide why they are tweeting. Is it to provide news and information, and thus become a voice of expertise in their field? Is it to fundraise? Or is it to personalize their brand? Diaz-Ortiz writes, “Twitter can be an incredibly effective tool for all organizations, but to use it well you need to know what you hope to achieve by getting on in the first place.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It should be, and yet so many organizations fail to do this first, simple step.

Using anecdotes and sidebars to illustrate her points, Diaz-Ortiz holds your hand through the remaining steps. In each chapter, she includes a list of commonly asked questions and their answers, such as “How often should I tweet?” “What if someone says something negative about my organization?” and “How long should it take each day to tweet?” Her lesson on using hashtags appropriately is alone worth the cost of the book. It’s essentially the Strunk & White of our Twitter culture, meant to be read, digested, and referenced on a regular basis. She even notes, “Learning to use Twitter well is not a science, but an ongoing lesson.”

A slim volume, it is not technically comprehensive, but that is one of its strong points. The assumption is made that readers of this book already have a fundamental grasp of the Twitter platform. So if you’re looking for something that explains how to create a profile, what the difference between “RT” and “MT” is or even what they mean, look elsewhere. This one is meant for anyone who already understands what Twitter is and wants to use it as a tool in their arsenal for social good.

With Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s help, soon we can all be “changing the world—one tweet at a time.”

You can find Twitter for Good at major booksellers online and in most stores, as well as for Nook and Kindle, for under $20. To read more about the author, visit her website at http://clairediazortiz.com/ and follow her on Twitter (@ClaireD).

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