The MARKeting Tao of Twitter

The Mark of a Teacher
I finally read The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer. It has been on my reading list for several months. I started following {grow}, Mark’s blog about six months ago when I saw several interesting tweets mentioned by some people I follow on Twitter. This is an example of how the Tao works. 

Mark and I share several things in common.  Like most good people, he has a strong connection to New Jersey as he teaches at Rutgers although I'm not sure if he lives in the Garden State. He also has an authentic passion for marketing that comes across in his writing and online activity. Although I don't share any interest in football, I do know many die-hard Steelers fans who seems to love the team with great passion and verve. Most of my college friends all came from Pittsburgh as noted in my post Iron and Steelers about life at U of Penn in 1972. The other thing we share in common is a desire to teach, to mentor and to provide advice based on our global marketing expertise acquired over many years.

I don’t claim to be an expert in Twitter and am still earning my wings. Mark's book is for those who don’t get Twitter at all and see it as a huge time suck. He offers several useful metaphors to help the reader gain a deeper understanding of the value. One idea he offers is that when you tweet, think of how you would behave at a dinner party. You wouldn’t go around bragging about your business or trying to sell everyone at the table. You’d engage in conversation, share interesting pieces of information that might intrigue them and you’d offer to help them. Twitter is like a virtual dinner party. You want to find people with shared interest who you can build a relationship with over time.

Mark also explained how lists work in Twitter which was something I didn’t fully understand. He talked about sites like Twellow and Listorious (now Muckrack). These are both very useful sites with a range of searchable databases that can help you build a community or tribe with shared interests. I need to spend some time exploring this in more detail but a hat tip to Mark for pointing me in the right direction.

The book offers a laundry list of wonderful ideas on how to activate some of the best of Twitter’s Tao, which he artfully explains through first-hand experiences. He illustrates how a small tweet about his beloved Steelers led to a connection, that led to engagement and a valuable connection. He and several others all benefited on this new point of intersection and everyone got something useful from the exchange.

Mark’s writing style is easy to digest and without much of the ego often found in these types of books. I hope to connect with Mark in person sometime in the near future to thank him for the insights I have gained from his blog and now from this book. I'm also interested in learning more about his global marketing experience as that is what occupies much of my marketing effort today at Nomacorc

The Tao of Marketing by
Mark Schaefer
I consider The Tao de Ching my favorite book on life. See my blog post on that topic called The Tao of Marketing. Mark’s play on that theme truly struck a chord with me and I am grateful for the lessons learned. I urge you to read it if you are trying to get your wings around Twitter. And, don’t miss the clever yin/yang using the little twitter bird logo. Tweet. 

This book is a feather in Mark's cap.

PS. I tried to write this post in 140 characters. #Fail Whale. 

Notes: If you enjoy my posts, would you share it with your marketing friends? And check out my new book on Amazon. At $2.99 it is a great value. 21 useful lessons based on my marketing experiences. A paperback version will be published in a few weeks for those who like to hold a book in their hands. - 

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