Twitter for Good by Claire Diaz-Ortiz is a concise primer on how to effectively use the Twitter micro-blogging platform to support your nonprofit or charitable cause. I received a reviewer's copy last week and found it to be a quick and informative read for the nonprofit professional.
Subtitled "Change the World One Tweet at a Time", Twitter for Good is probably most helpful for an organizational leader wondering how to leverage this particular social media tool to support your group's mission. Diaz-Ortiz describes a helpful and memorable framework to help you to plan for your use of Twitter by your organization, a structure she calls "T.W.E.E.T." which stands for:
While this framework was written to focus on Twitter, I think it could easily be applied to helping your group think about any other kind of social media tool, whether it is YouTube, Second Life or FaceBook.
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The most useful parts of the book for me were the specific case studies (real and imagined) about how groups can use Twitter for different applications -- fundraising, activism, brand awareness, etc. I'm a Twitter "veteran" of several years, but there were a few applications that I had not heard of that were impressive and memorable. For example, I have not thoroughly explored all that you can do with Twitter "lists" or how to court social media "influencers" to re-tweet your posts.
The book has a breezy, encouraging, positive tone that make it easy to read. One proviso is that the author is an employee of Twitter, so her perspective is as a paid promoter for the platform. So her anecdotes are all unqualified success stories, for obvious reasons.
I would have liked for the author to have stated at some point that an organization's Twitter strategy should be nested within a larger communications / outreach strategy, employing a number of traditional and social media channels. That seems like a fairly obvious and non-controversial point that wouldn't detract from her main thesis. She skirts around this at various points, but it probably deserves to be higlighted.
Overall, Twitter for Good makes a strong case for why Twitter is such a user-friendly, low-barrier-to-entry communications tool that can help an organization achieve greater impact on the world. A newcomer to the professional applications of Twitter will certainly get a good start, and even veteran social media experts might find some fresh insights from the book.
[Full Disclosure: I received a full digital copy of this book for review from the publisher.]