A lot of people ask me about good books to read to help them get started with Twitter.  There is a lot of content out there on the web, but you have to hunt and peck to get good material.  As you know, I do have my Twitter Tips & Tricks blog where I post tools and tips a couple of times a week, but to get started, I usually do one-on-one or group coaching.

However, there are some people who like to read books.  As a bookworm myself, I totally get that.  With social media, I always caution people to look at the publishing date to make sure they are getting the most current information as things change quickly (such as interfaces and tools).  One way to avoid this is to use ebooks which come out all the time and are usually far more up-to-date than any published book.

Sarah Prout, the publisher of the e-book that I am currently featured in, has just released an e-book on Twitter that I think does a decent job of explaining the fundamentals. While there are a few things that I don't completely support in the book, the majority of it is very educational for persons who are more DIY types.

If you want to build your brand and attract more followers then the Twitter Success Blueprint contains all of the information you need to enrich your business with social media.  Award-winning entrepreneur, author and online socialite, Sarah Prout shares her buzz building, eye-catching strategies that will make Twitter time better for business.

The ebook contains:

- How you can attract thousands of targeted followers FAST!
- Setting up your Twitter page for success
- How to automate your social media time
- Connection strategies
- A new twist on #followfriday
- How to attract attention with your tweets
- Dealing with spammers, stalkers and porn-bots
- And more

Have a website or other online presence but have mainly offline clients? Want to train them to "move" online? Going to an event where you want to leave a physical brand impression that will get people to your website, Facebook group, blog or to follow you on Twitter? Enthusem offers a great solution for bridging your offline and online communications.

With enthusem you can create branded note cards with whatever messaging you want. Inside the card is your copy plus a pick up code to get your attachment.  The attachment can actually be a file - like if you were presenting at a conference and you wanted to offer the slides - or a specific url - you can direct people to a website, a blog, a promotion page, whatever you like.

I have had two experiences with enthusem, both interesting. The first was a card I received from Global Hugs Tour when I checked into my hotel for SOBCon at the beginning of May. It was a nice welcome card that directed me to the enthusem website where I entered a code printed into the card and was directed to a web page that gave highlighted the Global Hugs Tour project.

My second experience was when I received a card from the founder, Steve, after I followed him on Twitter (@enthusem). Instead of a generic DM, I got this card in the mail, which was much more personal and had more impact. It is more personal than a cookie cutter email and it provides a extra brand impression.

It costs $60 to send out 25 cards and $210 to send out 100. There are other amounts to which you can see on their site.

I highly recommend using enthusem as part of your offline and online communication strategy.

Have you seen those lists of the top 25, 36, 48, even 100 Twitter tools? Do your eyes glaze over and head roll back when you reach 21 and 1/2? Me too!

I decided the best thing to do about that is to take them one at a time. And that's exactly what I am going to do!

I have launched the blog, located at http://www.TwitterGoToGal.com.

Come check it out whenever you like, I will be adding info on tools and tips several times a week.


The "Oprah Effect"
Last week (4/17/09) Oprah Winfrey joined the Twitter community.  I originally wanted to put a link in this article if you missed it, usually you can find 100's on You Tube, but the HARPO Publishing empire has had them all pulled, that is an amazing feat in itself! I did find news coverage of the event, and you can see that here.

The impact? Traffic on Twitter was up 43 percent compared to the previous Friday, and 24 percent from the day before the segment aired (see chart below for a visual perspective).  Estimates put the number of new users signing up in the post-Oprah days anywhere from 500,000 to 1.2 million. Added to that was the "first to hit a million followers" competition between Ashton Kutchner and CNN (Ashton won).

What does that mean to you and your business?
It means the opportunity to get in front of a lot more people. To increase your visibility and thereby increasing your online traffic. There are a whole bunch of newly minted Oprah followers, housewives who may not have had any previous social media experience. They don't have many followers yet, and they don't know what to do. Well I do!  ENGAGE them. 

Start by taking a look at who is following Oprah, if they seem "new" take a couple under your wing and show them what to do, what the etiquette is, etc. Pretty soon you have started a conversation, and they will tell people about you, and hey, by the way, I also do this service, or sell that product, and you are no longer a stranger, but one of the tribe.  Familiarity goes a long way.

What not to do? Immediately starting "selling". Not going to work in ANY social media environment, and you are going to turn off a lot of potential new clients.

Now get out there and make some new Twitter friends!