First off…I have to confess that when I picked up the textbook for class, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, my initial thought was “I’m not intersted in marketing – I want to know what the big deal is about Twitter and Blogs!” But then, I started reading the book and the lightbulb went off in my head: they’re all intertwined. If you involve yourself in social media, in some respect you are marketing yourself. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s about getting yourself out there. And what better way to learn how to enter the world of social media then from someone who is fully absorbed in it, like the author Shama Kabani.
When I read the chapter on Websites and Blogging (2), I was already quite open to both, so Shama didn’t have to do too much to sell me on either. Like a sponge, I absorbed all the practical information in the chapter and then was able to see how it all came together by going online and checking out her blog. That’s one of the bonuses of this book: with the author being a professional immersed in the social media world (and apparantly quite successfully), the reader can easily go online and check out her blog and twitter pages to get real life examples of how it works.
So far, so good…then I had to read chapter 6, Twitter: The Grand Bazaar of Social Networking Sites. Walls went up. Judgements flared. What would possess somone to want to read tweets about all the mundane things people are doing? But again, after only a few pages the lightbulb went off again. When you look at how Twitter can be used from a marketing perspective, where the tweets are purposeful and have value….then Twitter does make sense. The depth of what you can get from Twitter (if you allow yourself to go beyond the superficial) was highligthed so well by the article she included from Tom Morris (“Twisdom: Twitter Wisdom”):
Twitter is not mainly about telling the world, or your 47 followers, what you had for lunch…It’s about building a new form of community. It’s about learning. It’s about support, inspiration and daily motivation. And it’s also about fun. But the most important aspect of Twitter may be that, if you do things right, you begin to surround yourself with an incredible group of people eager to share their best questions and insights about life. They’re all looking for new wisdom and hope. Twisdom is the result. There’s collaborative thinking on Twitter at a level and a form I’ve never seen before…One comment will spark another, and before long, people of different ages and walks of life from around the world are engaged with me and each other in an extended conversation of brief bursts that add up to new realizations for everyone involved.
After reading Morris’ inspiring take on Twitter and then reading through all of Shama’s tips on how to make your tweets worth tweeting, I suddenly found myself getting excited about the world of Twitter. If I found people who followed the same philosophy of ensuring that their tweets were of value, then maybe I too could surround myself with an incredible group of people eager to share their best questions and insights about life.
So was this a good textbook for this class? If it could get someone like me to decide to take the first step into Twitterdom, then the answer is…. a resounding YES.