SMART TWEETING

We’ve seen loads of books on Twitter, the social networking site, but a new book called “#tweetsmart,” by J.S. McDougall, ($20 from oreilly.com), is the first one we couldn’t put down. Lots of useful stuff here.

It starts at ground zero with a charming tale of the author’s grandfather, who held the world’s longest continually operated ham radio license — 77 years. It segues gracefully from there to connecting to your customers and fans in a way that’s as warm and inviting as grandfather’s connection with his ham radio friend in New Zealand.

The book consists of a series of one- or two-page projects going from easy to advanced. Example: Let’s say you’ve got a burrito restaurant and you want to attract all the burrito lovers in town. Send a broadcast tweet that you’ll give out free burritos to customers who come in with the secret handshake, word, or little dance step. We thought this was a pretty clever business promotion and had a lot of charm.

The book also teaches you the ins and outs of Twitter. For instance, going to the search box on Twitter and typing the pound sign (#) in front of any word will take you to a collection of posts on that topic. It’s something to keep in mind when you post an item. If you write about burritos, say, put “#burritos” in your post to have it added to any other burrito tweets. (Click on “#burritos” in a post to see all the tweets in that category.) Have lots of burritos in stock.

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