HR Management & Compliance

Twitter for Dummies

Inspired by the subject, M. Lee Smith’s Twitter master Tony Kessler reviews Twitter for Dummies by Laura Fitton, Michael E. Gruen, and Leslie Poston in rounds of 140 characters or less.

20 Tweets About Twitter For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))

For this book review of Twitter for Dummies, here are 20 tweets (max 140 characters each), or 19 more after this one, by Tony Kessler.

If you’re new to Twitter, don’t expect to read book from cover to cover in one sitting. Use it like a textbook. Work your way through it.

Start by picking effective screen name. Book explains how. Avoid @drunkNtennessee or @sexycutegirl. Mine is @tonykessler. Follow me now.

If you’re tweeting for your company, do likewise. My work stuff can be found at @HRHero. Check it out and follow if you’re interested.

Like me, many people don’t tweet often from their personal accounts. That’s OK. You still have a perch to stay on top of what’s going on.

Book explains how to attract “followers” and pick those you want to follow. There isn’t one correct way to do it. Just wade in and start.

If someone you’re following proves to be too prolific, you have a way out: Simply click the “unfollow” button, and he or she is gone.

Think you can’t say much in 140 characters? You’d be surprised. It’s like headline writing on steroids. Here: 4 sentences in 1 tweet!

Be careful what you write. As book explains, whatever you write is indexed for all time. So, think twice. Or thrice. There are no do-overs.

How to attract more followers? Book’s best advice: Listen. Be genuine. Grow organically. You don’t have to resort to contests or giveaways.

Why is listening so important? You can respond more thoughtfully. Your experience and that of your followers will be more well-rounded.

Inserting links into tweets is a good idea. To get them to fit into 140-character limit, use URL shortener like (

As book points out, shorteners like track how well your link did, letting you know how many people click through or, better yet, RT.

RT? That means someone has retweeted your tweet (or sent it to their followers). Book provides handy 4-page glossary of Twitter terms.

Still have questions about Twitter ettiquette? Send DM (direct message) to one of your Twitter-savvy followers. Most will be helpful.

Thanks to those who answered my questions about how to get up and running: @ruthannharnisch @RossRunkel @danielschwartz and @philipmiles.

Regarding hashtags (Twitter keywords): They help with organization, but don’t overuse them. For @HRHero posts, I often use #HR and #emplaw.

Regarding your followers: It’s OK to manage the list. Yes, you can “block” spammers or people whose avatars are wearing no clothes!

I’m very proud of the list we’re growing. It’s a great group of HR pros, employment law attorneys, workplace experts, and other smart folks.

Twitter for Dummies has been out a while, but still helpful for Twitter newbies. Nice job by authors @pistachio @gruen and @leslie.