A mother noticed her children were huddled around something in the yard. Curiously, she moved towards the children to discover their giggling fascination with whatever object they encircled. Parting the children, she gasped in horror as she saw several baby skunks. She shrieked, “Run!”

All five children picked up a baby skunk and ran.

Messaging is never easy, but new tools like Twitter give more opportunities to clearly communicate.

I recently sat through training by a world class CEO who said, after running multi-million dollar companies for years, that the success or failure of a company was dependent upon one thing: clear communication.

Part of networking is communication and, now more than ever before, social media gives a new way of talking to one another.

As you start Tweeting, you will start attracting followers. When people decide to follow you, they are giving you permission to speak into their lives.

Therefore, make it worthwhile for them to listen.  Here are few guidelines for beginners in Twitter-land.

1.  Repeat what others are saying

If you find a very good article, video, or quote from someone you are following, hit the “retweet” button and Twitter automatically retweets it. This means a lot to the person who originally wrote the Tweet and, according to Twitter etiquette, they might thank you for the RT.

It might look like this I retweeted:

Caleb McNary ‏‪@CalebMcNary

RT: Up and running at the new ‪@mcclurecreative office! ‪http://instagram.com/p/bPXKOwrmpa/ 

 

2.  Share what you find interesting

Find an article or video? Copy the link, make a brief quote, and paste it into your Tweet.  It might look like this Tweet I posted.

Heaven must be waiting for those who died in hell. RIP Arizona Hot Shots.  http://news.yahoo.com/portable-shelters-couldnt-save-19-firefighters-221842035.html

3.  How to reduce the link size

Since you only have 140 characters per tweet, sometimes long quotes eat up most of your space. You have a couple of different options:

 Bitly– You can copy the link to bitly, then it will reduce it, then you copy it back and insert it into your Tweet.

 For example

http://blog.hubspot.com/the-history-of-advertising-war-for-consumer-attention-slideshare?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer00a19&utm_medium=twitter

Can be shortened by Bitly to:  bit.ly/12zdogx

 

4.  Share sayings that means something to you or that you created yourself

Brief quotes with well turned phrases are, as you know, quite powerful. It might look like this:

Lisa Morris‪@WittyPhotos

“The only person you are destined to become is the persone you decide to be”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

5.  Share photographs

Each time you Tweet, there is an icon of a camera at the bottom. You can use that to select a photo off your phone or computer.  Here’s an example:

PHOTOSintheWILD @PHOTOSintheWILD

Flower at Enchanted Forest Park bit.ly/cMLrUC #flora #flower

 

6.  Congratulate people!  If one of your followers or someone you follow has a moment of celebration, congratulate them! It might look like this:

JBF Worldwide‪@JBFWorldwide

Thanks to Global Ambassador @AnchorManAustin for supporting JBF with the School of Rock in NJ! #empowerfromwithin ow.ly/my1Uz

 

7.  Set a schedule

Twitter land can be overwhelming if you get into it very deep. However, to set a schedule in advance, use one of the following:

Tweetdeck – you can manage multiple Twitter accounts here as well as being more selective about which people you want to see their regular Tweets

Buffer – This is a good place to schedule Tweets in advance and manage multiple Twitter accounts.

 The nice thing about these two programs is that they will also automatically shorten your link instead of having to go to Bitly to do that.  The value of Bitly is that it makes the link very short.

 

You have something to say; people want to hear. Make it worth their time to check out your 140 characters or less. The last thing you want is them picking up the skunk and running with it.

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