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‘Leeters’: Leaders who tweet

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Twitter requires a little restraint: first because of the 140-character limit and second because, in the words of a top tweeter, you’ll want to “think before you click.”

When signing up, keep in mind that your identifying photo is tiny. Since you don’t want to be identified as an egg (the default image), post either a tightly cropped head shot or an icon of your own.

Start by following others. These should be known quantities: leaders you admire (Zappos founder Tony Hsieh is prolific), news outlets, etc.

It’s important to be in a stream of conversation before you tweet. Why?

You don’t want to be tweeting your excitement over a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game at the exact moment most of your followers are bemoaning someone’s death.

What you need to know:

  • Group posts by topic through “hashtags,” which are searchable words or phrases prefixed with a “#” sign.

  • Use an “@” sign followed by a username to mention people or reply to them. Tip: If you start your post with an “@” sign, the only people who will see it are those who follow both of you. Start with a dot to avoid this limitation: “.@”.

  • To share a tweet, “retweet,” which produces “RT” in the message.

Twitter doesn’t feel natural so don’t feel bad if it puts you off. It’s also not the same as Facebook and not a replacement for high-quality data.

Twitter is real-time information, an amplifier of messages, documentation that will last forever, and fun. When you’re ready, try it. Just be sure to spell-check first, and think before you click.

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