After spending a single day on Twitter or Facebook you’ll soon see quotes going through the feed stream. Quotes of inspiration. Topical quotes. Often quotes by everyone but the person posting. Why aren’t people putting their own voice behind the quotes?

Don’t get me wrong, books of quotes and wall plaques can be found in my home. I have my favorites that hold special meaning and are elements of inspiration for me. I just wonder why in social networking more aren’t expressing their own thoughts and allowing their own voices to be heard-shelling out their “˜-isms?’

Think you don’t have anything to say? I challenge you to look closer and dig deeper. If you have a website, raise your hand. If you are an entrepreneur, raise your hand. If you are a parent, raise your hand. If you have a hobby or a pet, raise your hand. If you are alive, raise your hand. Wow! With all of those hands raised, it’s apparent who holds insight that can be beneficial to others.

Every raised hand is one area of knowledge that can be shared with another-potential quotable moments to discuss, expand on, and give value to someone else. A website is a treasure trove of information to craft into 140 character snippets. Talk about articles or books you’ve recently read, or movies you’ve just seen, or seminars you just attended. Did you like it or hate it? Give a mini-review. Heck, write an entire blog post and give the link if you need more than 140 characters. Know of a great restaurant or upcoming event in your community then tell others. Got a shortcut? Found a great link? Let us know.

A Top 10 List can yield ten fast posts. Do three of these and you’ve painlessly written 30 posts. See how effortless it is to find content that’s memorable, has value, can help someone, and is easy to pass on to your social network.

For a time investment of one hour, a whole month’s worth of snippets in your own voice (on a variety of topics) can be prepared. Why not pre-schedule these in Hootsuite so you can set it, forget it, and let ’em rip? Then you’re ready to post randomly, and impulsively, as the topics and conversations beckon to you. With the various Facebook applications syncing your posts between several social networks is a piece of cake-generating the biggest bang for the buck (and your efforts). Or, you can post your “˜-isms’ in real time.

Soon those retweets you see will be your words-the start of YOU being quotable. Suddenly, you will be the one who’s inspiring, motivating, funny, memorable, and an influencer. (Did you know if you’re an influencer you may also be a “whuffie”? But, we’ll save the whuffie discussion for another post, another day.)

Analyze your analytics to see which posts are getting the most attention.

Am I saying never use quotes? No. Quotes are a great way to dip your toe into social media to test the waters and see what this Web 2.0 stuff is all about. This really is fine to do. After the first few months (or sooner), it’s time to jump in and find your voice (and help clients find their voices). It’s time to venture a bit deeper into the pools of conversation and become more engaging, more social, and find a balance of using the occasional quote with your own “˜-isms.’

I’ll leave you with this quote by Tom Ziglar, a recent VAnetworking seminar speaker whom I found inspiring, motivating, and gave a great quote fitting for this topic- “Your only obligation is to “˜Just Start’.”   I encourage you to Just Start.   (I really do like quotes but in moderation, please.)

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