How to Write For Social Media

Photo credit: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot

Social media is all about communicating.  It’s about making connections and growing relationships by sharing ideas, thoughts, information, and resources.

Most of communicating on social media comes down to words – tweets, updates, questions, messages, comments, replies.  Words help make us (and our businesses) successful on social media…if used effectively.

How are you writing for social media?  If you’re not sure where you stand, take a look at these helpful social media writing guidelines.

Be brief

Like all other web writing, brevity on social media is essential.  People have endless options when it comes to choosing a message to focus on.  They want to be able to consume you words easily and quickly.

On some social networks (like Twitter), you don’t have a choice when it comes to long messages– you only get 140 characters.  On other platforms, you’re given more freedom.  Regardless of the amount you’re allowed to write, always share your message in the shortest, most effective length possible.

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Some basic ways to slim down your social media chatter: cut out useless words that don’t add anything to your message (very, really, finally, in fact, I mean, etc.).  Also, break grammar rules and use sentence fragments once in a while (it reads like normal conversation and saves room).

Be exciting

If you need to do one thing on social media, it’s to stand out.  Grab attention. Get noticed. How in the world are you supposed to do that? After all, you’re competing with millions of other messages. As a foundation, you need to be offering something valuable.  Whether you’re sharing a link, giving some advice, posting a quote, announcing an event, or asking a question, it needs to be centered on value for your audience.  But guess what?  You need more than a valuable message.   No one is going to notice your value-packed message unless you get their attention by making your words exciting, intriguing, and irresistible.

Use strong, active words.  Be genuine. Say something surprising. Be a little bit controversial. Do something different.

Be friendly

It’s important to remember that social media is just about having conversations with people. It’s not a new language (even if there is some new lingo).  It’s not a different world.  You’re talking with real people, about real things– so you need to write conversationally.  And you need to make friends.

Don’t use hype or sales-y verbiage.  Don’t sound like an advertisement.  Write the way you talk, and strive for meaningful conversations.  Don’t broadcast, communicate.

We already know you need to offer value on social media, and you need to do it in an exciting way, but you also need to be friendly.  If every post, tweet, or update you make shares a valuable link or interesting fact, but you don’t try to make connections with people, your missing out on what social media has to offer your business.  Talk with people, not at them.  For example, create a balance of “informational” messages and “chatting” messages.  Ask and answer questions, comment on someone’s content, send one of your followers/fans/connections a compliment. However you want to do it, just start a conversation.

Writing for social media doesn’t have to be complicated.  In fact, it can be pretty simple.  Just keep in mind key factors like brevity, adding excitement, and being friendly.  Engage your audience, and show your personality.  Social media is a fun and effective way to spread the word about your business, and the more you know about communicating well on your networks, the more success you will enjoy.

What are your tips and tricks for writing well on social media?

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