Find yourself on social media a lot more these days? Be sure you are making the right impression with these five quick tips:
1. Casual and intimate voice. One of the most important things to keep in mind when writing for social media is that it requires a welcoming voice. Your readers want to feel as though they know you to some degree, and a huge part of that connection is making your voice accessible and intimate. This allows you to break some of the “rules” of writing such as using the "I" and "you," as well as contractions. This also means staying away from complicated, industry-specific words and phrases that your audience will not understand and may make them feel as though they are being shut out from the piece.
2. Use questions to your advantage. Writing for social media requires writers to try to engage with their audience, even if the audience is not yet engaging back. One easy and effective way to do this is through asking questions. Simple and general questions like “Feeling the Monday blues?” or “So what will you create today?” can be great ways to hook a reader at the beginning, keep them engaged throughout a longer piece, or to finish concisely. Questions draw your reader into the content of the piece and help them feel as though they are included in the conversation.
3. Create common ground. Questions also serve as a great way to start creating common ground. The trouble of writing for social media is grabbing your audience members’ attention and keeping it amidst all the other things going on on their page and screen. Your audience will be more interested and engaged with your writing if they feel that it is relevant, or about them in some way. Use a common ground to achieve this feeling with your audience. Talk about your Monday morning struggle as a way to bring them into ways to have a better morning routine. Write about what is relevant to your life, whether it be the ups or the downs, and chances are, other people reading will find something in it that they can relate to.
4. End on a positive note. On social media, you want an easy-to-find take away message from your piece. Readers want to feel as though they got something from their time spent focusing on your page, blog, or post. Ending whatever piece with a positive note is a good way to attach that theme to something your audience will want to remember. This positive reinforcement at the end of the piece will also help them to feel as though it's rewarding to read what you put out there, so they will be likely to read your writing more often. The recurring audience is what eventually creates engagement, and that’s the goal!
5. Edit your post. Whether it’s for social media or not, take your writing seriously! Your writing represents you, and social media is one of the easiest ways to reach a lot of people at once. So why wouldn’t you want to take the time to make sure your writing is ready to go out into the world? It’s so easy to get your voice out there now with social media and technology that we often forget how important it can be for us writers. Respect your audience by taking the time to edit your writing, and they will respect you and your work, too!