I graduated high school in 2010 and college in 2014. Nobody ever told me that I could write social media posts as part of a job because that job didn’t exist until a few years ago. We forget sometimes, but we’re still in phase one of this whole world-shrinking, always-on era of the internet. There are people doing it well, sure, but nobody has it figured out. We’re all riding the same technological wave, doing our best to shred digital gnar on behalf of brands we care about.
Here are a few tips for writing better internet posts, but recognize they may, and probably will, change soon.
Every 10 seconds, 2 million people across the globe lose interest in the social post they are currently reading.
Every 20 seconds, 500,000 people read a social post and think “that’s so dumb and I don’t need this,” causing them to unfollow the account said dumb social post originated from.
Approximately 10-15 of you have already ditched this blog because you clicked on it accidentally or hate blogs that start with facts.
The above facts are totally made up, but they’re probably true, right? They’re probably true because humanity and technology are evolving congruently. Information travels faster than ever before and if your brand is slow, boring or irrelevant, our brains short circuit and we just swipe away. Affinity is earned, not owed.
If there isn’t a character limit, pretend there is.
Nobody likes to read a paragraph post. Some of us will if it involves puppies, babies, or maybe chocolate, but we don’t want to. Have some respect and tell us what we need to know, fast.
Also, a lot of people reading your posts are doing things like crossing the street or hover boarding and they won’t look up until they finish reading the post. In 2016, shorter is better AND safer for all. Remember that.
As the great Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Translation: You’re dumb if your social copy is long.
Einstein was cold-blooded.
Keep it conversational.
Think of social media as a venue. People go to movie theaters for movies, pizzerias for pizzas, and social media platforms for social interactions around subjects they care about. It’s your job to make sure your audience doesn’t feel like their Google Maps messed up and took them to the wrong place.
Be candid. Be honest. Be genuine. People are following along to talk and get talked at as humans, not encyclopedia-PR robots.
Immerse yourself objectively.
There’s a fine line you have to ride between immersing yourself in social media and observing it from an objective point of view. It’s your job to know how it works, to stay on top of trends, to understand how it feels as a user. At the same time, you’re a professional. You have to observe and report so you can optimize accordingly. Be honest with yourself. If your copy is getting stale or not resonating with your audience, do something about it.
The best way I’ve found to keep it fresh is to keep me fresh. Get up. Move. Play ping pong, Listen to a new playlist. Sit in a new seat. Let your mind wander. Chase boredom. Find inspiration. Eat a snack. Inhale coffee. Do something about your ideas. What’s good for you is good for the brand you’re representing.
Don’t be perfect.
Brace yourself. I have another quote to share: “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” Winston Churchill said that and it’s true. As a functioning perfectionist, it’s something I deal with on a daily basis.
You can spend all the time in the world rearranging words, adding hashtags, etc. but sometimes you just have to let it rip. Tweet it. Post it. Pin it. Snap it. See what happens. As long as it’s on brand and not demeaning to anyone, it’s okay to experiment. That’s how you find user-generated gold.
Have fun. Be fearless.
Shout out to iPhone Notes for always being in my pocket and a great way to brainstorm on-the-go. Also, Grammarly for helping me do gooder at grammar. You can download the Grammarly plugin here.