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Social Media Roundup 7 Tips for Better Social Media Writing
Social Media Roundup AgendaThis week’s Social Media Roundup offers 7 tips that will helpyou and your social media team write more effective socialmedia posts. Introduction #1 Keep it short and to the point #2 It’s not a press release #3 Keep it fun, but professional #4 Connect with your audience #5 Avoid social media slang #6 Don’t be too promotional #7 Edit and proofread
Social Media RoundupIntroduction Writing for social media may sound simple, but it’s more complex than posting on your personal social media pages on a Saturday afternoon. Social media posts and Tweets require some forethought. One simple mistake like a typo or a post that sounds too promotional can damage an organization’s reputation. These 7 tips can work as a checklist or a guide to help you and your organization get the message out using social media while at the same time maintaining the good reputation your organization has worked so hard to build.
Social Media Roundup #1 Keep it short and to the point Short Social media is about brevity. Social media users want their information fast, so they’re not interested in huge blocks of information. Facebook allows for posts with up to 420 characters, but if you want your message to resonate with the audience, your posts should never require your followers to click the “see more” button at the bottom of the post. Write Too long something that draws readers in, and then let your photo, news item or link do the rest. With Twitter, you’re limited to 140 characters, but that doesn’t mean you should use all 140. Leave some room for your followers to comment and retweet your content. With Twitter, write a quick sentence, add a shortened link and let your followers spread the news further. Try to draw people in with short, catchy Tweets. Don’t make users click to “see more”
Social Media Roundup#2 It’s not a press release One of the more common mistakes made by new social media managers is posting press releases to Facebook or other social media platforms. Social media is not the place for PDF documents, dry press releases or boilerplate messages. Social media is about engagement with a large online audience. If you treat them like the press or the media, they will not listen to what you’re saying or comment on the messages you’re trying to place. Save press releases for the press and focus on making organization messages interesting and appealing to a broader audience. If your leadership wants a place on social media for press releases, you can create a custom tab or use the notes tab on Facebook. On Twitter, you can link to it using a catchy or interesting Tweet.
Social Media Roundup#3 Keep it fun, but professional Social media is intended to be conversational. It’s important that your organization use a voice that is both friendly and approachable. It’s important that your organization write “fun” or entertaining posts from time to time to show its human side. Occasionally posting content that is entertaining will help your audience digest the “dose of medicine” command message that you will also post on your social media platforms. While it’s good to have fun with social media, don’t ever forget to maintain professionalism. Make sure that all posts relate to your organization on some level and never write a social media post that can damage the credibility of your organization. While it’s good to ask your followers what they’re interested in, make sure you maintain professional language on your social media sites at all times.
Social Media Roundup#4 Connect with your audience Don’t be afraid to talk directly to your audience. One way to do that is by drafting social media posts that ask what users want to see on your social media sites. In order to effectively connect with your audience, you need to write social media posts that speak directly to them. This can be tricky with large followings, but don’t be afraid reach out to specific audiences. It’s not advised to write “how are we doing?” posts every day, but asking your audience how you’re doing once a month is a good way to see how your audience is responding to your content.
Social Media Roundup#5 Avoid social media slang Leaders in a professional organization do not write “LOL” and “BFF” or use emoticons in memos and official correspondence, so it’s best to not use social media slang in organizational posts. While some may argue that slang and emoticons help with brevity and help an organization connect to a younger demographic, the use of social media slang and emoticons looks unprofessional. Using social media slang and emoticons is not advised, but it’s good for an organization to understand these forms of social media communication since a lot of followers will uses this language when reaching out to your organization through Twitter or when posting to your Facebook wall.
Social Media Roundup#6 Don’t be too promotional While you want followers to be interested in your organization, make sure you avoiding drafting posts that sound too promotional or boastful. Instead of drafting a post explaining why your organization is the best in the Army, try to draft short paragraphs that link to a positive news story about your organization or a photo showing your organization in action. Social media, much like in-person conversation, is all about tone, if your organization comes off as arrogant or self-serving in its social media posts, your social media audience will pick up on that. To avoid being too promotional on Twitter, use the rule of thirds. Post your content a third of the time, post content from other people a third of the time and spend the last third of your time responding to others.
Social Media Roundup#7 Edit and proofread It sounds simple enough, but this is far and away the most common mistake made by social media managers. It’s a mistake that will immediately damage your organizations reputation as well as the overall perception of the Army. Before you post anything to a social media platform, make sure you edit it thoroughly and proofread it several times. Once you’ve looked it over, call someone else over to read it for you to make sure it reads well and makes sense. Once you hit “post” or “tweet” it’s out there, so make sure you share well-edited and proofed content. The image above shows a great story posted to Facebook, but the grammatical error in the first sentence forces users to focus more on the incompetence of the admin rather than the content of the post.
Social Media Roundup Contact informationHave questions? Please feel free toreach out to us at the Online andSocial Media DivisionEmail:Ocpa.firstname.lastname@example.orgTo review and download past editions of theSocial Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare siteat: http://www.slideshare.net/usarmysocialmedia.If you do not have access to Slideshare, they canalso be found on AKO at:https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/505262. AllSocial Media Roundups are authorized to bedistributed to a broader audience.10/5/2011OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRSPENTAGON