July 13, 2014
1. Provide value. Most tweets link to blog posts or other media. Pull a brief value point from your post, such as “always offer value in your tweets” and include a teaser to more information, along with the tiny URL. Of course, the blog post should follow up with plenty of additional tips.
2. Cut superfluous words. It’s obvious with Twitter’s character limit, but still good advice for all business writing. Why use “in order to” when “to” usually does the trick? Other unnecessary words: very, really and quite. For example, replace “very warm” with hot!
3. Don’t rely on a single medium. Using just one social media outlet might work for a few select businesses, but it won’t cut it for most. It would be like advertising in only one magazine or newspaper, or relying on a single networking contact. Select a few outlets and develop a strategy to make them work together for you.
4. Proof all posts. You want to respond quickly to show you’re on top of a crisis or a leading voice, but the news is filled with stories of retractions and apologies. Read everything aloud before posting, once for grammar, typos and structure, and once for tone and meaning.
5. Keep current. If you want to have loyal Facebook and blog followers, post often and use plenty of photos.
6. Hire carefully. If keeping up with posts is too big of a burden, seek help from within or outside your company. But hire or contract carefully – services have cropped up all over that sell content and promise SEO strategies. Make sure you’re not getting content that’s recycled from your competitors in other cities.
7. Avoid cheap content. As a follow-up, many of the content mills offer low rates, but you get what you pay for. The same goes for using interns, who come and go. Sometimes, these solutions work. But it’s better to post quality, tailored content than none at all.
8.Got copyright? Another reason to read and fact-check all content that goes online with your company’s name is to ensure that it’s original. Too many people don’t understand the rules of copyright and plagiarism, preferring to copy and paste content than to write original prose. Use links and credit appropriately, even in social media.
9. Know your audience. That’s a standard for any writing, but since people on social media often skim the words, it takes on new importance. Shape your content according to your target audience’s knowledge and desires, and how you want readers to react to each unique communication.
10. Take all social media advice lightly. Having listed nine items above, remember that anyone can say he or she is an expert, but the best advice to follow is observing what works for you and your business.
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About the AuthorJulie Miller, PhD, MA is a business writing expert, consultant, author, speaker, trainer, and coach. Dr. Miller works with educational institutions, corporations, organizations, and professionals to improve the quality of their writing. She helps people reduce their writing time while producing powerful documents.