Here are 10 rules to help get the right tone. Plus one more for free!
1. Write as you speak. It’s more casual and friendly. If you’d feel odd using a word when you talk, don’t use it in your writing.
2. Use personal pronouns ‘you’ and ‘your’ more than ‘we’. The focus is on the reader rather than on your brand, product or business.
3. Use contractions – don’t, can’t, you’re, etc. It’s more natural ‘speaking’ (and more compelling) with easier flow.
4. Use short words as if you are writing a headline. For instance, ‘take apart’ rather than ‘deconstruct’; ‘soon’ not ‘in the immediate future’.
5. Use short sentences of 14 to 16 words (or less).
6. Avoid negative words and phrases. Positive alternatives are quicker, and an upbeat message is more engaging.
7. Aim for balance between representing your brand and sounding like a real person. Social media tends to be in a person’s intimate space so your message needs to be personable not ‘commercial’.
8. Exclamation marks are for real excitement. Hold back so they mean something when you use them.
9. Be wise with abbreviations and emoticons. Yes, they are youthful and light, but what’s the impact on your brand or message?
10. Read your copy aloud before you post. Does it sound right? Your ear is often more reliable than your eye. It’s also a great way to proof your writing.
And one more pointer for good measure.
11. Spelling, grammar, punctuation all still matter. Short writing is no excuse for sloppy writing. It doesn't matter in social media, you say? It does to the decision makers, the influencers, the important people you want to convince to do business with you.
Posted by Dale Cowie