Writing for Social
by Tanya Ganian
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
(TRANSCRIBED FROM AUDIO)
From social media posts to web copy to ad copy to story telling, your writing skills have to help you reach your goal which is to captivate attention and resonate with your prospects.
You don’t have to be Stephen King but there are some guidelines you do need to follow to be able to keep your writing at a high level. I also want to encourage you to invest in a small pocket size book called the Elements of Style.
You may have hear of this book, it’s a very popular book and it’s been in print for a gazillion years and it’s still very relevant today. It was written by a professor to his students as a writing guide for their essays and it gained popularity and was n high demand, so it went into print. I keep a copy with me anytime I’m on writing assignments for Poolside Boss. IT’S an easy read and you can use it as a reference as well. The worst thing it will do is improve your writing skills, the best thing it will do is totally change the level of your writing.
Let’s address some of the simple guidelines to writing.
- Skip the jargon. Nothing says bland boring and unqualified like jargons. Try to stay away from heavy industry terms. Your goal is to reach as many people as possible, not speak above everyone. The harder it is to understand the message you are trying to convey, the easier it will be to lose a listener. Keep the technical terms and the industry terms for academic papers and write for the mass.
- No such thing as writers block. Write now, edit later.
The best advice I ever got from a fellow writer was JUST WRITE. At the time, when I was working as a web designer, my colleague who was a copyrighter was also an aspiring writer. We had both published in small scale in literary magazines and we both had high hopes of writing best selling novels in the future. Well, I had confided in her at the time that I had a case of writers block and was just stuck. I couldn’t get started. I’d find a quiet place pick up a pen and jus look at a blank sheet of paper. Well she told me that this never happens to her. She just picks up her pen and just writes. She doesn’t overthink it or complicate the process. She just begins.
And I took her advice and never suffered from writers block again. There are a few habits you need to form to never suffer from writer’s block. You need to JUST Start doesn’t matter if where you start and where you end are not congruent. Just let your thoughts transfer to paper or on screen in a free flowing motion. You also need to edit later. DO not edit on the spot. JUST WRITE> if there is a word you feel needs to be replaced, highlight the word. IF there’s a sentence that needs rewriting, underline the sentence and move forward. DO not edit. The first copy IS NEVER the final copy. Every first copy goes through a dozen edits before it’s finalized so don’t worry about getting right the first time. You won’t so accept it and edit later.
- Do not write for academia. Social media is no place for academic posts unless you are posting on a themed account that is centered on an academic theme. Other than that scenario, you have to write to reach an 8th graders brain. That is your goal. If you read your copy, would an 8th grader understand? If they wouldn’t you need to revise it. This is not because your followers aren’t smart enough, it’s because of the mindset they’re in when they find you. When we’re on social, we’re chill, were scrolling. We’re not looking for references and footnotes. We’re there for entertainment, for a story, for a break. Match the mindset of the reader on the platform you serve them and you ‘ll be rewarded with their attention.
- Make your writing purposeful. If your goal is to inspire a reader to be fearless, then make your story relevant to courage. Always keep the end goal of your writing in mind. You have to head somewhere with your story. Even if it’s an Instagram post and its 5 paragraph. It has to be approached with a purpose. I’ll give you a short example. Say you post a picture of your cat: Your copy can’t got on and on about how cute his paws are, and how he looks like a baby when he cuddles in your arms when you’re both napping or how happy his purring makes you feel. All this may be true but there is no point. Carry your story toward a purpose, a life lesson, or an inspiration. Instead talk abut those cute things about fluffy and then stress how important it is to take the time to notice the little things in life, and how we all need to slow down and sooth to the sounds or purring cats. Decide on the purpose of your short post and move your reader toward the purpose.
- Make your sentences short and your paragraphs shorter. Use emojis as a visual break between paragraphs to space out the heavy content. Emojis aren’t just for 7 year olds people. It’s for adults now. The snippet of information that is delivered to us on a daily basis has lowered our attention span to only accept spurts of information. Use emojis to break up heavy copy on social. A small bright icon will serve as a visual break between short paragraphs and lessen the overwhelm of your audience.
Lastly, there’s a cool app called the Hemingway app. It’s free on mobile but you have to pay for the desktop version. It will help correct your grammar, rate the readability of your copy, help you find better shorter words, and spelling mistakes and kickstart your writing up a notch or two.