Writing for the Web and Social Media


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  • Writing for the WebWriting for Social MediaHummingbirdWhen we’re planning our campaigns, we tend to gravitate towards a picture of our audience in our minds eye that is sat on the sofa, with iPad or daily newspaper, slowly digesting our messaging and its implications. We wish!We wish. In reality, we probably have around thirty seconds of someone’s attention while they’re standing at a bus stop, with a latte in the other hand. And that’s a difficult shift for us to adjust to.
  • Keep it simple. I’m a fan of getting to the point. Writing for a mobile site requires you to kick it up a notch. You have to be even more concise and get to the point even faster. The content should be easy to read on a small screen. Use bullets for lists, and keep paragraphs short for easy scrolling.Make it easy for mobile users to find what they’re looking for. If someone is browsing your site on a mobile device, they’re likely doing it while ordering coffee, waiting for a meeting to start or watching TV. Organize the content with brief headlines, make the text easy to scan, and don’t forget to include contact info in case they want to call or email for more details.Don’t forget about SEO. Mobile content still needs to be optimized for search. Recent studies show that 1 in 3 mobile searches are local, and 61% of users called the business after searching for it on their smartphone. That means users are out on the streets searching for exactly what they want. And since the screen on a mobile device is smaller than a desktop, being at the top of the rankings is even more important if you want to be noticed.
  • Writing for social media does mean changing the way we write – nothing less than designing short attention spans into our content. We now spend as much time planning outputs (interactive charts, punchy intros, subheadings, social media links) as we do messaging.Usability increased 124% when content creators:Kept text concise – 50% of print word countUsed neutral, objective languageUsed an easily scannable layout
  • Designing for Short Attention SpansUsability increased 124% when content creators:Kept text concise – 50% of print word countUsed neutral, objective languageUsed an easily scannable layout
  • But it also means putting the processes in place that allow great content to happen. O2 is a superb example of this – they have created a ‘triage’ so that senior management understand how customer queries are going to be responded to, but don’t have control over what precisely is said. That is (rightly) the job of the community manager.
  • Do you invest appropriate time providing an accompanying image to a post? It’s tempting to think that once you’ve written a post the job is done, but a well-chosen image could increase engagement by over 300%. That could be the difference between a campaign succeeding or not – is it worth your time? With sites like Stocksy around, there really is no excuse.
  • SEO is the process of building pages in a manner that allows pages to rank highly in search results.SEM is usually attributed to paid advertising for keywords.Some consider SEM to also include social marketing, email marketing, content marketing, native advertising, mobile ads, search optimised navigation
  • Volume of mobile searches has grown by 400% in 2013, doubles every two months.15% of Google searches everyday are for things which Google has never seen before.Two thirds of consumer searches are for product information, 1 in 3 local searchers goes on to make a purchase
  • Hummingbird is a new engine that retains some of the older parts of Google that were functioning well. Within five years, Google Hummingbird will kill off ‘brochureware’ sites with only static pages, however well keyword optimised they are. That’s how big it is.Pages that match the meaning of a user’s search will now perform much better than just a few words. When creating a page, a webmaster needs to now ask themselves – what is it the user needs when entering their query, does it match?
  • Google has given examples of how Hummingbird improves results.
  • What do we need to doFocus on market research, not keyword researchIt’s time to get serious about mobile. Always test how your content works on mobile.“Future is about things, not keyword strings”Need to start getting a reputation for yourself (ideally through G+, if possible)SEO is not going to end, but we need to focus on concept matching.
  • Social networks are not channels for what we create – they are for all the people who participate in the network.People make content go viral. Specifically, it’s people’s emotional reactions to content that make it go viral. It’s very difficult to get anyone to share anything without first asking “what is it about this post that would make people want to share it?”
  • Social networks are not best understood as channels down which folk send things, they’re best understood as webs from which members pull down learning (from each other)
  • Writing for the Web and Social Media

    1. 1. Writing for Social Media Kristian Carter Claremont PR www.claremont.org.uk
    2. 2. Writing for the Web How users read text on the Web • Users scan text on websites, rather than reading word for word. • Users read in quick, short bursts and tend to be action-oriented. • Takes longer to read same passage on screen as on a page. 2 | Writing for the Web
    3. 3. Writing for the Web Interactive chart Important Short, punchy intro Engaging Subheadings, short line lengths and mostly 3-line paragraphs 3 | Writing for the Web Social Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15792257
    4. 4. Writing for the Web Keep it short and shareable If you want to get retweets then 100 characters is a good target Be timely Make it conversational Ask for action Think headline, not sales pitch 4 | Writing for the Web Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15792257
    5. 5. Writing for Social Media 5 | Writing for the Web
    6. 6. Imagery is storytelling 6 | Writing for the Web
    7. 7. Writing for the Web Traditional SEO „Ranking Factors‟ • Site content and structure • Content development • Keyword research • Expertise 7 | Writing for the Web
    8. 8. Writing for the Web However, search is evolving… • Rise of ‘Mobile Search’ through Google Voice Search, Siri, Google Now. • Decline of ‘High Volume’ keywords – ‘Apprenticeships’ vs. ‘How can I get an Apprenticeship?’ • Google’s algorithm is well understood by people looking to manipulate search rankings. 8 | Writing for the Web
    9. 9. Writing for the Web Hummingbird – an evolution of search • Serves search habits of today (and tomorrow) • Understands and delivers upon ‘user intent’ • Helps people quickly answer full questions, as opposed to long phrases by individual words • Looks to predict the answer we are looking for 9 | Writing for the Web
    10. 10. Writing for the Web “Pay Your Bills through Citizen Bank and Trust Bank” 10 | Writing for the Web
    11. 11. Writing for the Web What a typical SEO strategy looks like today • Context-based approach • Mobile-first focus • Long tail approach • Better participation on social networks 11 | Writing for the Web
    12. 12. Writing for the Web Tap into human emotion if you want people to share We talk to survive 12 | Writing for the Web November 2013
    13. 13. Writing for the Web Creating shareable content – why do people share? We talk to form social bonds 13 | Writing for the Web November 2013
    14. 14. Writing for the Web Creating shareable content – why do people share? We talk to help others 14 | Writing for the Web
    15. 15. Writing for the Web Creating shareable content – why do people share? We talk to manage how we are perceived 15 | Writing for the Web
    16. 16. Writing for the Web What do we talk about? • We talk about other people • We share feelings, not facts • We share content that triggers emotions • We talk about the things around us 16 | Writing for the Web
    17. 17. Writing for the Web Who do we talk to? • 80% of our conversations are with the same 5-10 people 17 | Writing for the Web
    18. 18. Writing for the Web •‘Library’ content: answers real questions for your audiences •‘Cafe’ content: short, visual, shareable, regular content for social media •Delivered in packages, for different audiences & platforms •Conversational, interactive •Ask for action: headline, not sales pitch 18 | Writing for the Web
    19. 19. Writing for the Web - Tactics Employ the „Why should I share test?‟ • Have a clear social voice – entertainer, host, enabler? • How can you make the end user look good? • Provide facts at the moments that count • Focus on visual content • Test, test, test – draft 25 headlines 19 | Writing for the Web
    20. 20. Thanks Kristian Carter kristian.carter@claremont.org.uk 20 | Writing for the Web