Writing Effectively Social Media 071608 (3)


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Do’s and don’ts for writing online to help get your intended message read and acted upon.

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Writing Effectively Social Media 071608 (3)

  1. 1. Writing Effectively for the Social Media Environment M. Lisa Forner, MA
  2. 2. Does this look familiar? <ul><li>( Email sent within a company department) </li></ul><ul><li>since i've been handling this issue for a while between the Dept heads and TVL, is that in regards to Hardware and Software installs in the future,this will be submitted,not by helpdesk tickets, but by the correct paperwork submitted by the Dept heads to TVL only and so, all requests to the helpdesk, in this regard, will be redirected to follow this method of submittal per TVL. Forms will be provided and i believe David B plans on addressing this in todays I.T meeting. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Effective writing is about getting your message across and appearing credible, professional, likeable. </li></ul><ul><li>Good writing – is it devalued? Out of style? </li></ul><ul><li>No. It is even more important in social media where much of the communication is in writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Today I’ll share some general tips for writing effectively online: web sites, blogs, email, and social networking sites. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>What is effective writing? </li></ul><ul><li>Effective writing makes it easy for readers to understand your message and, usually, take some form of action. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the three Cs: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity (readability) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conciseness (efficiency) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consistency (predictability) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Tip #1 <ul><li>1. Consider your audience. </li></ul><ul><li>The reader is number 1! </li></ul><ul><li>Write with them in mind, from their point of view (WIIFM). Picture them while you write. </li></ul><ul><li>What do you need to know about them? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are they? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they know already? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they expect/want to know? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are your language and tone appropriate? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Consider Your Audience <ul><li>Other issues about your online readers and the environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience time constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have less attention span online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More interactive than passive medium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More intentional reading; “on a mission” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often scanning rather than reading word-for-word </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Tip #2 <ul><li>2. Don’t “barf” on your reader. </li></ul><ul><li>Your writing may be the only vehicle you have to connect with the readers. No voice, physical presence (unless have video). </li></ul><ul><li>Each time you write something, you touch the reader and make an impression. What do you want that to be? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Barfing” can be confusing and seen as disrespectful. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Don’t “Barf” on Your Reader <ul><li>Instead: Be more thoughtful, thorough in your approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind their time constraints, “TMI.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Barfing” is a good way to start your writing but should be “cleaned up” before it gets to the reader. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Tip #3 <ul><li>3. Format for an electronic medium. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the characteristics of the medium and the readers: harder to read on screen, shorter attention span, interactive nature, reader “on a mission.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A wall of text is deadly for an interactive experience. Intimidating. Boring. Painful to read.” </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Jakob Nielsen, principal, Nielsen Norman Group </li></ul>
  10. 10. Format for Electronic Media <ul><li>Some guidelines: </li></ul><ul><li>Write meaningful headings and sub-headings (not &quot;clever&quot; ones). </li></ul><ul><li>Use bulleted lists. </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight keywords through hypertext links, typeface variations, and color. </li></ul><ul><li>Use white space! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Format for Electronic Media <ul><li>Write short paragraphs, with one idea per paragraph. </li></ul><ul><li>Write using the inverted pyramid (start with conclusion). </li></ul><ul><li>Be consistent in formatting, design, word usage, etc. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Tip #4 <ul><li>4. Watch Your Language (content, tone) . </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of the words you are using for SEO; imbed key words and phrases. </li></ul><ul><li>Use a simple writing style (Plain English). </li></ul><ul><li>Use active verbs, active voice, positive statements. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Watch Your Language <ul><li>Make good word choices: appropriate? Expressive? </li></ul><ul><li>Make every word count—eliminate wordiness, redundancies, empty phrases (more concise and clear). </li></ul><ul><li>Choose de-fluffed language devoid of “marketese.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Watch Your Language <ul><li>“ It goes without saying that we must prioritize our paradigms with an end to leveraging the value-added synergy to our best advantage…For continued success moving forward, we must downsize our liabilities, upsize our skill sets, and supersize our viable alternatives.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Watch Your Language <ul><li>Tone </li></ul><ul><li>Comes from word choices and use (or overuse) of punctuation. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media is less corporate and stuffy. Continuum goes from casual to professional. (Again, it’s how people are going to get to know you, to want to do business with you.) </li></ul><ul><li>Who is your reader? What is your relationship with them? Reflect it in tone. </li></ul><ul><li>Let your personality come through. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Review and Revise <ul><li>5. Don’t hit the “send” button too soon. </li></ul><ul><li>Before you hit “send” or “exit,” read what you wrote. </li></ul><ul><li>Proofread; grammar, spelling, and punctuation are important for readability and your reputation. </li></ul><ul><li>Look at readability. Is it clear, concise, and consistent? Does the formatting fit the medium? </li></ul><ul><li>Read it as if you are the intended audience. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Resources: </li></ul><ul><li>www.360writingtools.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.useit.com/alertbox </li></ul>