As I’ve mentioned before, being digitally savvy has never actually been my thing. I’m not a socially born millennial and for years I watched in confusion as my sister designed her first My Space page and then kept telling me I should get onto Facebook while I shrugged and said “nah..don’t really get that stuff”. Over time, I slowly made my way into the online world and through my marketing and comms roles at work was forced to get my head around all this whole social malarkey.
So then, when I finally looked under the covers, when I started to understand…I had an epiphany…this…this is what I have been destined to do the whole time…and I never even knew it!!
Yesterday, I was trying to dig out tips and tricks about writing effectively for social media, and I was once again reminded that there were so many things I felt like I had been doing “wrong” all my life, which turn out to be doing it “right”, when it comes to being effective in online communications, proving once and for all that this is where I am meant to be.
Write like you speak – BAH! totally! is there any other way? I mean seriously…I’ve always written exactly like I speak. If you meet me…this is is what I sound like! (yep, all those exclamation marks are required, my voice gets very excited). I spent the first years of my working life, trying to restrict my writing to a much more formal corporate voice. Going back over emails and taking out exclamation marks (sad but true) and keeping the tone more serious.
Keep it simple and short – woohoo… gosh I wish someone told my Uni Lecturers this. Back a long long time ago when I was at Uni, there was no such thing as social media (I know…now I feel really old). Words like “simple” and “concise’ were thrown back at me like they were a bad thing. But why keep droning on when you made your point in the first paragraph or the first sentence? I loved editing others people’s essays, cutting down all the extra information that wasn’t necessary to make their point. And now, short and snappy communications are king.
The style should be casual over formal – and guess what, grammar isn’t so important. Mum…I’m so so sorry, I know you will be shaking your head at this one. But I was always a failure when it came to correct grammar and spelling. And now, in the social world, it doesn’t matter so much. Sure, you don’t want to look like you never actually went to school, so a little bit of structure is probably a good idea. But the days of strict and formal grammatically correct sentences are fading before our eyes. Woop woop.
Write human to human – Instead of a long formal written piece, a monologue or like someone lecturing at you.. Social is a CONVERSATION, you write like you are talking to your best friend (tick) and guess what…people can write back! It completely changes the style of our communications.
And this might sound like a complete contradiction on everything I just said, but there is one awesome feature about social communications which I love the most-
Be yourself – Can I be anything else?? if you were reading this blog and thinking “but I love formal communications, I don’t like writing like I talk, I don’t think social media is for me”. You’d be wrong! because the wonderful thing about the online world, is that you can always find like minded people. Your Tribe. So if your style is a little…well…old school… don’t try to be someone your not, just be yourself and someone out there will understand and appreciate it.
So, what are you waiting for? Dive in and see what you find under the covers today…