7 Commandments for Writing on Social Media | By Eziukwu Tochukwu
Every minute 293,000 statuses are updated on Facebook. On Twitter, 500 million tweets are sent each day. On Youtube, 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
If these figures are not scary to you, if these figures do not give you a clue as to what your content is up against, then I don’t know how else to paint the picture for you.
There are tons of content out there jostling for people’s attention.
And I guess your content happens to be on the battlefield with these tons of content. So I ask you, what are your chances of winning the content war out there?
With social media, everyone has suddenly become a publisher. Everyone has got something to say, and everyone is saying something. It’s noisy out there, terribly noisy.
Yet we need to be heard. Our businesses need to be heard. We have messages that need to be heard, causes that need to be pursued, sales that need to be made.
How do we stay above the noise out there on social media?
Allow me to share with you some general rules that can help you stay above the noise out there. These rules are applicable whether you are writing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Here are 7 things to have in mind when you are writing on social media that will help you.
1- USE SHORT SENTENCES
Guys, as much as possible, break those long sentences into short sentences when you are writing on social media.
When you catch yourself using too many commas and semi-colons, it should serve as a red flag that your sentence may be too long and needs to be broken down.
Short sentences are easier to read, and does better on social media. So stick with short sentences as against long sentences and your content will be better off.
2- USE SHORT PARAGRAPHS
Keep your paragraphs short. A large chunk of sentences lumpeed together is a pain to the eye. It makes reading your work scary, especially on social media.
When writing on social media, I suggest your paragraphs should not be more than 5 sentences. It should be between 1-5 sentence paragraphs.
Take a look at any of my writings on social media and you will get an idea of what I’m talking about. Trust me, it works.
It is not just about what you are saying, it is also about how you are saying it.
3- USE SIMPLE AND PLAIN ENGLISH
I get it, you are a cousin to Queen Elizabeth and Patrick Obahiagbon is your step-father. I perfectly get it. But you see, on social media, you have to take a chill and keep it as simple and plain as possible.
Use ordinary and everyday English words.
Forget about the jargons and those expressions you would love to use to impress your readers. The truth is, they don’t what to be impressed. They just want their problems solved.
So if you’ve got the answers, just spill it, and spare them of your intellectualism because they don’t care about it.
When you are writing on social media, it is best to see it that you are hanging out with a couple of friends. How would you talk to them? Of course, you will talk with them in plain and simple English, right?
That’s exactly how you should be writing on social media. Keep it simple and plain.
4- Don’t Use Short Form of Writing
I have already dealt with this extensively in a previous post. So I don’t need to say more here. All I need to say here is this- If you want to be taken seriously on social media, first take yourself seriously by always writing your words in full when writing on social media.
It’s as simple as that.
5- USE STORIES
When stories are told, people stop and listen. You know it, I know it, so why aren’t we using it enough on social media?
Even if writing is replete with grammatical and spelling errors, once there is a good story in it, the audience’s attention will be captured.
And I’m saying to you that one of the ways to successfully stay afloat the noise out there is to always incorporate stories in your writing.
Give it a shot, if it doesn’t work, sue me. But trust me, it works like magic.
6- BE AUTHENTIC AND PERSONABLE
There is a reason it is called social media. When you write, write like a human being and not like a machine or a robot. Write about things that show people that you are human just like them.
Write about your fears, your past mistakes, your past failures and the lessons you learnt from them.
Let people know through your writing that you are not a superman unless you are saying you are. Nothing draws people closer to us than when we begin to express our authenticity.
Social media folks like people they see to be authentic and personable. Be that someone through your writing. Put away the cosmetics and allow your true self to shine through.
7- WRITE CONVERSATIONALLY
Write like you are talking with your audience and not talking at them. They are two different things. Personalise your writing on social media. Write like you are talking to one person at a time. That’s why you have to make using “You” in your writing as common as anything.
It makes your audience feel like you are talking to them. Doing this will connect you and your audience on an emotional level.
So there you have it. Work on inculcating these 7 practices in your writing on social media, and you will be better for it.