The Linkedin Live session last night was about writing better content for social media. Actually, my focus is always on writing good content.
Great writing skills is a key skill in today’s times. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, the brand you build online is a direct consequence of the quality of content you post out there.
Here are the highlights of the session. You can watch the recording which covers these points in more detail.
WHY IS CONTENT WRITING IMPORTANT AS A SKILL?
The discussion over good content writing has to begin with the need. So here are a few reasons:
- To build authority and credibility as a person or company
- The content you post reflects your personality
- Great content gets more readers
- Social media gets you international exposure and well written content is a bonus
6 TIPS TO WRITE BETTER ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Tip # 1: Learn to write
This is a very basic thing – writing skills are taught in school too. If your content online has grammatical errors, bad phrasing, long sentence- I don’t think it is going to be very readable.
And with the short attention spans that we have in today’s times, it is hard to capture attention even with great content.
So learn the basics of good writing
Practice them consistently through content writing. Short sentences, correct grammar, short paragraphs and an easy style of writing will go a long way in making your content readable and appealing.
Tip # 2 Learn how the content on a platform works
The kind of content you’d add on Instagram or Twitter is very different from what goes on Linkedin.
Each platform has a specific audience and more specific norms of how content is consumed.
While Instagram is more visual and Twitter requires you to be snappy in 280 characters, Facebook and Linkedin give you more scope to elaborate on what you want to say. Planning your content accordingly will help.
Some of the thumb rules that you can safely follow to make your content readable on any platform are:
- The first line is important: Make it intriguing through a questions, a story or anything else that makes the reader want to read more
- Leave a lot of white space: If you write long content on Linkedin or a blog post, Short paragraphs and bullet points make it less intimidating to read than long paragraphs
- Concision is key: If you can say the same thing with fewer words, do it. Read what you’ve written and see where you can chop extra words
- Edit your content to sharpen it: The first thing we jot down is hardly perfect enough to be posted. Edit it to chop words, use better synonyms, check for a better angle. You will get better and faster at this as you practice.
- Proofread: Check for typos, grammar and general suitability to hit publish. With all the re-writing, sometimes we tend to leave out word stubs from previous versions. Even otherwise, it is always a good practice to give your writing one quick read before you hit publish – whether it is on social media, an email or even an official Whatsapp message.
Tip # 3: Use the right hashtags
More often than not, I find people adding # before random words and making hashtags of them. When you click those words, they don’t lead you anywhere.
What is a hashtag? A hashtag is a word when used with the # sign becomes a link which can be searched. And if you use random words, you are not adding any value with them.
Hashtags are such a great way to categorise your content and make it searchable.
If you choose the right hashtags, you can also expose it to millions of people who follow those hashtags.
How do we find the right hashtags?
Make a list of the key terms in your business. And then search on Linkedin/Facebook adding a # to it. You will see the number of followers. A term with a larger following makes more sense being added to your content.
For instance, communication is a key term for my business. So I look up terms like #communication, #communicationtips and #communicationskills. Watch the session to know how I figured out which one is the right one for me. OR is it all three?!
You can make bundles of terms in your business and see which ones can get you maximum exposure.
Tip # 4: Add the right call to action (CTA)
Since we are talking about writing on social media, it is important to talk about CTAs too. Most of us post online with some expectation from the reader. So what’s the best way to get them to do it.
Firstly, there should be only one CTA per post.
Look at the example below:
“So what do you think of my story? Tag a friend who’s been through this? And drop me a line in the comment if you need help with this”
These are way too many things you are asking the reader to do. Getting the audience to engage with just one thing is hard enough, let alone three!
The CTA should also be relevant to the post. So choose the one thing you want people to do. Don’t tell them a story about your personal life and ask them to sign up for your newsletter – unless that’s directly related.
Your post should lead to the CTA – You just read a story about how I helped my client, let me know if you want me to help you.
Or, has this ever happened to you? Tell me about it – this is a great way to get a conversation started around a topic.
Tip # 5: Add links in comments, especially on Linkedin
Even if you want people to click a link and read more details, you have to write a compelling copy following the points I mentioned above.
Since Linkedin doesn’t like people moving away from their site and adding a link to your blog or video prompts the algorithms to demote your content. So write a great post and share the detailed link in the first comment.
Tip # 6: Analyse, analyse
It’s great to write well and post regularly. But when it comes to social media, you also need to keep track of what’s working and what’s not.
What kind of content gets you more views and engagement?And then you write more content of a similar nature.
This may seem tedious initially – to track every piece of content you write and see how it did. But it becomes easier and habitual gradually. And when you know what works, you are also motivated to keep writing for your readers.
Based on the points I mentioned in the live session, there can be a simple template for your content if you will (this is an example for Linkedin):
Intriguing first line
Short paragraphs of information
There might be images too for posts that need them although I haven’t added them to my current discussion on content.
I recommend that you watch the live session that I have posted here. There are a lot more questions that I have answered for the live audience.
If you need my help you find content ideas for your brand, I will be happy to help. Drop me a line here, connect with me on Linkedin or write to me on email@example.com and I’ll be happy to help you.