Writing for Social Media: Are you attracting a crowd?

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Writing for Social Media: Are you attracting a crowd?

by Jenny Phillips

The World Wide Web has been running since 1991, and if you’ve ever tried to sell your service, product or advice online, you’ve heard of writing for the web.

Well guess what? It’s become a little more complicated than keeping it short and sweet. Writing for the web is one thing, but have you heard of writing for social media? Or specifically, Twitter?

Graduating with both an advertising degree and a public relations degree, I got a greater taste for the journalism aspect of writing copy in order to sell something. Why do you think all the links on AOL or Yahoo news are so interesting? Of course, they’re at least somewhat newsworthy, but it’s all about how you spin things.

If you want people to be interested in your links, and more specifically your Facebook page, blog or Twitter, you have to sell it like a journalist. Give the audience enough information to know what you’re talking about, but leave a little bit for them wonder about, give them a challenge, or give them a chance to give some input.

Examples:

  • Leave-them-guessing Style
    Headline: Do out-of-state tickets really count?
    Well, I’m not sure. Do they? The point of this news was to tell people that violations and tickets from out-of-state will most likely stay on your record, but having that as a headline is so much more boring and thus, unclickable!
  • Give-them-a-challenge Style
    Headline: Recognize This International Superstar? Check to see if your guess is right.
    The point of this news was to give a semi-important update on a popular 90’s star. As for all of his loyal fans, they would already recognize the picture, but to gain greater exposure, the writers challenged the audience who would normally be indifferent.
  • Let-them-vent Style
    Headline: iPhone and Blackberry face off this month. What’s your vote and why?
    The purpose of this is obviously to compare the two popular phones on a more in-depth and technological level, but it won’t also attract people who aren’t looking to buy one if the headline doesn’t give a call to action for opinion.

So, now that you understand how to attract people, applying this to social media can be beneficial to gaining new followers and fans, and also, it can help to keep them coming back.

The more Twitter is known for being a news platform, the more people will have to apply journalism tactics to their tweeting plans. If not, Twitter accounts that are in saturated Twitter niches, like for example Twitter accounts that give social media advice, will become lost in the mass of social media tweets if what they say doesn’t automatically draw people in.

 

More About the Author

Jenny Phillips

Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
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