Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
These 6 quick tips for writing social media posts help me keep grounded.
I admit it: I want people to read my posts. I want interactions. My guess is that you do, too. But in the process, it can be tempting to use tricks to get people to read what I write.
But that’s not why my mama taught me. She taught me to use manners over manipulation.
It is one of the great ironies of writing: in order to get the things that you want, you have to give others what they want. Readers want and deserve respect.
Yep, Mama was right: manners matter. Even in your social media posts, whether they’re personal, for ministry, or for business.
Be honest: do you “continue reading …” when you see that link on Facebook? Do you like reading tweets longer than 140 characters? No and no. You’ll get more comments and reposts on any social media platform when you use fewer characters – preferably less than 100.
The fact is that short posts get read more than long posts. And short posts get more interaction than long posts. (114 characters)
Or should I say …
Short posts get more interaction than long ones. (48 characters)
Mama was right: don’t talk too much.
Think about your own habits on social media. You check in when you have a few minutes, right? When someone is clear and direct, you can grasp what they’re saying in those few seconds.
Mama was right: don’t waste people’s time.
“Look at me!” Uh, no thank you. Pointless or self-promoting social media posts may grab a reader’s attention, but don’t keep it. Are you posting for your benefit or hers? Ask yourself if your post adds something of value for your reader. If the answer is “no,” then rewrite it. Think of others and what they want, right?
Mama was right: put others first.
We’re visual, folks. Add a relevant picture to a piece of information and the reader remembers 65%, says Dr. John Medina, molecular developmental biologist and author of Brain Rules. A study from Buffer reports tweets with images gets more likes, shares, and retweets. A relevant image is better for your readers because it helps reinforce your words.
Mama was right: don’t expect people to read your mind.
Why should I click on your link? Why should I chuckle at your post? Why does that piece of information matter? A good social media post connects those dots for your reader and explains why. Writing tip: always ask, “So what?”
Look what happens why you ask, “So what?”
Mama was right: explain yourself.
Rants make me mad – not when a writer legitimately has an opinion, but rather because she assumes that I am incapable of having one or when she assumes her view is the only worthwhile one in cyberspace. Do you want people to keep reading your posts? Readers can block you when you’re rude. State your opinion, but do so with grace.
Mama was right: if you want others to play with you in the sandbox, then play nice.
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