Lessons in Social Media Writing: Define Your Audience and Ply Your Personality

Social MediaWriting for social media has evolved into it's own discrete discipline, and its increasing level of importance for public relations and communications professionals is impossible to ignore. Figuring out what works on social media is an abstruse art, as audiences are fragmented and interested in specific, narrow topics.

In the end, though, all community managers are focused on sharing, and the most successful among them write with a conscious emphasis on what will inspire their audiences to spread their messages.

Megan Maisel, director of integrated media communications at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, shared some interesting tips about how to be an effective communicator on social media at PR News' recent Writing Boot Camp:

Define audience(s), standardize voice across platforms. To communicate properly, you need to know who you are talking to and who you want to be talking to. Write as if you're speaking to that specific audience, and make sure that you keep that tone across every platform you use.

Develop a separate strategy for each platform. Give socially-savvy fans of your organization a reason to follow you on different platforms. Posting the same content across multiple platforms does not count as a social media strategy.

Find the people stories and show some personality. It's more fun and relatable to read about people. Even if you're writing about a dull or serious topic, try to enliven your content with a human touch.

Make it shareable. If a post is written on social media and nobody shares it, does it really exist? With each post, ask yourself, "Would I share this?" If so, you're on the right track. If not, it may be time to reevaluate.

Follow Megan Maisel: @MDAndersonNews@MMaisel

Follow Brian Greene: @bwilliamgreene