Like it or not, the need for PR pros to master the written word in all its glory isn’t going anywhere. Regardless of the state of the newspaper or publishing industries, the importance of written communication has only been reinforced through the advent of online media.
As the social realm continues to broaden as more people cross the digital divide, social media channels are offering some of the most exciting opportunities for communicators. But with these opportunities come new challenges and risks, many of which are language related. There is a lot of content out there to compete with, and knowing how to write for social platforms ensures you don't get lost in the noise.
But in a lot of ways writing will always be writing. The nuts and bolts of a good story from a hundred years ago and a compelling Facebook post are the same. Basics like voice, clarity of language and subject are only becoming more important as social media tightens its grip on the media landscape. The communicator who doesn’t have an acute understanding of the language patterns an audience is expecting runs the risk of alienating the target group.
In this vein, Megan Maisel, director, integrated media communications, for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, offers some tips on influential writing for social media to keep PR pros ahead of the pack.
Here are six tips from Maisel on how to write for social media, and how to make sure you get heard:
- Define your audience and standardize your voice across all platforms.
- Measure and prepare to make changes quickly — what works today may not work in a month.
- Find the people stories — share stories that you would be interested in sharing.
- Have clear calls to action — if you want your audience to do something (like a post, follow your page or retweet) be explicit.
- Show some personality and have a sense of excitement.
- Sell one story several ways — each social platform lets you engage your audience differently. Use the strengths of each one to make your message stand out.
Join PR News for its Writing Workshop in San Fransisco on February 10.
Follow Megan: @MMaisel