The Write Stuff

writing on social mediaEven though it seems like people are moving away from pen and paper, there is more written information being exchanged than ever before. Because of this, you need to have a written presence on your website, whether it be a blog or pages explaining your products and services.

Before you jump in and start adding content to your website you need to think about not only what you’re going to say, but how you’re going to say it. Your writing reflects on you, your company and, to a certain extent, your industry, so it needs to be well done. You are obviously writing for a reason, so you want your information to be read and hopefully used.

A well-written article has a better chance of being read than a poorly written one. If an article is hard to follow or is full of mistakes and typos, the reader may get frustrated and stop reading or, at the very least, they will not take you seriously and you may come off as unprofessional.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when doing any writing for your company or organization:

Spell Check Works Four Me!

spell checkDon’t rely solely on your computer’s spell-check program. This cannot be emphasized enough. Some people have become lazy over the years with software throwing red lines up when there is a spelling error. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a great tool, but it is not foolproof. The software can only tell you if a word is spelled wrong, not if you are using a homophone (they’re, there, their) or the wrong word entirely, but spelled correctly (infamous vs famous). I use some software like Grammarly to help catch glaring errors, but I also have a stack of reference books that I use to double-check some rules of grammar and spelling. If you’re still not sure, use the advice of my high school English teacher: “When in doubt, throw it out.” Use another word, if you aren’t confident. It’s better to choose another option than to sound uneducated.

Profreed Prufread Proofread

proofreading Read over what you have written. If you can, read it aloud and get feedback from your coworkers or family. You may have changed the tense or voice in mid-sentence, or maybe you didn’t even finish a thought. Just quickly glancing over the page won’t catch small errors that will be jarring when read by your audience. Fair or not, readers will judge you when reading your pages.

Bite-size Morsels

bite sizeReaders like small bites. You may have seen the abbreviation “TLDR” in online comments. If you’re unfamiliar with that notation, it means “too long, didn’t read”. If it’s a common enough sentiment to get its own shorthand, there is a reason behind it. When people see a big block of uninterrupted text, they might skim it, but more likely, they’ll just skip it entirely. Especially when you are writing on the Internet, try to  keep paragraphs to just a few sentences and make it easy for the reader to digest the information.

You Talkin’ To Me?

audience Write to your audience. Your lingo and voice will be different when addressing your industry peers, as opposed to a reader who may be unfamiliar with your line of work. Try not to talk over their heads, but don’t speak down to them either. It’s a delicate balance to maintain. Regardless of your audience, you must remain professional at all times. Avoid using slang, insults, profanity or name-calling. Not everyone is going to agree with your personal beliefs, but they may want to use your product. If you turn them off with a page-long rant about a sensitive issue, you can bet they’ll not only not use your company, but they will tell their friends and it may become a big public relations problem.

For some people, writing can be as scary as speaking in front of others. Fortunately, Websites To Impress can help you with this task. We offer social media marketing and management services and we can do the writing for you with our team of professional writers.

Hold On, I Gotta Take A Selfie

Social Media Marketing

Between the photos of your coworker’s latest attempt at sushi and your grandma’s video of her cats, Ruby and Max, meowing along to Tom Jones, you may not think there is any room for your own marketing material on social media. Yes, it may be cluttered, but there is an art to getting your posts noticed.

We’re Only Human

Websites To Impress InformalPeople like to know that there are real people behind the products and services they use. Utilize your social media to show “unofficial” looks at your company. Take the opportunity to share interesting stories about your employees or show them in a casual or informal manner. This has a bonus feature in improving company morale: your employees will appreciate being acknowledged and recognized.

You can also use social media to discuss how you handle things. Take a minute and talk about processes or some other “behind the scenes” happening. Maybe discuss an interesting project or job your team worked on or perhaps something unusual that occurred in your community. If your company went above and beyond on something, use the platform to toot your own horn. Perhaps you can share any charity work your organization has done or a special project your employees have worked on. A little heart goes a long way today, show your customers that you have one.

People Are Visual Beings

short attention spanYou’ve probably heard the old adage “show, don’t tell” and in today’s environment of 6 second Vine videos and Short Attention Span Theater, you have a small window to grab someone’s attention. Add pictures to your tweets and other social media posts to get your reader’s attention. When people are scanning their feeds and they just see line after line of black and white text, a flash of color or an image can make them pause.

An unscientific study by Leo Widrich of Buffer shows that their followers interacted more with the tweets that had images: more clicks, more favorites, more retweets. The jury is still out on whether or not this interaction turns into click-throughs, but more attention is better than no attention.

Like A Broken Record

repost blogDon’t be afraid to post the same content more than once. There are a variety of reasons that multiple posts can be beneficial to you:

1. People are online at various times. Not only are there different time zones, but people work a variety of shifts and have other individual responsibilities. There’s a reason the Internet is open 24 hours a day.

2. Competition with other postings. There’s a lot of stuff going on out there: personal and group postings, paid advertising, marketing pieces, and so on. All of these are running through people’s feeds and there is only so much real estate available at any given time.

3. Repetition is good. Repetition is good. How many times have you noticed something on your Facebook or Twitter and thought “I’ll look at that later” and either forget or you can’t find the post? If a reader sees something that piques their interest more than once, they will be more likely to click on it.

4. You can reach new followers. Hopefully, you have more people reading your blogs now than you did six months ago. If the subject matter is still topical, why not go back and repost some of those older blogs? Even your older readers may find a past topic is more important to them now.

Take It For A Test Drive

blog postingPosting on social media is free, so take advantage of it and experiment or tweak your posts. Try different headlines or images and compare the results. Maybe one will do better than another and you can use that information to make your future posts better. Make sure to analyze the data and figure out all the variables that come into play: when did you post it? what was the headline’s focus?

Make sure to analyze the data and use it to reach your goal. There are different things you may be trying to achieve, such as finding a target audience by the time of day or by subject matter. You can adjust your postings to hit on those social media sweet spots.

It doesn’t cost anything to post, so why not take your blogs for a test run to try new things or concepts?

 

 

Instagram Now Allows You to Manage Multiple Accounts!

Thank Heavens, You Can Now Manage All Your Instagram Accounts Easily!

For those of us in Social Media Management, Instagram has finally cut us a big break. At WTI, we can tell you that we are definitely…..well, relieved! The way it has worked in the past, you had to log out of an account and login to an account to get to it, and passwords aren’t remembered. If you manage many Instagram accounts, this can be tedious at best and down right painful the rest of the time.  

Instagram has changed how it allows you to manage multiple accounts, so here is a quick how-to on the process, as it is not completely intuitive on how to set it up.

1. Log into your main account. Locate your settings button in your profile:

profilesettings1

2. Scroll down to the bottom of your settings screen and locate “Add Account” and click it.

addaccount

3. Log into the account you want to add to your profile with your username and password.

Instagram login screen

4. From that point on you can be able to toggle from one account to another!

profilesettings

This is a huge win for everyone that works on social media. Not just groups like ours that offer full social media management. Whether you are a blogger and are toggling between your account and your blog account, or you just want to have a second account for your dog, it is now possible and easy thanks to the latest update from Instagram. If you are interested in social media management contact our team at WTI. We manage every type of social media including Facebook (including paid advertising!), Linkedin, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, and more. Contact us for any marketing help that you need in Illinois at 309-489-0026 and in Iowa at 712-792-4427. Thank you Instagram for making our lives just a little bit easier!