Sarah Mitchell is the co-founder of Typeset – a content material writing company in Perth. In 2019, Typeset collaborated with Mantis Analysis to conduct a survey to discover out how efficient entrepreneurs and communicators method writing – together with the place social media performs its half. Earlier this 12 months, Typeset printed the outcomes as The State of Writing 2020.
I spoke to Mitchell about a few of their findings and to uncover whether or not entrepreneurs are treating their phrases in social media with enough care.
JC: Do entrepreneurs take the writing of social media posts significantly sufficient?
SM: In accordance to our analysis, 77% [of marketers] write social media updates to assist their enterprise. And that’s the second hottest method that folks use writing to assist their enterprise. The most well-liked method is web site copy. So sure, they’re taking it significantly.
However I’m undecided that they’re together with it as a part of the quality course of. They’re not placing it by means of the identical rigour. They’re not placing it by means of the quality processes. They’re not placing it by means of proofreading.
Typically, it’s a unique particular person than the author who’s writing it. You may spend quite a lot of time writing a weblog publish or a white paper or a case examine after which a unique division is accountable for selling that. Generally you’ll be able to inform that the particular person writing the social media replace hasn’t even learn the publish.
And that is the flip facet: In the event you’ve bought the author writing the publish, and never the entrepreneurs, then it won’t have the appropriate hashtags or key phrases. A hashtag that works on one platform doesn’t work on one other. You see rather a lot the place any person has gone by means of some rigour, however then they’re portray the whole lot with the identical brush. You’ll be able to’t deal with LinkedIn such as you deal with Instagram, such as you deal with Fb.
As a substitute of treating social media and content material individually, ought to the writing of updates to promote that content material move by means of the identical planning, course of and approvals?
I feel it ought to. You want to give it the identical respect that you simply give any formal enterprise communication. It wants to undergo proofreading. It wants to be examined for logic and circulate. It wants to be reality checked, particularly in opposition to the content material you’re sharing. I don’t assume entrepreneurs and communicators are taking a look at social media as a chunk of the writing itself. They’re taking a look at it as an unbiased channel that they run in a different way.
If you’re selling content material that you simply’ve written, it ought to all be thought by means of and developed on the similar time, even going so far as writing a number of updates.
For instance, we all know the place our purchasers are selling issues and what channels they’re utilizing. Their weblog posts could exit on Twitter and Fb, whereas a press launch could exit simply on LinkedIn. So, we use a unique template for a press launch than for a weblog publish and write all of these updates as a part of the submission. It’s nonetheless many tweets, it’s Fb, it’s LinkedIn, it’s the e-mail topic line and teaser, it’s the whole lot multi function.
After which that every one goes by means of enhancing and proofreading so there are not any spelling errors or factual issues. Whoever’s doing the very fact checking appears on the complete package deal, not simply the textual content of the article. It turns into a part of the quality management and approval course of.
Whereas this method ensures the whole lot from the article to the meta description to the third or fourth tweet is totally aligned, does this encourage cut-and-paste repetition?
They want to be aligned, however I don’t assume anyone enjoys shifting from platform to platform or channel to channel solely to see the identical actual replace.
It’s a chance for entrepreneurs to showcase totally different components of the content material, and likewise to check. Possibly your viewers on LinkedIn goes to be all in favour of a unique side of what you’re selling than your community on Twitter. So why wouldn’t you goal the social media channel while you’re doing it?
Is it ever sufficient to merely publish the hyperlink, realizing that the platform will pull within the title, picture and probably even the excerpt too?
Then you definitely’re lacking the chance to have an opinion or to put a spin on it to assist the angle that you simply’ve taken.
We may discuss all day about titles and topic strains and headings and how tough these are. Nevertheless it’s not sufficient, when you’re posting content material on social media, to rely simply on the title.
Over time, social media has turn into an more and more extra visible. Do you assume that has come on the expense of the written phrase?
To begin with, I’m a author. I like phrases. I like to learn issues. I imply, I take pleasure in a superb image as a lot as the subsequent, however I don’t assume you’ll be able to simply completely depend on visuals.
Entrepreneurs can do a significantly better job of creating photos and textual content work hand in hand to actually pack a punch. It’s straightforward to put up an image and a bunch of hashtags, however what are you attempting to make individuals really feel? What are you attempting to make individuals do? What would you like individuals to get from it? And I’m undecided I’m seeing that from manufacturers.
What about emojis? As brevity is so necessary in social media, ought to entrepreneurs be wanting for any method to get these character counts down?
In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote that brevity is the soul of wit. No one enjoys a joke that runs on too lengthy. No one enjoys poetry that’s the identical size as a Russian novel.”
I feel Twitter made a mistake when it prolonged the character depend, as a result of now how is it totally different to the opposite platforms the place you’ll be able to put rather a lot in? Individuals don’t come to social media to spend quite a lot of time studying. They click on on issues to spend quite a lot of time studying.
I personally assume emojis are simply the subsequent technology. In the event you’ve bought them then you should utilize them – in case your viewers actually understands what an emoji means. There are some which might be loaded that your viewers could view as having a unique definition. The cool youngsters understand it means one factor when grandma thinks it means one thing else.
Social media crops up in a couple of locations all through the report. Did any of the outcomes shock you?
One of many issues that shocked me, as a result of it is a big alternative for entrepreneurs, is that solely 34% of entrepreneurs are embedding social media updates in weblog posts. It shocked me as a result of each platform’s bought embed codes. The media has carried out a terrific job of this. Actually, the media has turn into so lazy that they simply go to Twitter and search a time period. There are many locations the place they depend on these embedded feeds.
Particularly when you’re model constructing or doing model consciousness posts, these sorts of alternatives are on the market and we’re not taking them.