How Ann Wylie Writes for Social Media

How Ann Wylie Writes for Social Media

Earlier this month, Tugsters Lewis Taylor, Vanessa Ward and Adrienne Webb attended Ann Wylie’s “How to write for social media” seminar, hosted by the Portland Metro PRSA chapter.

Because we love to see effective social media tactics put into action, we thought it only fair to share some of the valuable lessons Wylie taught our team. Some takeaways from the seminar include the following suggestions for how to write for social media:

  • Have a personality
  • Keep it short
  • Make it scannable

Have a Personality:

When writing social media content, you don’t want to sound like a robot. Write in a conversational voice that gets the point across while maintaining just a hint of pizzazz.

Conversational content can mean that you use the active voice and the second person.

Keep it short:

It takes us 25 percent longer to read words on a computer screen, so keep social media content to the point.

Keep your paragraphs short and don’t even think about using “gobbledygook” (e.g., SEO, integrated and optimization).

When writing for Twitter, you can “tighten your tweet” by cutting adjectives, adverbs and clichés. It’s also okay (but not grammatically okay…) to substitute numerals and symbols (e.g., @, &) for words.

Make it scannable:

Readers don’t read on the web, they scan. In fact, they often spend 60 seconds or fewer viewing a single webpage.

Layer a message so that a reader can get to the central meaning right away.

Here is a breakdown of some of the basic elements of online content.

  • Main idea
    Headline
    Deck, summary
  • Major Points
    Subheads
  • Minor points
    Bold-faced lead-ins
    Links
  • Series
    Bullets
    Lists

For more Ann Wylie writing tips subscribe to her newsletter and check out Rev Up Readership.

(Information from this post provided by Ann Wylie’ seminar “How to write for social media,” Portland Metro PRSA chapter, Aug. 12, 2010. Photo provided by Wylie Communications Incorporated)

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