By Alicia Sherman
Let me make a distinction for a moment writing online for social media is far different than writing for print media. First things first; think about your favorite commercial outlet you follow online. Mine for example are Pusheen, Kidrobot and Felicia Day. Not only do they directly relate to my interests but their posts are good for a few different reasons and you should consider adopting similar posting traits:
1. To the point posts, I don’t have to click any further if it doesn’t tickle my fancy.
Something that a lot of commercial businesses/stores with a presence online seem to have a problem with is an understanding that it that we are fans of a page to sometimes receive timely news from the companies of which we are loyal too. As fans we like to hear news on products first. Something Kidrobot does well is giving you all necessary information in the post and then offers you a link. People are lazy and if they aren’t brought in and enticed by the statement you are making they aren’t going to click on your link. At the same time Kidrobot isn’t all about their company news, they also post instagram pictures of their fans and interesting interviews with artists. This is essential to building and keeping followers. If you are just posting your sales and new inventory there isn’t much variety and that is the spice of social media.
2. It’s a conversation not an Essay.
I know this is going to be hard to understand but social media has inspired a different language among its users. It’s about a conversation not an essay. I know this is going to sound awful to some people but do you use proper grammar in a chat conversation you are having with a friend? No? Then it isn’t important in your Facebook posts. It is thin line to ride; however it can be one of the more difficult ones to get a hang of. Don’t however tweet like you text just to cut down on your characters. It is important to write well but you want to sound like a person not like a report. You also want to inspire conversation, posts should be passionate, ask questions, be warm and inviting. Just like a person. Despite being a company online sometimes it’s okay for your posts to come off as an individual, to have an opinion and be enthusiastic about something. This is something Pusheen does very well; they utilize polls and inspire you to voice your opinion.
3. Make your followers excited, contests aren’t always pushy or a bad thing.
Alright let me make a massive point with this one. If you are going to hold online contests that’s all good and dandy, but what you don’t want is to do the following. Don’t require too much of your fans; people don’t want to have to like all eight of your pages, write a comment and sign up for email alerts in order to win something. Also if you are going to hold a contest make it engaging, make it a photo contest, a scavenger hunt, a mini essay contest anything but just having them friend all your pages. That seems desperate and while it will get you a short spike in followers you will be quickly unfollowed if that is all your content speaks to. Also give us updates about the contest, say who is judging, tell fans how many people have entered, and show pictures of the prizes, that sort of thing. Lastly despite some jealousy it may inspire, it is great to have a picture of the winner or announce them on your pages. It shows a sense of community and if you have thousands of fans it gives them a sense of fame. Contests online on social media can inspire a bigger sense of community then a magazine sweepstakes ever could.
4. Variety, Variety, Variety… make it spicy.
Do people online only ever talk about one thing? Think about it, if you want to be more sociable in person would you just discuss one thing? No, okay now that we have that cleared up, you shouldn’t do that online. Find a way to bring variety into your posts. I’ll be it, Felica Day is a person, but her business is her you tube channel and acting career. I wouldn’t follow her on twitter if the only thing she discussed was her acting, her shows, and her business ventures. Some people do that online though; they spam you with one thing constantly, the thing that they deem profitable and most important to them. While that is good for them and gratifying it doesn’t gain them many followers. Although, it is good to decide on what you want your “themes” or “genre” to be online. If you are an actor, like FD for example and look at your followers to find that what they enjoy is video games, comic books and horror films then you should consider discussing those online. Though I will say to only mention these new things if you can be genuine in discussing those them, don’t force it. Just like in real life people can often discern when you are being untrue online.
Now I could go into a much longer list but there are million lists like this out there. The important thing to know is that since social media is ever changing there can be a million opinions on how to handle social media well. Lastly, I will say is these are purely suggestions, make your own rules find what works for you. These are things that I just happened to have tried or know to be successful.