5 Writing for social media
A form of written communication that has become more relevant in recent years is the social media post.
Although you might mainly associate Facebook and Twitter, etc. with your social interactions, businesses are increasingly using social media platforms to communicate with both employees and clients.
The basic considerations are the same – you need to be aware of the audience you are communicating with and the tone and language you use. But the delivery style is very different to anything else you have covered this week.
Express Writers (2017) give the following tips in their blog post about writing social posts:
- In general, shorter posts are better. Facebook and LinkedIn posts can be longer. Twitter only allows you to post up to 280 characters at a time.
- If you have more to say, e.g. in a Twitter post, you can include a link to a relevant blog post or article.
- On some platforms, such as Facebook, including a photo, graphic image or video will grab users’ attention. On Instagram, the image is the main part of your post.
- Hashtags can connect your post to a wider discussion and help you to communicate your message to a larger audience.
- LinkedIn is the most relevant platform for industry news with users posting company updates and events, new ideas and insider experiences. Including headings and subheadings is a good way to make long posts more readable.
They finish with the following best practices:
- When in doubt, keep it short.
- Be authentic.
Activity 5 Write a tweet
Image that your boss has asked you to send a tweet on behalf of the department that your office will be closed next Wednesday (17 March) for a day of staff training. You’ll all be away from the premises at a local hotel, learning about customer service. You’ll be there from 10am–4pm and hopefully the day will include a nice lunch! If there are any emergencies, customers can contact this number for assistance – 01632 554 346.
How will you explain that clearly to potential customers in 280 characters? Use the box below to devise your message. Note – Twitter includes spaces and punctuation in the character count.
Did you find it difficult to fit all the information in? Was it easy to decide which bits to leave out of the message and which to prioritise? Did you strike the right tone, for example apologising for any inconvenience?
An example might be:
Please be aware that on Wednesday 17 March, the office will be closed all day for staff training. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. In case of emergency, please contact 01632 554346 for assistance.
Although Twitter might not be a platform you need to engage with, either in or outside work, the discipline of getting your message across effectively in a restricted number of characters is a good one to practice.
If you want to explore social media and digital forms of communication in more detail, look at these other OpenLearn courses: