Keeping the Words Fresh in a 24/7 World

Factoring in both personally and professionally, I wrote and posted over 6,000 updates on Facebook and Twitter in 2010. It’s hard to stay creative and interesting on a daily basis, week after week. I often fell short, but fortunately, I have cohorts to act as sounding boards to get me back on track.

I admit to a tiny bit of fear every time I write an update. What if I get crickets after I post a new update? Every time you create a tweet or post an update, it’s like throwing a party. You want people to show up. You’re playing the music, but sometimes, no one wants to dance. Worse, they don’t like your song choice. Like the host at a party, you sometimes struggle to keep the conversation lively and interesting. So what do you do to make sure you’re not a huge yawn to your guests? Throwing a lampshade on your head and doing the mambo is not an option–truly, not in the online world or real one.

After speaking to a few of my colleagues about what they do to keep their postings interesting, and ruminating over my own best practices, here’s a few power tips I’ve come up with from social media marketers, who, on a daily basis, numerous times a day, have to summon the muses.

1. Research is your best friend. One of the many reasons I like Hootsuite is because I get to organize my Twitter lists and see them all with a dashboard view. Let’s take one of my diamond industry clients, I’ve categorized the people they follow on Twitter into the following categories: Bridal, Jewelers, Fashion, Celebrity, Engagements. These are all shorthand terms that mean something to me. For example, take engagements. I have set up Twitter keywords to follow videos people post of proposals, whether they are funny or romantic. If a celeb gets engaged and it hits Twitter, it will show up in the stream for this list. In the celeb list, I have some intended redundancy to not only capture a newly announced engagement, but in case someone has posted a photo of a celeb wearing some jewelry that may be of interest to the members of the client’s Facebook page. Basically, Twitter is my research mine field for not only my tweets for this client, but for their Facebook page, too.
2. Write a weekly content schedule. Once a week, I sit down and create a schedule of what my weekly Facebook Page status updates will be. I do this for each and every client. It’s the best way to go over recent news and think about what to write about. To save time, I also collect ideas and info throughout the week so that I often have half the work already done.
3. Like any other writing, you have to write and rewrite. One of my clients once told me that he’s not satisfied with a press release unless it’s been edited at least nine times. I didn’t blink an eye. I get it. Every writer knows that writing is the fun part, but the editing is where goods words are sculpted into great ones. Right. I’m talking about Tweets, I know. While we’re not aiming for poetry, we do want to capture a conversational tone with a consistent voice, unique to each client. We also want those tweets to be interesting and fun. So tweak those tweets.
4. Mix it up. You are not writing a Dan Brown novel. There is not a tried and true formula for success. What works in your updates and tweets this week may get tiring after three weeks. So watch your sentence patterns, and mix up the topics a bit. Keep it lively and never, ever be satisfied with the status quo. Look for words that you use a lot and take a vacation from them. Make friends with words you don’t normally use—but, of course, be true to the voice of the brand.

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