How to Create Effective Social Media Content

The advent of social media has opened up a whole new world of communication. More and more businesses are seizing the opportunity to communicate with their customers through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Setting up an account is easy. But what comes next? What do I say? Why would anyone be remotely interested in what I have to say?

In fact, there is a whole community of potential customers looking for advice, entertainment and value. Communicating through social media is a great way to add value to your business and to build recognition for your brand among potential customers. Social media sites enable you to quickly establish a reputation as an expert in your field, which is a powerful way to generate new businesses.

Here’s a few tips for communicating with your customers through social media.

  • Create a Compelling Profile – This is your stall for communicating with customers. Include as much informatio as privacy allows. Use your profile as a hook to encourage customers to explore your business further.
  • Be Newsworthy – Spread the word about the latest developments in your business. You’ll come across as vibrant and journalists may pick up on your posts.
  • Include images – Images work particularly well on Facebook. They’re easier for customers to absorb than words.
  • Give Tantalising Tips – Farm your printed and website content for short snippets to tempt your customers. Just be sure that you don’t give too much away.
  • Give Your Opinion – Comment on trends within your industry. It’ll show that your finger is on the pulse.
  • Add links – customers appreciate a useful resource, particularly on Twitter. Give links to videos and media clips that relate to your business.
  • Interact – Keep an eye on what customers are saying on your pages, so you can give them a swift and comprehensive response.
  • Calls to action – Encourage your customers to explore your offering further, by providing links to your website or newsletter, or inviting them to special events.
  • Adapt your style. A chatty style is okay for Facebook and Twitter, but more formality is better for LinkedIn. On Twitter, use as many abbreviations as possible. The shorter your tweet, the easier it will be to retweet.
  • Make it easy for customers to contact you. It may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how often I have to hunt for contact details. They should stare customers in the face.

Communicating with your customers through social media lets you build relationships with them and gives them a greater awareness of what you can do for them. Used in combination with other marketing methods, it will lead to greater recognition for your business and ultimately to sales.

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Nifty Proofreading Tricks

Weeding out errors in your content can be surprisingly difficult. Typos in newspapers or in blogs may leap off the page at you. But the blemishes in your own work may remain hidden. Until you see it in print or online and see a rogue apostrophe shining from the page like a beacon.

Why is it so hard to spot errors in our content?

The trouble is, we’re too familiar with our own work. Other people’s work is fresher, so it’s easier to be alert to errors in language. Whereas when we’re working on our own content, we have a certain emotional attachment to it, so it’s hard to be objective. Also, when we’re reading, we skip over a lot of words because we don’t need to read every word to grasp the meaning of a sentence.

If we want to edit our web content, brochures or press releases more effectively, we need to break out of the cycle of familiarity. Here’s a few nifty tips used by professional writers, editors and proofreaders.

  • Type more carefully – It may seem obvious, but most errors can be stamped out during the typing process.
  • Spellcheck – Do a cosmetic edit with Spellcheck when you’re finished typing. If you’re short of time, it’ll weed out the most obvious errors.
  • Edit offline as well as online. It’s harder to read online, which means it’s harder to spot typos. Be kind to your eyes and print out a copy. You’ll weed out errors you wouldn’t have spotted on screen.
  • Read aloud: Reading your content out loud is good for spotting grammatical errors as well as typos. Listening to the rhythm of your voice will help you weed out awkwardly-constructed sentences.
  • Let it sit: If you have time, let a few hours or a full day pass before returning to your content. You’ll be able to look at it with fresh eyes.
  • Read backwards: This is an old trick employed by book proofreaders. It’s the best way of breaking your emotional attachment to your words and errors of all kinds become clearer. It’s also the closest guarantee of error-free content, but it is time-consuming. If you’re short of time, the other tips should still serve you well.

The secret of good content is presentation. Accurate proofreading will give your content a professional sheen.