My secret to writing is not complex: I write like I talk. Writing in “speak” makes several things easy:
1. As long as you can think, or have an idea, or want to expand a thought, you will never be at a loss for words. Think about it. When you’re on the phone you never say to a friend, “Hold on, I’m trying to think of something to say.” You just say it! When you write like you speak words just flow.
2. Reading what you write in “speak” is much more conversational. Writing in “speak” makes your words easy to read, easy to understand, and, in my case, easy to implement.
3. Editing the next day. Give yourself a fresh look at what you were thinking, and allow yourself to give clarity to your writing.
3.5 Reading aloud as you edit. This one secret will give you more writing power than you can imagine. It exposes every flaw and ensures flow of words and thought.
Let’s get specific.
Here are writing instructions for business social media:
How to write on Twitter. Your posts on Twitter (tweets) should achieve two objectives. One, be short, value messages that your customers will appreciate. Two, be something that is re-tweetable (in other words, your connections tweet it to all of their connections). Rather than me providing a couple of examples, go to Twitter, search people for “Gitomer,” and look at what I’ve tweeted. You can also see in the search results what other people are saying about me.
All of that “noise” comes from writing. As I approach momentum on Twitter, I’m beginning to interact with others when they say something nice about me. I thank them or comment back. Amazingly, most people feel compelled to comment on my comment, thereby giving me another mention to all of their followers.
The best news about Twitter is that most business people are still Twitter ignorant. This means you have a chance to be Twitter dominant.
Here’s where to start:
1. To begin successfully, invite all of your friends and give them some samples of what you intend to tweet.
2. Tweet something of value every day.
3. Only tweet 120 characters so there is enough room for people to re-tweet what you have to say.
4. Don’t quote other people. Only quote yourself.
4.5 Don’t abuse the process. Don’t try to sell anything on Twitter. Make relevant, purposeful, helpful statements that others will respect, remember, and re-tweet.
How to write on Facebook. Facebook offers the widest variety of communication possibilities and it’s getting wider every day.
I recommend you have two Facebook pages: one for your personal life and one for your business life. Keep them separate.
Here’s where to start:
1. Post with pictures. Short one or two line posts with links that will take me someplace and allow me to read more if interested. Write about events with significance. Write your ideas and thoughts. Write your observations.
2. Respond to others who post on your page…good or bad. Like Twitter, interactions on Facebook need to be short and sweet. If enough people are connected to you, they’ll get your notifications and be able to respond back. That is why “short” messages are important. When your followers see that you are engaged with them and respond to them directly, they will be more enthusiastic about commenting again or asking questions. In my case, oftentimes my followers will even respond to each other, creating meaningful dialogue without me!
3. Take advantage of the one-on-one. One of the reasons Facebook has achieved world domination is because it’s personal. If Zappos takes a full-page ad in Vogue magazine, they have no idea who thinks what about the ad, much less who responds. But on Facebook, they can respond to customers individually, one at a time, AND other customers can see it.
When customers see a company is responsive, they feel safer doing business with them. Facebook is becoming more sophisticated. Video on Facebook will become the new norm, further eroding traditional email. Facebook has also created a reaffirmation of the word instant. You can message any one of your followers, they can message you back, and everyone knows everyone’s status in a matter of seconds.
4. Celebrate it! Study what is being done, and don’t just be abreast of what’s new, implement the latest update as soon as it becomes available. Your customers need to perceive that you are on top of your market and your game. Facebook allows you to do both.
4.5 Remember that bad can be good. Many businesses are Facebook-reluctant because they’re afraid customers will post something bad. UPDATE: For those of you afraid to create a business Facebook page for fear that your employees will abuse it or your customers will abuse you, let me be kind and say, you’re a fool! Your customers and employees are going to say it anyway. If they say it on your page, you have a chance to respond to it and turn the feedback into positive results. NOTE: When you’re writing a response, don’t be defensive. Thank people and tell them what you are going to do, not regurgitate what you did. If a package is lost, don’t blame the post office – just send another one. The key to Facebook is positive interaction, not just interaction.
More next week.