When you sit down to write a social media post, it’s easy to think about promoting your amazing, important and worthwhile message to the world — to make pronouncements that will change your audience’s behavior and blow their minds. Whether you are selling a product, promoting an event or even just sharing an interesting article you came across, you know the value you are adding to your community, and you want your audience to recognize it as well.
It doesn’t matter what the content is, every one of your social media posts will be consumed by (numerous) INDIVIDUAL people, reading it on their INDIVIDUAL screens, as they go about their INDIVIDUAL lives. So ensure that you are writing for each of them as an individual, not some amorphous crowd of people. It’s easy to forget this because your content, once published, will be seen by tens, hundreds or even thousands of people. Rather than thinking about how many people will consume your content, think about how they will consume it—alone. Think of it this way: you aren’t playing in a packed arena, you are providing a private living room concert; adjust accordingly.
Here’s a simple trick for ensuring that your content rings true to each individual member of your community: when you sit down to create it, picture an actual person with whom you want to connect and draft as if you are speaking directly to that particular person. Think about a customer, a donor, a constituent or a fan… pick one person and write your post directly to them.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself before hitting publish:
- Does “Sally” want to read your press release, or hear why it matters to her?
- Does she want to be solicited, day in and day out, or does she want to be inspired/entertained/enlightened…?
- If you share an article or a picture, will she understand why? (Hint: not if you don’t tell her!)
- If you are using acronyms or industry-speak, will she know what you are talking about?
- Is your sentence structure clear, is your post properly punctuated, is your spelling correct, are you capitalizing properly? (If you content is hard to follow, Sally isn’t going to dig in and work to decipher it, she is simply going to scroll right by.)
It’s easy to think about a social media post as a megaphone, announcing your latest content to the world. But really, it’s more like a telephone, creating a connection between you and an individual. Treat your content accordingly and get ready for higher engagement rates and better reach on future posts.
And if you are wondering, I wanted to let you know, I wrote this post especially for YOU!