4 Questions To Ask Before You Post
If you are in charge of your company’s content marketing, you are the face of the business, digitally speaking. You are responsible for building a following. The best way to do it is through trust, and people trust quality content. Not just people but Google, too. Yes, the world’s most popular search engine ranks sites according to their perceived quality.
We’ve already emphasized the importance of content marketing and clued you in on the best times to post, but we’d like to take a step back and focus on the message itself. Below you’ll find four basic questions to ask before you share.
Does my message contain …
✓ zero errors?
When it comes to cooking steak and frosting cakes, we make sure to get it right. How is it that we’re so lazy when it comes to writing? No one’s perfect—not even spellcheck—but we all have time to take a second look at our work. Yes, even on social media.
After writing your copy, read it aloud. If possible, don’t post it right away. Do something else, then come back to it. You might spot an error that you missed the first time around.
Common errors include bad grammar, misspelled words, missing hyphens, broken links and unclear or unnecessary hashtags.
✓ only the good stuff?
In his memoir “On Writing,” Stephen King shares advice he received from an editor: “Second draft = First draft – 10 percent.” While there are clear differences between authors and social media managers, we tend to pick up some of the same bad habits. One of them is rambling.
It’s easy to get attached to your own copy, but be careful when it comes to flowery words and phrases that don’t really add to the message. As Mark Twain said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”
Remember: Strong sentences are better than long ones. Readers won’t be able to relate to your content if they have to spend time deciphering it.
✓ appropriate content?
There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to appropriate content.
Style: Make sure that your copy fits in with your brand voice and target audience. For example, avoid overly casual phrases if you’re trying to rent luxury apartments. Does all of your content have to be company related? Not necessarily. Feel free to share content that aligns with your company’s mission and values.
[bctt tweet=”Make sure that your copy fits in with your brand voice and target audience.” username=”meetsoci”]
Professionalism: In 2011, The American Society of News Editors released a paper stipulating that “traditional ethics rules still apply online.” John Robinson, a former editor of the Greensboro paper News & Record, shared his straightforward social media policy: “Don’t be stupid.”
Avoid posting offensive material, including anything potentially offensive. Just because you think it’s funny doesn’t mean your readers will.
✓ a clear takeaway?
In any business, it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of “We are [insert inflated adjective here] because we can [enter accomplishments and capabilities here]!” Readers aren’t easily impressed with this kind of thing, even when you’re telling the truth.
So, what do you do? Offer them something valuable: knowledge, perks, the opportunity to share their voice, etc. To be a winner, you must be a giver.
Here are three revision examples:
- Before: If you’re looking for a gift for your loved ones, colleges or neighbors, come by our shop and check out our homemade vegan doughnuts today!
After: Our homemade vegan doughnuts make perfect gifts for loved ones, colleagues, and neighbors. Stop by our shop today!
- Before: From our private dog park to our rooftop grills, there is an abundance of reasons to fall in love with one of the HOTTEST luxury apartment community in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood. Hit up our friendly team for a tour of Paradise on Fifth today!
After: From our private dog park to our rooftop grills, Paradise on Fifth in San Diego’s East Village offers a new standard of living. Contact our professional team to schedule a tour.
- Before: Is your home looking outdated? Magic’s Furniture Store is having a SALE! Stop in today for the best deals on dining room sets, beds, rugs and more! Hurry—sale ends this Sunday.
After: Looking to update your home decor? Now until Sunday, save on dining room sets, beds, rugs and more at Magic’s Furniture Store.
Notice the difference? Now, get back out there and post some quality content.
If you’re managing content for more than one project—tens, hundreds or even thousands—get in touch with our team. We’ll help you take a load off without compromising quality.