Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The good, the bad and the awful words of social media

Along with the (not so) “easy way” in social media covered in last week’s article, there is also the quest for magic words to get people to stop and look at your message. Being that everyone wants attention, everyone tends to use the same ones, the words they see most often on tweets and Facebook posts, which of course defeats the purpose of being different and being noticed. Rather than searching for catchy and far too often superlative words, how about being engaging and descriptive so that the audience that may be interested in you pauses for a second and clicks to discover what you may have of interest to them. It is then up to you to offer something that is indeed useful or interesting to them. But first, you have to entice them to click you!

Build your credibility, don’t damage it!

How many times are you going to click on someone’s headline screaming “secret”, “You never going to believe this!”, “The best ever, watch to the end!”. The first one is currently popular on Twitter while the other two are trendy on Facebook. Unless you had the Queen of England staying incognito at your resort, you are going to disappoint your audience and destroy your credibility pretty quickly with such hype. As for the “secret” keyword, it does get people to click, it is human nature, but it is also human nature to expect a real secret, like the Coca-Cola recipe, not some lame idea that everyone already knows about and that will insure that they will never again click on you.

Social media is merciless. The audience quite literally consumes hundreds of short sentences and very abbreviated paragraphs terminated by “…” or “see more”, in short bursts of time throughout the day, like snacks! Most of these are stuffed with the good, the bad and the awful words trending that week. They become so repetitive that they become invisible which is great as you have the opportunity to get your message noticed by specifically avoiding the trendy words and, instead, use simple and clear “good” words.

Simple words are the best “good” words as the are quick and clear to understand. Combine two or three of them together to instantly indicate something different that is of interest to your audience and you have a far more effective message than one filled with superlatives. Say you are a resort and you did figure out that guests on vacations really do like the idea of not having to worry about missing breakfast, they are on vacations after all. “Anytime breakfast everyday” is guaranteed to garner more interest than “The most sumptuous breakfast” as a sumptuous breakfast is expected in a resort … along with the dreadful 10 or 11am deadline … again, they are on vacations! The same goes for the caption “Always fresh towels at the pool” to match your great pool picture because you know that what the universal resort pool complaint is. That message also hints at your excellent service. Keep posting and tweeting in this style to slowly build a strong and credible image, something you could never do with a thousand superlative keywords.

Exceed expectations with simple words

What makes your excursions better? Once in a lifetime? Breathtaking? … they all are! Instead, how about showing knowledge … “Elephants only drink about a bathtub of water a day!” and great customer care … “Fresh fruits on every excursions”. Keep the words simple and quick to grasp.

At times understating something that is visually powerful has a stronger impact than being overly lavish about it. A picture of fire dancers on the beach that says “After sunset, every day” conveys the important part of the message: every day, and lets the visual impress the audience.

And last, the most important part of social media: Keep doing it once or twice a day on a schedule. Your audience will grow accustomed to see your messages and at some point, subconsciously expect them. That is when you have established your brand.

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