How Can Technical Writers Help You Maximize Your Social Media Marketing?

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handsonkeyboard2Social media is changing the way people communicate—communication is now constant, prolific, and global. And, most businesses looking to grow have integrated social media into their marketing strategies. And, it’s working! But, if you’re new to the game, you may not fully understand how and why to use these outlets.

You can find all kinds of published material offering advice on social media. But, recently in a Huffington Post article, Lisa Parkin identified these four tips to help marketers improve the results of their social media marketing:

  1. Pick a main goal for the campaign first.
  2. Use real custom photos (or better yet, customer photos) rather than stock images.
  3. Include several variations of ads and see what happens.
  4. Try non-traditional advertising like posting ads on niche blogs or offering sponsored posts.

The first three of her four tips so clearly reinforce the philosophies of technical writing that we’re compelled to share them here. If you’ve got a good technical writer who knows your business and understands your goals, you may have all you need to get your social media marketing campaign underway.

So, Why a Technical Writer for a Marketing Task?

Let’s explore three of Lisa’s tips further.

Pick a main goal for the campaign first. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it also sounds like technical writing theory: understand the rhetorical situation. When you know your goal, you can better tailor your message for a specific purpose and audience. By fully understanding where you want to go with your marketing campaign, you can

  • Determine which words you use to capture your audience
  • Determine where all your links take viewers, and what they’ll see when they get there
  • Determine keywords used and what platforms are chosen

If technical writers know nothing else, they know the value of audience analysis. They understand how to reach specific audiences in purposeful ways.

Use real custom photos, or photos of/from your customers. Another tenet of technical writing is accessibility. You have to help your readers find what you want them to see. And, by using real photos rather than stock images, you capture their attention more easily. Even though, or maybe because the photos might be grainy or blurry, readers can tell they’re real photos, which helps them to connect to your message in a more personal way. There’s a certain trustworthiness to those images; it makes you seem more personable in social spaces where bland, uninspired images are the norm.

Technical writers are trained to design communications to enhance accessibility—how to grab readers’ attention right away and direct them through the document.

Include several variations and see what happens. You have to monitor and adjust. In the free-flow of ideas that is social media, you can never be sure which combination of images and message will best reach your target audience. So, use your analytics to see which work and which don’t. Then, cut the dead weight. One of the keys to successful communication is to be firm, yet flexible—stick to your message, but have lots of ways to say it!

People who spend their careers in words—word choice, word placement, word effect—can definitely enhance the way you repurpose messages in your marketing campaign.

Bottom line: put yourself in your audience’s place. When you know your audience well enough, you’ll know how to attract their attention and motivate them to action. Ask yourself, “Would this make me want to keep reading? To look further? To buy?” If you answer yes, you’re probably on the right track to successful social media marketing.