If Social Media language styles were dress codes

  • Twitter would be underwear – just enough to cover and entice further investigation
  • Blogs would be smart casual –  even business orientated posts show their human side
  • Facebook would be casual – relaxed and chatty.
  • Linkedin would be formal – remembering that potential employers or business networks will view this content.

Language has evolved and moulded to fit the medium, with short snappy micro-blogs for Twitter, with abbreviated text and missing vowels to save space and to keep with 140 key strokes. Being trained as a journalist I see this as headline writing. You have to grab the attention of a reader who is scanning a page of tweets for the most interesting or imaginative or just plain funny.  Advice from Courtney Ramirez  is to keep Twitter posts to around 100 characters to allow for retweets.

The best tweet on my feed today for grabbing attention was this at 138 characters long.

Ricky Gervais ‏‪@rickygervais

“The trouble with fables is, they’re putting animals together that wouldn’t meet. When would a scorpion be knockin’ about with a frog?” KP

 KP = Karl Pilkington

Blog language will depend on the target audience and will vary from semi-formal e.g. CE Blog post to stakeholders to the more casual style of“What Im doing on my holidays” a blog for an audience of friends and family. Even corporate blogs are recommended to have 80:20 personal to business content according to Neal Schaffer.

Keep blogs to short easy-to-read paragraphs, invite comment and participation and reference information to others through links.

Facebook posts are generally short as most readers are again scanning for content to respond to or react to. Facebook is a visual medium with photographs and graphics, links and video clips. This is a casual conversational style of writing even if used for an organisation or business the style of writing should reveal a human side. See for example Queensland Police Facebook page.

If, as Rachel Strella says content is king in all forms of social media – then making your writing style appropriate for the audience is queen.

With Linkedin blog posts I agree with Rachel when she says keep them short and to the point as people reading are busy and scanning for the post that resonates for their business or position.

And remember this piece of advice from Wikipedia on blogs “Dont say anything online that your wouldn’t say in person.”


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