Tips for writing effective Twitter ads

Advertising on social media is somewhat of an art. You want your ads to be engaging (visually and content-wise)—but at the same time they need to be clear, with a strong call to action.

 

If you’re not seeing the traction you’d like from your recent Twitter campaigns, this blog post—posted by the social media giant itself—offers five pretty good tips for writing effective Twitter ads. In our experience, many of the tips highlighted in the article—such conveying a sense of urgency, offering something for free (particularly content) and phrasing ads in the form of a question—are all effective strategies to garner likes, responses and retweets. That said, we have a few things we’d like to add to the list:

 

  • A consistent, memorable and (in some cases) unique hashtag—particularly when you’re advertising an event or report—can go a long way. In these cases, your hashtag should be a tool to help your readers learn more about the thing you’re advertising (and help you keep track of who’s Tweeting about you).

 

  • Don’t be afraid to lighten things up. A little bit of humour and wit can not only make your ad stand out but—if it’s funny enough—it can also stick in your reader’s mind.

 

  • Include interesting visuals. An engaging photo—or interesting gif—can really make a good ad great.

 

Do you advertise on Twitter? If so, what content tips/tricks keep your readers coming back for more?

 

The end of the (written) word as we know it?

As someone who prefers writing over speaking any day of the week, one Rosemary O’Connor quote has always resonated with me:

 

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

 

If you feel the same way, then you may have a similar reaction to Facebook’s prediction that, in five years’ time, the written word will be out—at least when it comes to social media—and video will become the communication method of choice.

 

According to the social media giant, the number of text updates has already started to diminish, while video is on the rise. As someone who gets clunky in front of a camera—who trips over her words, can’t remember what she wanted to say, and says “like”, “um” and “uh” an embarrassingly inordinate amount of times in one sentence—I can’t imagine a day when I’d ever turn a camera on myself to announce a mundane update in my life.

 

That said, I understand the whole notion of “show, don’t tell”—and while it may be difficult to capture many of life’s personal, spontaneous moments on camera, I definitely see how businesses could start relying more on video when it comes to social media marketing.

 

What do you think? Could the written word eventually become extinct? What would that type of world even LOOK like?

Get out of your social media comfort zone

If we said any social media channel could work for your brand, would you believe us?

Drowning in content? We’ve got a solution.

If your marketing department is drowning in content—yet still failing to keep up with the demand for more—we have a few tips that might help.

The ‘no more excuses’ social media plan

Social media is a phenomenal way to connect with customers—but a consistent, effective strategy can also be a drag to maintain. In an ideal world, you’ll have someone to manage the day-to-day tasks for you. But if you don’t, you’ll be happy to hear you can do it yourself—in just 18 minutes a day. Hootesuite recently set out a great 18-minute social media plan for businesses. Basically, the minute-by-minute guide breaks down the social media experience into five easy steps: browse and engage; monitor; post; analyze; and schedule. It also gives you advice about how to apply the five steps to the various social media channels. In our opinion, it’s […]

Do copywriting formulas work?

I hate it when content takes longer to write than anticipated—especially when my calendar is overflowing with deadlines. So when I recently came across a website that offered a complete handbook of copywriting formulas—a handbook that promised to drastically reduce the amount of time I spent writing content—I felt like I hit the jackpot.

 

Right there in front of me were standard formulas for writing tweets, headlines, blog posts, web pages—virtually any form of content you could imagine. But, once I had a chance to really look at them, I have to admit—those formulas made my head spin. Honestly, I think it would take me longer to force information to fit into a template than it would to simply write that same content from scratch.

 

The entire experience got me thinking—is there really such thing as a copywriting formula? Judging from personal experience I’d say yes—but in very rare situations. If you’re sending out a standard press release—say, announcing the opening of a new office—then sure. Certain types of speeches could probably benefit from a fill-in-the-blanks approach also. But things you write in abundance—like blog posts? Personally, I think you need to freestyle those.

 

My reasoning is simple. The whole POINT of content marketing is to write pieces that will capture the attention of your target audience, and you can’t do that if all your content follows the same, predictable formula. Writing a boring, run-of-the-mill press release is fine if you just need something—anything!—to post in your website’s ‘news’ section. But if you want to really capture the attention of the media—and gain some coverage—you need it to stand out.

 

To do that, I suggest ditching the templates and, instead, trying some of these time-saving techniques:

  • Put the most interesting/important/eye-catching messages at the top of the page. Not sure what those messages are? Try implementing some tried-and-true journalistic rules—sourcing out the 5Ws, the news peg, the inverted pyramid—to help you organize your thoughts and find the nugget of information that will really speak to your audience.
  • Stop thinking so much. Can’t get that first paragraph perfect? Jot down the first thing that comes to mind—without worrying if it’s good or not. Revising it later is so much easier than getting it perfect the first time.
  • Tell the story. When verbally telling stories to others, we tend to naturally offer up the most interesting information first. It’s a great way to determine what’s really important about your piece—and also offer some clues on how to arrange your thoughts.
  • Glance at some precedents. When all else fails, look at a similar, previously-written piece of content. Pay close attention to how the information is arranged and copy that “formula” (in your own words, of course).

 

What do you think? Is there a time and a place for copywriting formulas? What tricks do you use to write efficiently? Please share—I’d love hear!

Finding your writing soulmate

Finding the right external writer to handle your b2b writing needs is a lot like dating—you have to know yourself first before you’ll even have a chance at finding your perfect partner. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of questions you may want to consider before beginning your search for your business writing soulmate.

Three simple steps to create a quick-and-easy company video

In today’s age of rapid content consumption—and rapid content creation—not all videos have to be award-winning productions to be successful. Depending on your audience, sometimes quick and easy is all you need.