While principles of good writing apply across all media, writing for social media requires understanding both the technology and culture. Here are a few takeaways from this chapter:

  • To be an effective writer, you must understand the contextual difference between types of writing such as text messages, tweets, cover letters, news releases and annual reports.
  • How you present yourself in social media requires a mindful balance between being authentic and being professional.
  • Some of your stories have a better chance of going viral when shared/social media are added to the mix, because readers and users have the opportunity to become part of the storytelling process.
  • To be a successful feature writer, you must know what your readers and publics will perceive as interesting, funny or even shocking enough to draw attention and participation.
  • Remember, online news feeds, blog rolls, email preview panes and search engine results favor good leads.
  • Regardless of the medium, you should package background information in an easily accessible format for whoever is writing about your organization.
  • Joining an online conversation is a lot like joining one in person; before you jump in, first you need to know how and what people are talking about.
  • If you have a blog, include the URL in your e-mail signature. Link back to it with headlines in your news feeds. Remind employees about it when you see them face-to-face.
  • Keep your webpage headlines short—even 8-12 words; you need them to capture attention and also lead people to click on yours versus all of the others that appear in search results.
  • To earn natural links, you need to nurture relationships with other sites by offering information that the writers and designers of those sites will find valuable.