First I have to say, I really wanted to write “Brevity is”, but I fought that urge because this topic deserves more that a quick quip.
When thinking of social media, there is one lesson that so many businesses seem to miss and that is the art of brevity. This is extremely important in Twitter where you are limited to only 120 characters to get your point across. With a show of hands, how many of you baulked at 120 characters and insisted you have 140 characters? ok, put your hands down, you look silly 🙂 the fact of the matter is that you “could” go for the twoosh but you are not making it easy for anyone to share what you said via a Retweet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a friend or company tweet about a cause or event that I want to help them promote, and I get frustrated because I can’t just retweet it, I need to go in and reword the message so it makes sense, gets the point across, and fits in the restricted amount of space.
If you are sharing information that you want shared, keep some simple rules in mind:
- Don’t say with blah blah what you can say with blah.
- Do keep your message at 120 characters or less, this makes it easy for people to just click the Retweet button.
- Do use a URL shortener, I like Bit.ly
- remember that your twitter handle will be added in when someone retweets you.
On Facebook, use the 5 sec rule…I might only glance at your update for 5sec, make sure I get the point that fast without having to do heavy reading. When writing a blog, always look to see what you could take out with out taking away from the purpose of your article. Sure some topics need more space, but many people seem to just write a lot because they were conditioned in school to meet a minimum number of words, let go of that thought process.
Ernest Hemenway was said to have written a 6 word story” For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” think of the power of that story and the images it conjures. My personal favorite was the report Julius Caesar offered on his short war with Pharnaces II of Pontus in the city of Zela “Veni, vidi, vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered), be a wordsmith but be frugal.