For the purpose of this post I want to talk about how your language is presented through typography on Social Media. While many just think about “what they are saying”, how what you say actually looks, makes a difference.
Definition of typography
Typography may be primarily digital now, but once upon a time (15th Century) when people wanted to “typeset” something, they had to carefully place each individual letter and truly contemplate how they wanted their content to look (see video at the bottom of the post). Now we just grab a keyboard and get to clicking away.
My question for you is, if you had to place each induvial letter one at a time, and build your posts, would you still do it the same way?
Let me assure you, you likely will not. I have had the wonderful experience of working on one of these machines and I can tell you, it makes you think about how things are going to look before putting letters to paper.
The point (that’s a type pun), when composing content for social media, use some classic rules to make your content appear professional and increase legibility.
Here’s a few things to avoid:
1) TYPING IN ALL CAPS FOR YOUR ENTIRE POST. DID YOU KNOW TRYING TO READ CONTENT IN ALL CAPS IS ACTUALLY HARDER FOR THE EYE TO READ? WHILE MAYBE CAPITALIZING A FIRST WORD WON’T HURT, AN ENTIRE POST IN ALL CAPS IS HARD TO FOLLOW.
Did that feel a little aggressive? I think so too. You should avoid posting in all caps, it doesn’t captivate people or make them think what you are saying is more important because it is in all caps, if anything it makes your post feel like it is standing on a park bench yelling at passerby’s.
Instead use caps sparingly to call out specific “punch words”, give it a try, your social media will look and feel so much more pleasing to the eye and your content will be more approachable.
2) Don’t Ignore the “return” key.
Not all social media will hold “return” in a post, but FaceBook sure will. Break up the content in your post, if someone has to hit the “see more” button, they are now interacting with your post.
Formatting your content in a way that encourages your potential customer to interact is a very good thing. Scissortail Social posts almost always have a the “see more” at the bottom, We intentionally format social media posts in a way that looks professional and legible. (Although not always free of typos, we all have our shortcomings.)
3) Not Hiding Your Hashtags
This is not just about specifically “hiding your hashtags” – but this rule does apply to them. Use informational hierarchy when composing your post. Put your most important and “eye catching” words first, the ones that are going to “draw you in”. The human eye recognizes “words” without actually reading them.
Beginning a post with “Thank you” or “Sale” will in fact draw readers to those words. Typographical hierarchy will guide your reader through what you want to communicate.
This may feel a little “high school” but, try using this checklist to compose social media posts:
- Attention Grabber (Sale, Thank You, Today)
- Summary of Post (Our special is sure to make your mouth water!)
- Details (Come in 10-2 for Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Croissants for only $4)
- Links (Recipe here)
- Action Item (Mention this, Tag, Like, etc)
- Hashtags (#ChickenBaconRanch #onacroissant #ourbakeryname #hotlunch)
So your post would look something like this:
Those three little tidbits begin to cover composition and hierarchy within your social media posts. Composition and hierarchy help legibility and encourage interaction. Implementing some classic typographical and compositional rules will make your social media content, and the impression your posts leave behind, a little more polished.
Even though Social Media may be a public platform where we are all used to “coming as we are,” when you represent a business or organization, how you represent yourself is important even on Social Media.
Letterpress Studios and Information I Love:
I work in Social Media now (print when I can) but I am a lover of typography, I have always been drawn to letters. I have been known to read the history of typefaces. We don’t always think about it but, letters essentially define how we interpret the world around us, and that is a pretty amazing thing, and a pivotal role in how we develop.
1) Hammerpress (https://hammerpress.net/)
“Hammerpress is a letterpress print shop and design studio located in Kansas City, Missouri. We specialize in letterpress cards, stationery, ephemera, show posters and art prints here in our studio in the Crossroads Arts District.“
2) SkyLab (https://www.skylabletterpress.com)
“Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Skylab Letterpress is a full-service print shop focused on the craft of letterpress printing in the modern landscape. Since 2006, we have been building relationships with our clients by offering Skylab as an incubator for their dreams, ideas, and printing needs. “
Until Next Time
Thank you all for joining me!
I hope this finds you Well & Happy and Leaves you Inspired.