Monday, Monday, Monday! It is kind of funny I am going to be talking about “wordsmithing” on early on a Monday morning, with not nearly enough pots of coffee (yes, I said pots!) consumed. To be fair, words are one of my favorite things. I enjoy writing and words!
So, it looks like I technically made up the word “wordsmithing”, but here is what I could find on M|W.
Lyricists, poets, novelists, journalists… I would define all of these as “skillful” writers, but what about those of us who write for Social Media? Our goal when writing is to be approachable and concise. That in itself is a skill. Social media writing doesn’t have words for the sake of words, or $3 words that the general public may not understand. Social Media writers write in a way that is accessible to everyone, and depending on the platform you are writing for, you may even have character limits.
In our last post, The Way I Talk, we discussed capturing your voice and utilizing free writing to help the natural flow of posts, and we did mention the need to go back and “wordsmith”. Just like with any “writing assignment” usually the first draft has room for improvement, and social media writing is no different. You should always go back and check for a few key things.
Since I made up the word “wordsmithing,” here is my definition:
Here are some tips and Tricks that will help elevate your social media posts that I categorize as “wordsmithing”:
Spelling and Grammar
This can be the most difficult bit, but it makes a huge difference. You need to make sure you are using the correct “there/their/they’re” – and of course the difference in “sale” and “sell”, or “than” and “then”.
Spelling and grammar can be a challenge, Social Media is more relaxed than academic writing or other types of formal writing, (we aren’t going to dive into various forms of complex sentence structure, that doesn’t fit or need or our audience in most cases) but we don’t want to discredit what we have to say due to errors in spelling and basic grammar.
If you struggle with spelling and grammar there are a few things you can do.
- Compose in Microsoft Word or Pages, where you will have spellcheck.
- Get an App/Browser Add-on
I personally have Grammarly on my Google Chrome browser, but it is available for many different platforms and devices. I have used it for quite some time, and it is quick and catches my typos and grammar mistakes.
When you re-read your post you should check for repetitive words, seems silly, but its true! When we “free write” sometimes we use the same word over and over and over and over, and we don’t even realize it.
Check for those repetitive words and see if you can come up with an alternative, or use Thesaurus.com if you get stuck.
Sentence Structure & Punctuation
Social Media content has the luxury and challenge of being very simple, but that doesn’t mean sentences should be incomplete or poorly crafted. If commas give you pause (pun intended) then instead of trying to join multiple thoughts together with commas, essentially stringing them together, make them short simple sentences.
And go back to using that “return key” to break up your visual weight.
Make sure the content of your post is pleasing to the eye, (see more in “Let’s Talk About Text Baby”).
- Avoid ALL CAPS.
- Use that return key! (Break that content into multiple lines.)
- Put hashtags as the end and not within the post.
- Check your spaces, make sure you don’t have extra or missing spaces between punctuation marks and sentences.
Keep it Simple
This is a basic design and marketing concept and it applies to every aspect of Social Media, Marketing and Design. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.
I hope this finds you well and happy, and leaves you inspired.