Every month we check our trusty "Days Of The Year" calendar and see what types of content our brand can produce to align with upcoming holidays - traditional or... less traditional. It's a great way for brands to have fun with their social media content and stay current with what people are buzzing about.
When we took a look at January, we discovered that today is, in fact, National Hot Sauce Day! (Yes, apparently it's a thing.) So in honour of this oh-so-respectable "holiday", we thought we'd share a few Hot Tips on how to keep your content spicy!
See what we did there?
1.Ditch the perfect grammar and punctuation.
I know, I know. This was something that was drilled into you in school. But social media is not meant to be written as an A+ essay for your tough-as-nails prof. This space is a place where you connect with friends, and while brands are now a big part of it, they are expected to tone it down and keep it casual here as well.
2.Don't be afraid of a little slang.
Not only can it help you present the more laid back vibe we recommend for social media, using slang in your social posts can also help you connect with different cultures or demographics. For example: If you are talking about an event in the Mid West, you can interject some common terms and phrases that are regularly used in this part of the world - and for the rest of us are novelty!
3.Abbreviations are just the thing.
Social media is all about keeping it short. Quick, consumable content that all of us with our goldfish-like attention spans can handle is key to getting us to engage. A very effective way to do this is by using abbreviations. When you only have 140 characters to work with, being able to chop a three word phrase into three letters is GOLD. Just make sure that the abbreviations you're using are commonly understood. Maybe not to everyone - but to your target audience. Otherwise you'll just leave people scratching their heads.
Social media feeds are full of content these days. More than ever! So how are you going to stand out? How are you going to get your targeted audience to bite and pick up what you're putting down? I'll tell you how - you've got to surprise them! Shock value has been an effective tactic in marketing efforts for eons, so it would make sense that it applies today, in our new, more digital, marketing landscape. The key is: make sure your "shocking content" ties into your brand (eventually at least) and make sure it doesn't just surprise them, but delights them as well! Shock value means nothing if it stops there and doesn't tie into your story.
5.Think of social media as a cocktail party.
This is my favourite way to describe social media to clients and brands who are trying to discern their tone and voice. Social media copy is not meant to be written like a press release. It's a different forum and deserves a different approach. Think of it this way: How would you talk to your Board of Directors in a meeting? You'd keep it pretty professional, right? Of course. Now: How would you talk to your peers and customers at a cocktail party? THAT is how you should "talk" on social media. It's a more casual space where you don't have to be afraid to make jokes, let your guard down and have fun! Just don't be the person at the cocktail party who's had eight of the free cocktails.... There's still a line. Don't be afraid to dance close to it, but don't cross over!
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