Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Social Media Writing for Humans: The Art and Science

Writing for social media is a tricky business. So much effort is put into turning an exciting phrase or sexing up a boring topic. To be really effective at social media writing, it is important to look deeper than the words you choose. Humans take in and process information in predictable ways. Understanding the psychology of memory, recognition, and retention are great tools to significantly increase the effectiveness of your message writing. You can still be fun and sexy, but now you can be smart too. Some simple rules to keep in mind when writing:

  • seven words
  • first and last are the most remembered words
  • familiar or emotionally loaded words work best

Seven words:

Human beings have a short-term working memory. At most, it can hold seven words. For me it is much less, but I am over 50 years old, ha ha. Keeping this in mind, the next time you are tempted to write a novel on Facebook remember that the average person will only see or remember seven words at most. It is important to make those seven words count. The more words you use, the less likely any of them will register or be remembered. More work = less reward.

First and Last:

When reading a sentence the first words and last words are remembered most. The end words are remembered the best. So if you have seven words to communicate the message to your fans, it is good to prioritise. The words you place at the beginning and end are the most important.

Familiar and emotional:

Put away the thesaurus! People scan messages and words that are familiar or have high emotional value register best. Keep it simple silly (KISS) for sexcess. What did you see in that last sentence????

Here is fun list of memory games I found. Play around with them and your message writing. Practice makes perfect.

Much success,


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