Posted by Rachel McLean
This may seem like common sense to some, but I recently discovered the power of the hashtag. I used to be somewhat skeptical about the hashtag. To me, it seemed like an unnecessary use of characters. You put # then a word to emphasize or reiterate what you already said in the copy of the post, and that seemed like too much.
After all, we learn in Public Relations, or really in any communication with the public, that we need to be concise and too the point. Only use as many characters as needed to get your message across.
I always got overwhelmed with the bombardment of hashtags some people would put on their posts, so I figured I would save others the onslaught and leave my posts simple and untagged. Well, that is, until recently.
I started a blog about a month ago. It was for personal use and to share with family and friends. My only follower was my mom, so yeah, it was a small blog.
On one of my more recent posts, I realized there was the option to tag your posts with keywords. I thought Why not? and put a few #keywords along with my post.
The next day, I checked my email, and I had a bunch of notifications from the blog site. People had found my post! They were interacting with it! I had likes, comments, and new followers. People searched the hashtags, stumbled upon my post, and actually liked what I was writing!
Since then, I’ve become a bit of a hashtag fanatic. Even tagging your post with one or two words can help increase visibility and make your messages more trackable. Don’t believe me? Try hashtagging one of your posts and see what happens! Or check out Tagboard or Hashtagify and search some hashtags you see trending on twitter.
We live in an age where there are thousands of people sending messages out into the digital world. Why not make yours a little easier to find by adding a few more characters including that little # above the 3 on your keyboard.
Posted by Jen Probst
When it comes to online writing, length is just as important as content. Learning how to craft the perfect blog post, tweet, or Facebook update is essential for reaching your audience. Check out these guidelines for perfecting your online writing abilities:
In terms of blog posts, length is dependent on the content. Therefore, length should reflect how long it takes to capture and convey a message. However, blog posts ranging from 300-400 words are more likely to result in readers finishing the entire post. It is important to keep readers engaged and intrigued throughout the entire body of writing.
While Twitter does enforce a 140 character limit on tweets, is this really an ideal length? Fast Company’s research has found that tweets made up of 100 characters gain the most retweets, overall. With this in mind, adhering to a short and concise style is key when attracting larger audiences on Twitter.
Facebook is another platform where readers generally do not expect to find or read full articles—with the exceptions of links to external pieces. Therefore, focusing on key words and points can help draw audiences into posts and articles, whether on the site or hosted elsewhere.
Ultimately, being straightforward in your writing is essential to developing engaging content. Focusing on the readers’ attention is important when gauging what will most likely be read versus what will be overlooked. And remember, be sure to take note of your length when it comes to your next online post.