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Social Media Writing Tips for Executives

Author: Loraine Antrim

It’s a Blog New World. Social media has changed how we communicate. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and dozens of other social media sites have given us a new way to communicate with friends and business colleagues. They have also given us a new vocabulary. We now “blog” and “tweet” and “text”. We read “blooks” and “microblogs” and are concerned about “trackbacks.”

But most importantly, social media has given us a new set of communication rules. And if you are a business leader, knowing the ins and outs of communicating in a social media world can be critical to your online reputation and your business presence.

Here are eight guidelines executives might think about when communicating in this brave new social media world.

1. Think Eternity. When writing a blog, tweeting, or commenting on any social site, the first thought in your head should be, “These words are permanent.” Will you be proud to see the comments you wrote, let’s say twenty years from now? Comments associated with your name can advance or tarnish your online reputation, so write with an eye to your future.

2. Think Like Aretha Franklin. Remember her famous song, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”? No matter what social media you engage with, offering up respectful comments, recognizing and calling-out the efforts of others, and keeping a collaborative mindset will serve you well. It's also one of the most important brand traits for a business leader.

3. Think Like Twitter. Few people have the time or inclination to read rambling and lengthy articles or comments. Twitter’s micro blogging 140-character limit forces us to be crisp and focused. No matter what the venue, concise and to-the-point writing will help gain any business leader an audience.

4. Think Like the Audience. What do THEY want to read? What are THEIR likes and needs? Make your comments and writing more about your readers than about you. That’s not to say you should keep your opinion in check, just make your opinion relevant and topical for readers.

5. Think Story. People all over the world love narratives. You can never underestimate the power of a good story, no matter how long or short it is. When commenting and especially when blogging, add stories, relevant business examples, and real-life people to make your writing come alive.

6. Think With Your Ears. Listen to the crowd. Don’t just jump in and write to LinkedIn colleagues or respond to a blog post. Really listen to the collective voice first. Maybe read a post more than once before you respond, or review a few of the blogger’s key words. By really listening, you’ll know how to more effectively frame your comments—you’ll add more value and be more a part of the social fabric.

7. Think of the Venue. Each social site has its own conventions and ways of doing things. Spend some time checking-out the lay of the land before you land your comments on a page. Conventions for Twitter are vastly different from those for Facebook or your corporate blog. Think, “Editorial Guidelines” so your comments will be in keeping with the look, feel and flow of the social site you’re writing for.

8. Think Twice Before You Tweet. Does the world really care that you are going off to the slopes now, or meeting Mr. X for lunch, or taste-testing a new microbrew? As a business leader, are you advancing compelling business ideas? The types of comments that might be relevant to your favs or family might NOT be relevant to the corporate world. If it’s not of value to the collective business crowd, think twice before posting.

Bottom-line, the social media is not like the American Wild West. There are rules, conventions, etiquette and best practices. And as a business leader, following or not following those guidelines can impact your executive brand.

Thinking about social media conventions before you jump in can make the experience a better one for both you and your readers.

About the Author:

Loraine Antrim is co-founding partner of Core Ideas Communication, a PR and marketing communications firm serving corporate clients around the globe. We specialize in strategy, message and content development, media/analyst training and leadership development. Find us on the web at Loraine's blog on executive presence can be found at:

Article Source: - Social Media Writing Tips for Executives

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