Write Less to Get Read More

Here’s the best way to make sure your brand’s Facebook posts get read:  KEEP THEM SHORT.

Better to cut off a bit too much than not enough.

The #1 thing to remember when you write something to be read on a computer monitor or a phone screen:  Nobody reads online.  They scan.

I found three radio Facebook posts that I could not make sense of if I just glanced at them.  Here they are … and we’re going to edit them.  I’m not identifying the stations, but I’m not hiding anything that they wrote.

#1 — TRYING TOO HARD

One of the biggest radio brand Facebook sins is trying to include too much information in one post.  Here’s the original post:

Ever been on a floating party? Join Romeo as he DJ’s his first summer party cruise of the summer this sat on boston Harbour. Tix always sell out and are only $25 for an amazing night. The weathers supposed to be great and it will be a night to remember! (21+) Buy your tix here: http://ow.ly/5Dxvh Scroll down to July 16th. See ya’ on the water this Sat…make plans now!

OK, first off, when I tried to use the link, it didn’t work.  This is a station promotion, so hopefully they have a page about this event, or have it listed in their online promotional calendar.  Either way, leave out most of the info on Facebook; make it clear what is going on, and use your link to provide the details, like so:

Here’s all the info on Romeo’s first party cruise of the summer, this Saturday … including a link to buy your tickets! <link to station website> 

If you have an attractive picture of the event on your station webpage, you can use that to help draw attention to your Facebook post.  Want to upgrade the post and make it special?  Like so:

Facebook fans get to reserve space in the VIP section of Romeo’s first party cruise of the summer, this Saturday!  <link to station website>

By the way, an update … I got the above link to work.  You have to scroll down the page to find where to buy tickets, and then jump to another page.  It’s yet another reason to create a link from YOUR website to the exact page you want them to go to.  It’s a very, very confusing process to buy these tickets.

#2 — LEAVE THEM SAYING, “HUH?”

Here’s another case of a radio station promoting an event on Facebook with way, way, way too many details.

It’s not too late! Join us for our young professionals event-TOMORROW 6-9am @ the Detroit Historical Museum. It’s a morning of networking & conversation about “Living, Working & Playing in Detroit”. Hear from panalists: CHRIS ILITCH (Ilitch Holdings), BILL EMERSON (Quicken Loans), CINDY PASKY (Strategic Staffing Solutions), MIKE DUGGAN (DMC) and TRICIA KEITH (BCBSM). Ask your questions during our on-air discussion.  

This is a pretty murky post … in context, on my Facebook page, I could tell it was the sort of post that almost prevents anyone from stopping to read it.

I have to admit, I’m not really sure what the best way to promote this event is.  It’s at a museum, it’s a continental breakfast with speakers, and it’s about “Living, Working and Playing in Detroit.”  I’m not sure why I would want to ask the speakers listed about that … no offense to them; if I lived in Detroit, why I would think they knew more about it than me?  However, let’s take a stab at something that might get some attention.

Kick-start your morning tomorrow with breakfast and business networking with other young professionals at the Detroit Historical Museum!  Bet you got an opinion about “Living, Working & Playing in Detroit.”  <link to station web page with all the info>

 Better yet, here’s an upgrade:

Someone’s gonna win an awesome Detroit Summer Stay-cation at the Detroit Historical Museum’s breakfast networking event tomorrow morning for young professionals.  Continental breakfast and interesting conversation will super-charge your morning!  <link to station web page>

#3 — MAKE SOMETHING INTERESTING TOO DETAILED

Here’s an upcoming morning show segment that’s getting some Facebook love.  Once again, Too Much Information leads to Being Ignored on Facebook.

Tomorrow on Therapy Thursday: Brett is going 2 his 20th high school reunion in a very snooty area of California. He was laid off a year ago & been unable 2 find a job. He came up with a story that he is a CTO-Chief Tech Officer in case someone asks “what are U doing these days” He wants his wife Allison 2 memorize the story so she can lie too. She says no way but he says a wife should cover for her husband. Thoughts?

How about …

At a high school reunion, is it OK to lie about not being out of work … and insist your spouse do so, too?  He says she should cover for him, but she doesn’t want to.  What would you tell this couple for Therapy Thursday, tomorrow at 7:10a?

Not only is it shorter … it clears out a lot of extra details, to get right at the crux of the matter, and the emotion it’s likely to create.  It also asks a specific question.  You could ask a different specific question, depending on the interaction you wanted from listeners.  The more specific, involved and emotion-based you make a question, the more likely you are to get a response.

Then, you can even read a couple of responses to get the phones going for the Therapy Thursday bit.  Notice, too, that the revised version has a time to listen for the feature on the air.

By the way … if you wanted to upgrade this, what if you already had audio statements from both him and her at a hidden web page that you could send your Facebook fans to go hear and then make a comment on?

Chris Miller

P.S. — You can see from the third post, above, that too many details don’t help.  Yet … when we send people online, how often do we say, “visit our website for details?”  Do we really want to make “details” the payoff of a web visit? 

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