Writing in plain language is another best practice you should be applying to your copy. It helps your audience understand your content more quickly, and plain language is also easier for someone with a cognitive disability to understand.
This should already be a basic instinct for any good digital marketer. Knowing your audience and the people who primarily engage with your social media content, means knowing how to talk to them and using language they understand.
For instance, let’s say you work for a zoo. We can assume that your online audience is going to range in age, background, and education, so you’d want the language you use in your content to be as inclusive and clear as possible.
You wouldn’t say, “You’re invited to visit our exhibit featuring a juvenile Equus quagga,” when writing something like, “Come meet the newest addition to the zoo family, a baby zebra,” would be much easier for most people to understand.
This item pertains more to webpages and communications that contain more text than the average social media post, but it’s still a good practice to implement, especially if you typically write longer posts or oversee email marketing for your organization.
Make your content easy to follow by breaking up longer sentences and paragraphs or using bulleted lists when possible. Even something as simple as using two hard returns (hitting the Return/Enter key) in a tweet can make your content easier to read and more likely that users engage with it.
Thankfully, most people who work in social media already understand the power of concise content and have mastered the art of packing the most important info into very short posts. When in doubt, just get to the point. Take the below before and after example of plain language. The before example is unnecessarily wordy.
We can assume that this message is being sent directly to students from a college financial aid office. The after example below shows how the message can easily be simplified.
If you’re using complicated jargon or unfamiliar phrases, you could be negatively impacting your content and making your followers feel alienated by it. This goes back to our first plain language tip of writing for your audience. Keep your content simple and straightforward.
Try to use an active voice when you’re creating content and be more informal with your writing. Write content the way you would speak. The below example shows the difference between a passive and active voice. The original content used a passive voice.
With a few adjustments, the statement now uses an active voice.
Want to learn a little more about the impact of language? Check out the links below!