Tag Archives: Twitter
Whether you regard Twitter as an annoying distraction for txtspk-obsessed teens, or as a useful information sharing and gathering tool, the fact that it has reached the mature (in Internet terms) age of 7 is an impressive feat. Loved by celebrities and common people alike, Twitter has become an important communications tool in the 21st Century.
Twitter themselves estimate that their 200 million users send 400 million tweets daily. The microblogging platform allows anyone to reach a global audience and the succinct nature of tweets make it hard to bore your audience (in theory). During the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, the US State Department even claimed that access to social media was a human right. “It’s the same kind of right as walking into a town square,” spokesman PJ Crowley claimed in an interview with the BBC.
With a global reach and millions of active users, Twitter offers a fantastic way for businesses to connect and communicate directly with their customer base. Receiving and answering product questions or support requests is simple and relatively easy to maintain. Twitter is also brilliant for sharing snippets of information or links to your audience. As long as you have some top quality content that your readers might like to tweet of course.
But Twitter can also be used for so much. You have the ability to see what people are saying about your brand and products, a way to communicate directly with industry leaders and the opportunity to profile your customers for instance.
Although Twitter is still far short of Facebook’s user base, the fact that the service has reached its seventh birthday and continued to grow, suggests that it will be around for some time. In which case, is your business on board yet?
If you need help with managing your company Twitter, or would like assistance with putting together tweetable content, drop us a line. And don’t forget to follow @techwriteuk on Twitter for more useful content too.
A quick glance at Twitter sometime after 10pm on Thursday would have shown a lot of interest by people who had just finished watching BBC1′s shiny, new drama series “Mayday”. Over the course of five nights, viewers were treated to a story of child murder, small town lives and the general freakery of the human race. Sentiment on Twitter was almost overwhelming – how do I get those 5 hours of my life back?
Mayday was beautifully shot and spent plenty of screen time establishing its characters, so it should have been another triumph for the BBC. Yet it all went wrong. Why? And more importantly, what does this have to do with copywriting?
Wasting your audience’s time
Mayday took a long time to tell what was actually a simple story. An episode of “Murder She Wrote” could have covered the same storyline in 1 hour (including adverts) without being any more annoying. However the 5-night format of Mayday meant that the scriptwriters had an additional 4 hours to throw in unrelated details in an attempt to keep the viewer guessing. My discussions with others about Mayday suggests that we were only watching through to the end because we had already invested 2, 3 or 4 hours into the programme already.
For the online copywriter (or website owner) you cannot afford to think like this. Website visitors spend mere seconds on your pages before they decide to read on or move on. You cannot rely on them reading a whole page just because they bothered to read your first paragraph.
Many of the characters in Mayday were portrayed in a certain way for four episodes, helping to establish an identity. However in the interests of “tension” these same people then did and said things which were clearly designed to rush the story to its conclusion. This schizophrenic characterisation was unconvincing and ruined any credibility created by the first four episodes.
Changing your corporate identity in your copy without clearly explaining why could cause people to doubt your company. If you used to follow a particular ethic or company line, but then change it suddenly and without warning, what are your customers to think? It is unlikely to be positive. Create a clearly defined corporate identity and stick to it.
Bait and switch
The first four hours of Mayday clearly established that viewers were watching a crime drama. The finale however introduced elements of the supernatural to conclude the story, changing the genre and subverting the series as a whole. Not only did this confuse many viewers, it was also wholly disappointing. We had been promised one thing but at the end were actually presented with another.
Known as “bait and switch” some copywriters rely on this technique to capture a reader’s attention before going on to a completely unrelated product or service. Readers always feel cheated when your copy promises one thing (such as a free widget) but then delivers something completely different (your free widget costs £99 to post for instance). You wouldn’t knowingly defraud your customers, so why do it to your website readers? It just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Like the unwelcome genre change, Mayday also failed to close any of its storylines in a satisfactory way. Plot lines were left hanging and the “wrong” outcome to the series was also reached. Viewers of these programmes “know” what to expect and Mayday failed to deliver what was expected of it – an ending.
Your website readers will probably have expectations of your pages and text – it is the professional copywriter’s job to meet them. People also expect closure, a satisfactory ending. Failing to conclude cleanly will fail to convert visitors into customers.
Hopefully these observations will help your own website text please your readers, rather than annoy them. If you would like to know more about how professional copywriting services from Tech Write can create compelling, entertaining and fulfilling text for your readers, please drop us a line.