Friday, December 2, 2011

On Tweeting Well...

...and on LinkedIn-ing well, on Facebook-ing well, on Google+-ing well, etc., etc., etc. ...etc.

Social media is a medium for communication, right? To communicate, when you're not talking, what are you doing? That's right: You're writing.

Writers will recognize that the headline of this blog entry is a play on William Zinsser's contribution to writing well, the oft-republished "On Writing Well." If you write well, you'll tweet well; according to the chatter from this past Wednesday's #TChat, in fact, you'll be well-versed in perhaps the one indispensable skill necessary to succeed in social media, in any profession.

Social media is fertile ground for a "what-does-it-all-mean?" discussion, and in "Exploring the Heart of Mainstream Social Media Careers," #TChat covered a good deal of that ground. But what stood out, for me, was this idea that social media is a form of written communication, and to do social media well, you need to be a good writer. Matt Charney (@mattcharney), social media manager for, put it best:

That's the thing about writing: having a voice. In social media, tweets with voices stand out. LinkedIn groups with voices stand out, and Facebook status updates with voices stand out. They rise above the din. They sing. They come not from faceless social media managers, not from superficial tweeters, not from zoning-out Facebook users, and not from cogs-in-the-wheel LinkedIn members; they come, instead, from thinking, dreaming human beings. People, not tools, have voices, and only people whose voices resonate through their writing stand a chance of succeeding in social media.