Write to Extend Social Media Conversations

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If you’re a small business owner, independent contractor, or PR or marketing specialist, you recognize the power of social media to generate visibility and new business opportunities. The rest of you may soon be writing more workplace social media text as organizations turn to these platforms to connect with their staff, customers, potential hires, consultants, and others.

For example, many major corporations are launching employee advocacy initiatives, calling upon personnel at all levels to help build their brands and deliver key messages to target audiences on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Plus, an increasing number of organizations are establishing their own social enterprise networks to enrich their internal communication—sharing best practices, crowdsourcing for solutions, and driving cross-functional collaboration.

Whatever the situation, you’ll likely be writing more on-the-job social media text in the next few years. So you need to master one of the most important social media writing skills: composing compelling responses to others’ posts to increase the likelihood that the person will engage with you.

Say you’re a leadership consultant and come across a tweet from the CEO of a training company addressing Gen X management styles. You reply with a request to schedule a call to tell her about your extensive experience with Gen Xers. But that may come across as too pushy—and you’ll blow your chance of developing a valuable connection!

A better approach is to embellish what she posted with a fresh perspective. Here’s how this could play out on Twitter:


Tweet from CEO of XZ Training:

60% of Gen X managers don’t communicate effectively with staff.

Your response as a leadership consultant:


@XZTraining Gen X managers having more face-to-face staff meetings, says study.

Now you’ve added depth to the CEO’s post, enticing her to respond and possibly generate a meaningful business relationship. This strategy could also be used for LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms.

So the next time you want to engage a potentially valuable connection, extend the social media conversation.

Want more advice? Check out my new book, 10 Steps to Successful Business Writing, 2nd Edition.

About the Author

Jack Appleman, APR, CBC, is a prominent writing instructor, coach, and author who is committed to helping individuals achieve better results with their writing. He is driven by the belief that everyone can significantly improve their text by following a series of straightforward steps. Jack’s workshops, webinars, and coaching sessions have helped thousands of working professionals become more confident and proficient writers.

As principal of the Monroe, New York–based Successful Business Writing, Jack brings more than 25 years’ experience as a corporate trainer, professor, and public relations professional. He is a frequent speaker and has published several articles on the importance of good writing. He’s also contributed to several articles in the Wall Street Journal. In 2015, Jack received the Charles T. Morgan Award for lifetime excellence in corporate training from the Association for Talent Development’s Northern New Jersey chapter.

A professor since 2001, Jack teaches technical writing at Southern New Hampshire University. He received the accreditation in public relations certification from the Public Relations Society of America and the Certified Business Communicator designation from the Business Marketing Association. Jack also has a BA in communication from Ohio State University and an MS in journalism from Ohio University. He is studying for a PhD in organizational communication at the State University of New York at Albany. He can be reached on Twitter @writecoachJack and by email: [email protected]

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