#RosiesRoundup: the wind-up edition
Watch out readers, Rosie’s at the end of her school holiday tether and she’s got a bee in her bonnet about some of the pet peevs we’ve been discussing in the office. You’ve been warned!
It might just be a coincidence that I’ve decided to write this month’s roundup on the subject of ‘things that annoy us’ in the final week of the long school summer holidays... or maybe I’m just feeling a little jaded.
The idea for the blog actually came about over much sighing and gritted teeth around our shared work table. Do these things get your goat, make you blow a gasket and all round cheese you off?
We have some connections in common
First up in my pick of the pops is direct in-mail on LinkedIn. Of course we all get approaches from those we don’t know, maybe wanting to talk about a recruitment opportunity or their new amazing service.
However nothing says automated and un-personal like a wavy hand with “Hello there” and a message that demonstrates they clearly haven’t bothered to understand the nature of the business I work for. No, we might not need our website copy written thanks, as a Copywriting Agency we like to think we’ve got that covered!
Likewise when I do make a connection, I really don’t need your automated reply to thank me for connecting with a cheesy one liner about how we have shared goals blah blah blah. If you’re genuinely interested, take the time to write a personal message. Automation is for Amazon, LinkedIn is for building relationships with real live human beings not robots.
Social selling is anti-social
Moving swiftly on to overly salesy social media. Whether you’re into Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you’re most likely on that social media platform for the lols, to keep up with your friends and contacts, and be interested and engaged.
So why why why then do so many companies (big and small) have social media posts that are so buy buy buy? When you’re following a brand or a business online, their posts are appearing alongside those from that person you met at a conference last week, your old school friend, the fashion influencer you follow and so on. So a message that is overly salesy really stands out… and not in a good way.
Of course businesses will do the occasional shout out about the products or services they offer, but these should be in the minority compared to genuinely valuable or informative content. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to share yours, check out this blog post on 6 ways to share your blog posts on social and get more readers written by our master word craftsman Sam.
Get that grammar good!
Incorrect use of capitalisation, spelling errors and bad grammar - boring I know, but really and truly it makes a difference, whether it’s in an email, social media post, blog, website or brochure copy. Chances are that this is where you are meeting your customer for the first time, so if you’re not using a professional copywriter or copywriting agency, at least get yourself a proofreader.
I’m not talking about weird and wonderful grammar like the Oxford comma (don’t worry I didn’t know what it was either until #LinguisticsLiz told me) - it really is the simple stuff. The right use of an apostrophe - do you mean something that belongs to your business or more than one? Ditto their, there and they’re.
That’s not to say you can’t use some artistic license by creating words as frequently demonstrated in my blog posts. Rin has even blogged about the fact that copywriting isn’t about good grammar. But do make sure you deliver the basics.
The key to key words
Nothing says I’ve ‘done’ SEO like the overuse of keywords. Used appropriately - and by appropriately I mean naturally - keywords are incredibly useful and a very powerful SEO tool. So by all means do your research and create your list.
But that doesn’t mean that every second word should be a keyword or that they should be used clumsily in order to squeeze every single one in. If you’re using a professional copywriting service this will be done seamlessly, but if you’re doing the writing yourself then it is worth having an unbiased outsider read your copy to ensure it doesn’t feel clunky. Don’t forget you can amend your existing published website copy or blogs with keywords retrospectively. Use them, but wisely!
All in all I’d say it’s about keeping it real and by that I mean personal, natural and thoroughly proofread. Don’t let typos, lack of time and strategic goals get in the way of who you and your business are. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t turn up a meeting with a new contact unwashed, in your gym clothes and talking like C-3PO, would you?
Rant over. As you were.
Want to read more? Try this - #RosiesRoundup: Saving time, saving sanity