Whenever anyone is writing anything there is only one thing to remember, it’s always about the audience.  That is a simple concept with a simple reasoning.  Whenever you or I write, we do so in order to communicate something.  Communication only occurs if both the reader is able to clearly state what the message is, and if the reader is able to clearly interpret the intended message.  Many things can be lost in language.  People misinterpreted each other all the time.  A simple text message can be read utilizing a change in inflection, analysis, and tone.  So how do we convey the message as it was intended?

Remember it’s always about the audience.  How do we get an audience to constantly engage and return for more if they cannot understand the words being directed at them?  The words that you write aren’t meant for you.  Many times a writer can feel that his or her words are his or hers alone.  That’s great for your diary, but horrible for communication.  When you’re with a group of friends and you talk about that inside joke or personal event that only a few shared, you get outsiders.  Everyone has been on the inside and outside of those conversations.  Do not make your audience feel like outsiders, otherwise what is their incentive to come back?  When Hoffman talks about return on investment in “Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing?” the message is all about the audience.  If the audience can find a return on their investment of time, then they’ll come back.  Produce the message that gets the most to come back, and as a producer you’ll find a return your investment.

Producing a message that keeps the general masses interested is a tricky idea but with a formulaic result.  There’s a reason why television and movies always seem to be hitting the same topics in the same methods.  The last time you were enjoying some entertainment, were you able to predict the next event or scene?  That’s the understanding the formula of how entertainment works.  Words are able to produce many effects, but they require the proper molding.  Within Jim Sterne’s “Social Media Metrics,” one is able to understand the basics of people.  That is their need to be engaged through emotions, reactions, and interactions.  Often an idea seems common once you hear it, but often it is forgotten when there is no one around to repeat it.  Jim Sterne reminds us of how to engage an audience.

Emotional writing holds a special connection.  It allows words to seem human.  If a reader can see themselves or at least relate on an empathetic level, then there is a higher level of interaction.  It provokes the reader in a stronger way and makes the message that much more relatable. If you can get someone to feel your message, then they’ll have no choice but to remember its cause.  Emotions are hard to convey through words, and the little techniques of nuance can easily be tangled.  Though once mastered, the world will listen to your passion, anger, and desperation as if it was their own.

Reactionary writing is an aggressive style of engagement.  Reactionary writing was once a method gained through threats and ultimatums.  Directly challenge the audience and they will respond with equal if not greater vehemence.  The new course of gaining a reaction is to rally people towards a cause.  Advocacy can be as strong a motivation as any threat.  People will rally behind a cause, whether it’s towards the same goal or against a common enemy.

Interaction is our final aim to gain the attention of our intended audience.  It tends to come after that initial reading.  It is to make sure the audience knows that the writer is listening and responding.  The two way conversation lets the other person know they’re opinion matters, and everyone wants to know they matter.  So we maintain that engagement with a simple response or one of more details if it suits.  Either way, the audience knows we’re there, listening and responding, and that makes them happy.

Everything we do to get an audience, we then have to put in as much effort to maintain that audience.  Building that relationship is an ongoing process.  People learn to trust the words they decide to read throughout their busy day.  Don’t offend them by ignoring or disregarding them.  Your words aren’t that special, and there are always other options.

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