Yesterday I had an intense conversation in which it transpired that we no longer look at content in its own right. When you are being shown a photo album, it comes with commentary rather than five further pictures that would explain the content.

When you go to an art gallery, there’s a description next to the painting rather than several other paintings telling you the story of the artist’s life. When you watch a play, you’ve read the program rather than having an actor talk you through the production background and credits.

Moreover, when you see something on its own, you are more likely to either bypass it or search for supporting information. Content, especially supporting content, is everywhere and no more so than on here, the empire in which Google rains and SEO purrs by its side like a tamed tiger. The hash tag is the beautiful and popular twin-sister of the content tag.

140 characters of copywriting – keep it direct

Imagine an empty white space with a big window and a broken piece of furniture, which you just so happen to walk past on the way to work. This can mean a lot. It can mean a shop has gone bankrupt, emptied the space but dropped that piece of furniture. It could mean there’s a new pop – up gallery that hasn’t finished constructing the space – hence, there are no descriptions, titles or tags. What if you looked twice and there it said “Waste of Space” at the bottom corner of the window? How about a scratched out “Wo-lw-rth-“ or in really obvious cases “Shop coming near you soon”. Would that be clearer? Maybe not, but it gives you a second layer of information to explain the situation with.

Now imagine a piece of content that has no reference to anything but itself. Imagine you’re working on your spread- sheets and an automated Social Media interface such as TweetDeck makes a little “ping” noise. You look up and there it is, between all the headers and questions and links. Just a plain little tweet statement that says, “Leaves are green”. What on earth is that twitterer trying to say? But then you see a hash tag, and it all makes sense. It could be #ObviousStatements, #ScienceIsWrong, #EnjoyingNature, #ItIsNotAutumnYet, #IAmBored, #ResearchingPaint – anything. But it will make the tweet a lot clearer without disrupting the copywriting itself in any way.

Make the most of your 140 characters

This is particularly helpful when you want to make sure the SEO of your content is covered without having to add a whole other pointless sentence taking up any of your 140 characters of a tweet. You want to engage your reader but not bombard them with statements.

“You don’t ask visitors to do heavy lifting as soon as they come through the door either, do you? http://ow.ly/2lnUx #CopywritingTips”

  • The majority of the 140 characters are taken up by the interesting question or  content you want to pose to your readers
  • Although the question itself does not use the key words you need, anybody looking for copywriting tips will be able to find this tweet and with it, the link
  • It indicates the nature of the answer of the question without giving it away
  • It evokes curiosity and a higher possibility of tempting the reader to click on the link because they know it is relevant to them but are not sure how

If this were a tweet, I’d add #TheRightWayToUseHashTags. Imagine there was no hash tag description at all… People might have thought the question was meant literal and that the tweet was discussing courteous ways of greeting guests.

#HowNotToWriteTweets

  • “This is a Copywriting Tip.”
  • “One of our copywriting tips is wondering whether you should ask visitors to do heavy lifting as soon as they come through the door.”
  • “The right way to use the hash tag is as follows in an example”.

Hash tags can be used in many different ways and are helpful for SEO, online campaigns, which denote solidarity on a topic, and identifying trending topics such as #ff to join in, hereby ensuring a higher readership based upon miniscule use of words that could have meant missing out entirely. I’ll talk about the different uses in another #SocialMediaHighSchool article.

There’s nothing wrong with being mysterious. As long as it’s clear what you are talking about, of course.

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