Will click to tweet change PR and marketing writing?

Recently, the New York Times announced an experimental integration with Twitter that will permit editorial staff of the paper with the ability to highlight key phrases and passages in the article and offer one-tweet re-sharing.

The New York Times tests a new Tweet feature | Twitter Blogs

This technology resulted in an 1100% increase in the number of tweets that an article generated on the NY Times website. [ Click to Tweet ]

While the test itself was interesting and a cool idea, it raises a question for marketing and PR professionals: will this change our writing? Should it change our writing? [ Click to Tweet ]

For example, if we’re writing up a blog post, does “click to tweet” technology mean that we’ll spend less time thinking about the overall composition and more time thinking about pithy one-liners that are made for sharing? If we’re writing a bylined article or contributing content to a publication, how many embedded, tweetable quotes should we be including in our writing, especially to publications and platforms that begin incorporating more of this technology? [ Click to Tweet ]

One of the reasons this is a mistaken concern is the standard approach to writing and social media. When drafting up new content, instead of bolting social sharing on at the end and forcing content to be rewritten, what if you started with the shares? [ Click to Tweet ]

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For example, what if you outlined a new bylined article or blog post with the 5 things you wanted to have shared from it as the starting point? From there, you’d be able to craft the remainder of the content around it and still be able to create excellent writing and excellent content without sacrificing share-ability. Since many writers, especially in the content marketing world, don’t outline and end up getting stuck in their writing, starting with the shared content might even raise the overall quality of their writing.

Try this the next time you’re writing up any piece of content. Start with 5 tweets as your outline and see if the rest of the article flows from it. In addition to having thought ahead about social sharing and making it an organic part of the writing process, you might just find that your overall writing quality improves. [ Click to Tweet ]

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology


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