Social Media Microblogging: How to Communicate More Effectively?
Four simples tips to spice up your microblogging strategy
Have you ever created a Tweet describing a cool chart? Have you ever created an Instagram post describing a fun moment with your friends? Or perhaps you are a LinkedIn user who likes sharing product updates about your startup.
All of those small content snippets classify as microblogging. A micro-blog is about writing a short message to engage an audience on an online platform, such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, or Pinterest.
Why do we use microblogs?
Microblogging allows us to effectively communicate with other users using an informal, quick, and conversational style. Microblogging’s primary use case is engaging people using various content formats, such as images, videos, infographics, statistics, or just textual updates.
Here’s an excellent example of a microblog on LinkedIn by the Brave web browser. They are sharing some statistics about their product, reaching a milestone of 20 million monthly active users. Their goal is to share this positive news conversationally, connecting with Brave users. Besides that, there’s an underlying goal to adopt new users.
(Source: Brave Software LinkedIn announcement surpassing 20 million monthly users)
Another example includes Cake.app. The Cake app is on a mission to combine all bank accounts, giving users access to better personal financial insights. Cake applies Twitter microblogging as a form of direct and informal communication to receive product feedback and build a strong relationship with its community.
The below Tweet shows how they allow product users to ask anything while providing them with transparent and informal answers.
(Source: @CakeDotApp allowing users to ask informal questions about the product and team)
This example demonstrates the importance of including microblogging in our communication strategy. In short, microblogging allows us to create a direct communication line between the product and customers to receive valuable feedback and insights.
Let’s outline four best practices when using microblogging to communicate with your users.
1. Use humor
Using humor is one of the best ways to engage others. Look at this fun post by Starbucks featuring a cat using the drive-through. Not only did Starbucks create a funny image, but they also created this fun wordplay Drive-Tru. Here, a microblog can be very micro.
(Source: @starbucks on Instagram)
By looking at the many fun comments posted by followers, this post was a great success!
Instagram comments for @starbucks Instagram post
2. Share a personal story or experience
Microblogs don’t always have to be very short. Many Instagram influencers like to use the Instagram caption to share a personal story. A caption allows you to add context to an Instagram post to increase user engagement.
Take a look at the below picture. It shows a person at the beach, standing in the waves. Without any context, this picture doesn’t tell a story. However, @andreinavalderrama uses Instagram microblogging to add a personal story and give more context to their image.
Often, Instagram users follow a person for a particular reason. For example, Andreina’s followers like her because of her advice on mental health and personal development. Therefore, microblogging is essential for Andreina to provide more context to an Instagram post.
(Source: @andreinavalderrama on Instagram showcasing a microblog caption)
Users on platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter want to learn more about a brand or person on a much more personal level. It’s about sharing value with others. We won’t be able to grow an audience by just reposting content without any context.
In the end, microblogging is about sharing personal insights, creating value for other users.
3. Make content easy to digest
Keep content lightweight. Instead of writing big chunks of text, try to break up text into concise paragraphs. We can make use of bullet points or emojis to visually divide our content. Especially for LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram, this is important as we can’t make use of subheadings.
Here, Joachim displays an excellent example of breaking up content with emojis and whitespace while concisely sharing tips.
(Source: Joachim Zeelmakers on LinkedIn)
4. Use the intro-body-CTA format
You probably remember teachers telling us to use the introduction-body-conclusion format when writing essays. This format is also valid for microblogging. The only difference is we swap the conclusion for a call-to-action (CTA).
Let’s examine the intro-body-CTA format so we can apply it to future posts.
The first paragraph of our microblog allows us to hook the user. We provide the user with an exciting piece of information, such as a statistic, opinion, or question.
The body sits between the introduction and CTA. These paragraphs support our introduction and provide more context to solve a question or clarify specific statistics.
The conclusion or call-to-action summarizes our post effectively while leaving room to suggest the user’s action. For example, ask the user to open a product page, sign up for a newsletter, or comment on their thoughts.
(Source: Overview of intro-body-CTA format created by author)
Now, why do we include a CTA only at the end of our microblog?
According to research conducted by Atkinson & Shiffrin, “When participants are presented with a list of words, they tend to remember the first few and last few words and are more likely to forget those in the middle of the list.
This is known as the serial position effect. The tendency to recall earlier words is called the primacy effect; the tendency to recall the latest words is called the recency effect.”
In other words, the serial position effect tells us the best position to include a CTA is at the end of a microblog.
Microblogging: When and where?
Microblogging is an excellent tool for an organization to interact with its users. It’s a popular strategy among startups to receive quick product feedback and build lasting relationships with users through microblogging.
Moreover, we can easily fit a microblogging strategy in our marketing plan as it requires very little time to develop micro-content. As it requires few efforts, it allows organizations to develop content frequently, sticking to a consistent posting schedule.
On top of that, it enables near real-time content sharing. For example, we can quickly share planned product upgrades or scheduled maintenance, so users know what’s going on. Therefore, it makes up a prominent channel for emergency communication.
Below we find an example of DigitalOcean, which provides cloud solutions to developers, informing them about scheduled maintenance or service interruptions.
(Source: @DOStatus on Twitter sharing status updates about their services)
In the end, individual users and influencers use microblogging to share personal ideas and opinions about topics they value. By providing personalized insights, they can grow their following.
Lastly, microblogging allows us to provide context to images, videos, or data insights we share with our audience. Imagine a world where Instagram doesn’t allow us to add captions to images. I bet Instagram wouldn’t be as successful as it is right now.
Backend developer and technical writer who also likes other stuff: marketing, endurance sports, UI/UX, and developer experience. Happy to talk about Developer Experience and Documentation Strategy!