“Facebook posts with less than 250 characters
get 60% more engagement.”
So ran the headline on a recent LinkedIn post. I’m sure you’ve also seen similar claims.
It seems that as the volume of content proliferates, our attention spans shrink and contract. As writers, we need to be very careful about how much stuff we put out there.
Here are some of my tips to grab your reader; and then to keep them:
Get them thinking
If your whole message is summarised neatly in your headline, why should they bother to read any more? Don’t give them answers; promise them value, or lure them into your story…
Get to the point
Avoid waffle. Keep your points short. Speak directly.
Skim and scan
Subheads, bullet points, bold and underline are all handy visual cues for the reader. They help them assess the potential value of your words.
Does it look easy to read?
Layout is very, very important. Your words have to look easy to read, even before they capture your readers’ imaginations.
Make every word count
Enliven your language with well-chosen adverbs and adjectives. Precise meaning is an attractive quality in itself, regardless of your overall message.
Let them want more
Don’t swamp them with information. Much better if they want to know more. This engages their curiosity or imagination, and they are much more likely to be loyal readers.
What tips would you suggest?
And if you really have mastered the art of meaningful brevity,
please demonstrate your skills and enter our Caption Competition,
and win yourself a free Advanced e-learning course!