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How Toastmasters Can Improve Your Social Media Posts
By: Elaine Reed
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If you’ve ever had to take a Speech or Debate class in school, you probably learned some basic tenets like “Know your material,” and “Practice your speech ahead of time so that you don’t trip over your words.”

Basic tips for giving speeches can also be applied to your social media content. No, you don’t have to practice your tweets in front of a mirror or picture all of your readers in their underwear, but keeping some of these tips in mind can make your content better.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. “Know your material.” Sure this seems like a no-brainer, but a surprising number of people post information without fact checking it first. In age where technology can change at the speed of light, fact checking can be difficult. But if you don’t even try to fact check, you run the risk of people posting comments saying that you aren’t the expert you want or claim to be. So make sure you know your material inside and out before you post it.

2. “Know the audience.” There are tons of social media sites out there today. And while you may find the most success with just two or three of them, it is important to keep in mind that as much as there will be overlap between them, there will also be people who only interact with your brand through one site. Tailor your message accordingly. Do you get the most interaction on Twitter during the week? Is Facebook really active in the evenings? There are reasons for this. Getting to know who is where and why will let you craft more effective content.

3. “Know the room.” Facebook has a “like” button and Twitter doesn’t. Twitter has a character limit and Facebook doesn’t. While it is common to share content between more than one social site, it is important to keep the differences in mind. Pushing Facebook content to Twitter that asks people to “like” your post — especially if it doesn’t include a link back to Facebook — shows your readers that you aren’t paying attention. Forgetting about those details hurt your credibility.

4. “Relax.” Why was the “Sh*t My Dad Says” Twitter account so popular? Because it had a personality. Social media isn’t about being stiff. It’s about sharing your message. The best way to do that is by providing engaging content with a unique voice — yours! So relax, take a deep breath, and make sure some of your own voice makes it through to your posts.

5. Realize that people want you to succeed.” Everyone uses social media for different reasons, but ultimately, everyone wants information that is pertinent to them and at least a little entertaining. A source that clearly knows its stuff and can disseminate information in an easy-to-absorb way, with both respect and levity, will earn the support of its fans. And the fans will help propel success.
*Tips from Toastmasters.org.

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About the Author
Elaine Reed is a marketing professional with heavy emphasis on e-commerce and Internet marketing. She blogs regularly on her website and tweets often.
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