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30th March 2016 Verity Sanderson

What did you think? Every Word Counts

Emma Hallam, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Derby Museums shares her thoughts from our very first one-day conference on copywriting.

Image of Emma Hallam

The AMA guys have asked me to share what I have learnt and will put into action from the Online Copywriting Day: Every Word Counts one-day conference.

First a little bit about me –

What do you do? Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Derby Museums

Fun job? Yeah, I love my job. My role was brand spangly new when Derby Museums became an independent trust in October 2012 and since then I’ve had great fun playing, learning LOADS and of course, working hard 😉

Who do you work with? I’m the only full time person in ‘the marketing team’ but have help from a super fab intern, Claire, who works with me a day a week. Soon, an apprentice will support me for 4 days a week – oh and my colleagues at Derby Museums are terrific to work with.

OK, so what did I learn at Online Copywriting Day: Every Word Counts?

My key takeaways from the event

  • SHORT SNAPPY VIDEO is a winner on Facebook. I’m looking forward to experimenting with video more at work.
  • 100 CHARACTERS or less on Twitter is most effective – who knew…
  • FORMAT IS TONAL – It’s not just the words that dictate the tone of your copy, the way it is laid out is also super important.
  • Some of the Facebook posts and tweets I share work really well and others don’t. The day taught me to TEST with different content and to also take time to understand why a post/tweet gained good engagement and why it didn’t.
  • Kids/young people, tend not to use Google as a search engine, they opt for YouTube.
  • Us social media managers can’t spend all day answering Tweets, especially at weekends – it’s totally cool to sign off on a Friday with “off to the pub, see you all on Monday!” Maybe miss out the pub bit…

What am I going to put into action straight away?

  • Posting LESS on Facebook. It was advised that organisations should only post on their page 2-3 times a week and that includes sharing posts from other pages. Only post stuff that is worth posting.
  • PLAIN LANGUAGE – have I made no more than one point in each sentence?
  • Playing with GIFS on Twitter… How can I get away with sharing so many cat GIFS on Derby Museums Twitter..?

My highlight(s) of the day

  • Write copy as if it is the first time someone is reading it.
  • Consider having your call to action at the top of the page and create scannable text below.
  • Getting a consistent and unique tone of voice nailed down in your copy is a winner. On my to do list at work is to sort out our ‘tone of voice’ document to share with staff when they write content for the organisation.
  • “People on Twitter want to follow PEOPLE – keep it human” – David Levin from That Lot
  • Use no more than 3 ‘blue things’ per tweet… these are things like mentions, links and hashtags

The impact the event will have on my work at Derby Museums

  • We are currently updating our website at Derby Museums so this event could not have come at a better time. I have a lovely big stack of copy to review and edit from my colleagues ready to upload to the website.
  • Like any organisation, we’re looking to stand out on social media. Speaker Tim Fidgeon suggested it’s good to plan ahead in order to use ‘special occasion’ content. As museums we’ve got loads of opportunities to share historic birthdays, occasions and #onthisday facts.
    My plan is to make more time for and to FAKE TIMELINESS.

From the day, I’ll think about what Catherine Toole from Sticky Content shared. She made some basic points about writing copy that will stick with me (get it?!) from now on:
– Think about WHY you are writing the copy? Is it even needed?
– Consider WHO the copy is for
– Always take time to think WHAT the key message is

All 3 speakers had some ace ideas.

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