Not familiar with micro-blogging? Trust me: you know more than you think. More importantly, micro-blogging might be the perfect online medium to help you develop your brand or leadership identity and your authentic professional voice. Micro-blogging might also be your ticket to meaningful relationships with clients, customers, audience, or your future employer.
The irony of this piece is that I’ll be using long-form blogging to teach you about micro-blogging. So pay attention to why and how you’re reading this blog. That’s how your clients will be using your blogs, too.
You’re trying to sort through the multiple methods of broadcasting your voice online, and you came here to learn and process. Blogs are perfect for such learning. They can help you develop an idea or thought or perspective that is comprehensive.
Long-form blogs allow you to develop larger ideas or narratives that require structure, involve lots of thought, and perhaps need supporting evidence.
Micro-blogs utilize small elements of content. You can upload short sentences, video links with a wee bit of commentary, and images. You can use micro-blogs commercially to promote your services, the products you sell, and even to direct readers to another website.
Recommendation #1: Don’t Confuse Length With Power or Value
The most influential leaders in a room aren’t necessarily the ones who speak the longest. In fact, powerful leaders often listen and observe. They take in what everyone is saying. They take in the mood. They consider what is unspoken in the room. Then, at precisely the right moment, they speak a sentence or two. The room quiets. The room absorbs.
Inspiring others doesn’t require 1000 words.
Have you ever read a brief status update or narrative on Twitter or Facebook and feel moved to laughter or tears? Ever been guilty of retweeting or reposting a meme? (those funny image, video, or piece of text that has already spread rapidly by internet users?) Have you ever found a meme that spoke to you so powerfully that you cut and pasted it into a text message to send to someone whom you know doesn’t even use Facebook? That’s the power of micro-blogging.
Recommendation #2: Let the Relationship You Want to Create Determine Which Micro-Blogging Platform You Choose
There are so many platforms out there; you need to choose which one feels right. Will it be Tumblr, which allows authors to post text, pics, links, audio, video, and also interfaces with Twitter? Will it be Facebook?
Before you choose your platform, decide how you want to relate to your reader or audience. Also, think about how you want them to connect to you. Writing and publishing a traditional blog mimics a more formal relationship. You’re asking your reader to devote time to just sitting with you and your thoughts.
A micro-blog, on the other hand, allows you to dart in and out of your readers’ life casually. At their leisure. Maybe you want to offer them a quick pick-me-up while they’re sitting in traffic. An inspirational quote to see them through the first three hours of their day. Of course, they shouldn’t be reading their mobile devices while in traffic. But if they’re going to break the law, they should at least be inspired while doing it.
Consider Your Demographic
Each platform has its own demographic. But don’t think about that now. Before entering the world of micro-blogging, think carefully about how you want to speak to the people with whom you want to be in a conversation.
Micro-blogging can be powerful in helping you speak with authority and develop a reputation as someone with important things to say.
Your micro-blogging can function like a zen koan. A short, aphoristic piece of wisdom that can stick in your readers’ head. Or maybe you want to drop a nugget of an idea into their laps.
Just be careful. If you start to use your micro-blogs as the equivalent of the colleague who always feels the need to narrate every stage of every task she completes, out loud, well then you’re going to have an audience that starts to treat you like white noise. And you don’t want to be white noise.
Recommendation # 3: Introduce Some Micro-blogging into Your Repertoire
Even if you prefer long-form blogging, consider incorporating some microblogs into your communication strategy.
Collectively, we’re all relying more and more on mobile devices. That trend is only becoming more pronounced. If your great aunt Florence is now wanting to complete a Facebook check-in at her Arizona condo using her phone, you need to consider micro-blogging. We literally need communication that can fit on the face of an iPhone.
Micro-blogging allows the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information in real-time. Blogging, with its more formal standards and requirements, doesn’t allow that.
And don’t be a judger. Micro-blogging represents a very old instinct: humans are drawn to concentrated insight or communication. Micro-blogging is to regular blogging what orange juice concentrate is to a whole pitcher of the stuff. Fully flavored. Short. Intense.
Think about how much cognitive and digital overload humans now face. Speak briefly. Use short sentences. Speak to your audience as if they’re a friend in the room.
Micro-blogging also allows flexibility and creativity with content.
Recommendation #4: Pay Attention to Which Micro-blogs Make You Want to Read
If you want to experiment with micro-blogging, then the first step is to pay attention to the content that makes you sit up and want to read more. You want to be that kind of content generator. You want to pay attention and discover your authentic voice.
Start looking for which individuals and organizations communicate in a style and pitch that catches you on your own frequency. That’s your authentic voice. Try to create more of that.
Micro-blogging can often help us capture our authentic voice. Sometimes a blank page (that needs filling with 1000+ words) puts an author in a weird head-space. The writer thinks that he/she has to find something big and important to say. The writer feels she needs to educate the reader. The writer feels she needs to have earned so much of the reader’s attention.
Not so with a micro-blog.
In fact, micro-blogging might be the thing that frees you from waiting for the perfect article that you know you were meant to write. Just start communicating. Invite us into your head. Bit by bit. A couple of dozen characters at a time.
Intrigued by the idea of micro-blogging? Not sure where to begin? Fill out our customer discovery form, and we will get you started.