My boyfriend’s… Brad Pitt.
Of course, you know he’s not. I’m more of a Clooney girl anyway.
Social media posts, particularly tweets, give us a chance to get our message across in a quick, supposedly succinct way. With a 280 character count there’s simply no space for waffle, but when editing a longer message, the true meaning can easily get lost.
My opening sentence wasn’t meant to be a lie. Or a fantasy!! A longer version, without the ellipsis, would read:
“My boyfriend’s office featured in a movie starring Brad Pitt.”
That much is true. The office is in the heart of Shoreditch where many films are shot. Sympathetically restored, authentic Victorian buildings provide a backdrop for period dramas, whilst the dynamic centre for 21st century culture, fashion and amazing food, shows an eclectic mix of London at its best.
His office has lovely arched windows and a shiny purple door – and you may well spot it coming soon to a cinema near you. Another crew will be filming there next month and I’ve asked to be on site to get a taste of the exciting world of showbiz! I’ll certainly be tweeting about that!!
My point here is simple: keep your messages short, sweet, and in plain English, but – if editing them – be careful to keep them as they should be.
If you have more to say on Twitter, you can use a visual, comment on a retweet, or drip feed info to your followers. Or, if your audience is elsewhere – let’s say on Instagram, you’ve got more freedom to write lengthier posts, but you should still avoid setting out an essay. A few sharp points and a bunch of relevant hashtags will do the job more effectively.
Winston Churchill famously said, “If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.” Fact: Writing to a specific word or character count, avoiding waffle and gobbledygook, and being clear for your audience does take far more time than writing in freeflow.
Another fact, for true transparency: the office didn’t actually ‘feature’ in the film – it was there in the background but wasn’t a prime location. Maybe next time…
If you don’t have time to think about your tweets – or your social media message in general, chat to me about drafting some clear, unambiguous posts. I’m here to help – waffle-free! (Sadly, also Brad Pitt-free.)