Entries Tagged 'freelance copywriter' ↓

Social Media – To automate or not to automate, that is the question

Whenever I speak to people about social media, the question as to whether or not you should automate your activities usually divides opinion.

There are those who believe that social media should never be automated because, after all, it’s supposed to be a social activity.

And there are others who believe that, to be effective, you have to schedule updates so that there is a constant stream and therefore a constant presence.

My own personal view is that it shouldn’t be automated, or at least not all of it.

The key to social media

I’m about to make a bold and obvious statement: Social media is about being social.

So if you don’t like people then it isn’t going to be for you.

It’s all about listening, engaging and conversing. You can strike up a debate or offer help and advice. But if you automate it, you can’t be reactive because you’re not there.

Earlier I said not all your social media activities should be automated which would suggest that I’m not totally against it.

Normally when you see me tweet that means I am at my desk working and keeping an eye on the Twitterverse ready to drop in when something interesting pops up. But my blog posts automatically feed into my twitter account through RSS. Therefore when a new post is published an announcement is automatically sent out with a link to the post.

No one’s home

If you automate 90% of your tweets you can’t engage with others.

Just think about it for a moment. If you set up a load of tweets to be scheduled and one of your followers responds to one or asks a question, what impression of you will they have when you don’t reply?

I’m not saying that your followers will expect an instant reply but an acknowledgement within an hour or so would be welcome.

Some people also tend to schedule the same tweets over and over. Even if you vary between half a dozen or so, it’s going to get very repetitive and could lose you followers.

So I guess what I’m saying is, if you want to automate your social media activities keep it to a minimum.

To get the most out of it you need to listen and participate. Show your followers you are a real person and interested in what they have to say by engaging with them.

Have fun with it – after all it is meant to be social.

Have your say

How do you use social media?

Leave a comment and share your tips with us.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter, social media addict and blogger

Twitter – @sallyormond

One of The Best Copywriting Blogs


That just about sums up my reaction when I read an email I received from Boostcrt.com.

They recently compiled a list of the best copywriting blogs on the internet and, you guessed it, they included mine in the list.

I am truly honoured to be included especially as I’m nestling along copywriting greats such as Copyblogger, Michel Fortin, Bob Bly and Jeff Sexton (to name but a few).

You can take a look at the list here – Best Copywriting Blogs – The Definitive List fo Great Blogs for Marking Copywriters and Content Developers

Thanks guys and I shall wear my badge with pride.


Freelance Copywriter – Briar Copywriting

Video Marketing – How to Go Viral

We’ve all seen them – videos that are produced by companies to market their products that go viral. They’re viewed thousands of times by people all over the world. People talk about them and share them through social media.

So how do they do it?

Why is it their video goes global but yours remains unloved on YouTube?

Stop marketing

Stop marketing – are you serious?”

Yes I am.

Think of marketing as a whole rather than just relating to video marketing.

Do you like getting cold calls or unsolicited mail shots?

Probably not – and if you don’t why do you think your customers do?

Here’s a news flash for you, they don’t like it. They don’t like being disturbed during the day by a company they’ve never heard of before trying to sell them something. They don’t like having their inbox cluttered with unsolicited emails and they don’t like getting piles of junk mail.

They would rather you engaged them, got to know them, help them with advice and tips. They can then get to know you, get to like you and get to trust you. That’s when they may decide to do business with you.

OK, going back to video marketing, what do you think a successful video should be like?

A) One that harps on about your company all the time

B) One that makes an emotional connection with the viewer

It’s the emotional connection that will make people want to share your video. Here are a couple of examples of companies that used their videos in precisely that way. They are not blatant adverts – they offer the viewer entertainment and a few laughs which in turn made thousands of people share them offering the companies a perpetual marketing machine.

Samsung’s video which took a novel approach to promoting its LED TVs

Bensons for Beds unique way of promoting their products

T Mobile

A whole new way of thinking

Many companies go wrong because they continue to use the old fashioned advertisement within the new social media context.

Social media is all about engagement not direct selling.

When you use video marketing, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platform you must learn to talk to people. Success in these new marketing arenas is all about engaging them, conversing with them, and building relationships.

Your videos shouldn’t be seen as TV adverts, they have to give the viewer something.

Plus, if you want people to share your video make it easy for them. Upload it to YouTube, provide a link to share. If you don’t what was the point in creating the video?

So next time you create a corporate video, forget the direct sell and your company and think about your viewer. Give them something they can engage with, enjoy and want to share with others. That’s when you’ll benefit from viral marketing.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

Routes Into Copywriting

Last year I was asked by the Guardian On Line to take part in their Q&A forum about how to become a freelance copywriter.

Well, that discussion was such a success I was asked to take part in another Q&A session on How to break into Copywriting.

You can follow the discussion here and learn from myself and other copywriting experts how to get into copywriting and other copywriting issues.

A lot of great stuff came out in the forum so if you’ve ever considered looking at copywriting as a career it’s well worth a look.

Copywriting – Tone and Voice

copywriting voiceSomething strange happens to people when they try to communicate through writing. Their normal chatty engaging style goes out the window for something more akin to a literary novel.


You’re still talking to the same people (your customers), it’s just through the written word rather than voice.

Getting the tone and voice of your copy right can make a huge difference to customer engagement and your conversion rates. Your copywriter will be able to adapt their writing style to any ‘voice’ you want, but you might have to give them a few clues.

What do you really want?

Your copywriter is an expert at what they do, however that doesn’t make them a mind reader.

When you brief them make sure you give them a real taste of what you’re after with regards to the voice and tone you want the copy to convey.

Saying something like – “I want quirky”, or “I want something fresh” doesn’t really help. Granted they realise the type of approach you’re after but quirky and fresh could cover numerous styles.

It is very likely you’ve done your research and come across another website or brochure etc., that uses the style you’re after. If so, cite them as examples to your copywriter so they can read the material and get a real feel for what you are trying to achieve.

The copywriting process is a very collaborative one. You can’t just hand over a brief and expect copy that is spot on first time (OK, that’s not strictly true, that does happen sometimes – and it’s great when it does – but frequently it’s not until you actually see the copy that you begin to work out what it is you really want).

The first draft is the copywriter’s visualisation of what the brief you provided asked them for. Once you see the copy it is then shaped into exactly what you want.

By giving a visual example of the tone/voice you want will help the creation process enormously so please make sure you provide examples wherever possible.