In last week’s blog post I talked about words that sell, words to use and words to entice your followers and fans on social media.
This week I want to focus on words to avoid.
In this post I discuss 5 types of words that I want you to think twice before using in your blog posts, web copy, and especially in your social media.
Why so important in social media? Because you have a much shorter time to make an impression so you want to make a good and intriguing impression, fast.
5 Types of Words To Avoid When Posting on Social Media
1. Avoid words that focus on the negative.
- Do not
That doesn’t mean your prospect client doesn’t have a problem you want to (and can) solve. It means you need to word it differently.
Instead use words like:
- Your benefit
- It’s best to
Show you understand where your reader is coming from and how your service benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.
2. Avoid using the words THING or STUFF or IT.
I actually wrote this sentence in this post and had to go back and change one above because I realized I used it when I could have been more specific. Always, always, always be specific. Be clear, tell your followers what you want them to focus on so they have clear takeaways.
What was the sentence above I had to change?
Tell me what you think of the difference when I followed my own advice…
Before: Show your reader how it benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.
After: Show your reader how your service (or product) benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.
Small difference but a big one nonetheless. Don’t you think?
3. Avoid the word REALLY.
This word is a descriptive crutch. Just like a lot, and very. If you are describing something that you want to emphasize and you can’t think of a good adjective then grab your thesaurus or go to thesaurus.com (my personal fav) to get inspiration. Or just delete the word altogether and your sentence should be strong enough to stand on its own.
Example: You really need to buy my service if you are suffering from a lot of fear that posting on social media is difficult and are very nervous about spending money on ads.
Change to: Buy my service if you suffer from fear that posting on social media is difficult and you are nervous about spending money on ads.
Just removing those words made your statement much more clear and powerful!
4. Strike out “I believe” , “I think” and “I feel” , from your posts.
People assume the words they read are the author’s opinion, unless you are quoting a fact. Using these “I” statements sounds wishy washy, reduces the power of what you are saying, and leads to a decrease in your perceived expert status. So don’t do this, instead just take those words out of the equation and let your sentence stand on its own.
Example: I believe you should revamp, revitalize and renew your LinkedIn profile so you look professional and polished.
Now take out the “I believe” and notice how the focus stays on the reader and you sound much more persuasive!
What do you think?
5. Never use the word JUST.
I read a fascinating article recently. The author talked about some personal research she did on the word just. She found that a much higher proportion of women used this word in communication.
- “I just wanted to check in on …”
- “Just wondering if you’d decided between …”
- “If you can just give me an answer, then …”
- “I’m just following up on …”
The author (Ellen Leanse, Business Insider) makes a fantastic point about the word just and why women seem to use it more. This word is a way of asking permission, showing deference to who you are talking to (whether they deserve it or not), and most often dramatically reduces the power of the communicator who uses it.
Striking this one word from the sentence strengthened the sender’s message and clarified it too. Isn’t that something we always look for in communication? I know I do.
So I challenge you to take a look at your communications you send today and see how many justs find their way into your emails, and then delete them!
I bet you will feel a little more powerful and confident in your request, and just might (will!) get a faster, clearer response.
Want another word list to keep handy? Here is a great one: 297 words and phrases that rob your writing of power. Check it out!
Have you found a great resource of words to use or words to avoid? Share with us in my LinkedIn group! I bet you will learn another smart business tidbit or two to use in your social media marketing plan. Join us!