The Roaring PJ - A Social Media Blog

5 Words Not to Use – My College Professor’s Grammar Pet Peeves

Posted on by Melanie Yunk

In my college English class, our instructor adamantly exclaimed she absolutely despised a certain set of words. She claimed any sentence, paragraph, letter, document or book would be better read without these grammar pet peeves. I wish I could remember this professor’s name because she taught me more about writing than almost anyone else during those years.

English, Grammar, Book, Words

We were told by this wise woman most people write sloppily and use excessive language. Most writing contains “fluff,” causing readers to spend unnecessary time and energy “getting to the point.”

By now you’re probably dying to see this magic list of words not to use in your writing, right? Now keep in mind she never said these words should “never” be used. She said they are overused and most often are unnecessary. Anyway, here we go:

1. THE – Yes, really. Check it out. Go back through your latest post, article or email and remove this word. The majority of the time, you’ll find by removing this word, a sentence reads even better, more smoothly. Of course, you’ll need to include it occasionally, but try it out.

2. THAT – Another unnecessary word. Just don’t use it. This word is in this article once – right here in this paragraph. That’s it. That’s all. That’s the only place.

3. TO BE – Whenever you plan to use any form of this verb, an active verb is a great replacement. For example, the sentence:

When writing a blog post, an active verb would be the desirable method for creating this content.

reads much better as:

When writing a blog post, active verbs offer more desirable and interesting content.

See how much better this sentence sounds? Which sentence would you prefer to read?

4. IT – Use this word very carefully. You see, when “it” starts a sentence or is the only noun in a sentence, often the word “it” references is unclear. For example:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. It was sleeping under a log.

Does “it” refer to the quick brown fox or the lazy dog? We’d like to believe the dog was sleeping under a log; however, this reference is unclear and creates confusion. Remove this word from your writing and you’ll clear up a lot of confusion.

5. UTILIZE – Ok, I admit this one is my grammar pet peeve, not the professor’s. Please add “utilize” to your list of words not to use. Why use this word when you can say “use” instead? What does utilize even mean? When did you last utilize your spatula to make pancakes? When does anyone say “utilize” in a sentence? Why use this word in your writing. I don’t get “it.”

If Ms. BestEverEnglishTeacher is reading this post, thank you for making me a better writer. You made a huge impression on me.

Do you have any grammar pet peeves? Tell us your nits below!

5 Tips to Build a Better LinkedIn Company Page

Posted on by Melanie Yunk

Creating a LinkedIn company page is an excellent start, but it’s not enough. To gain followers and generate leads on your company page, you will need to use the right online marketing strategies. These strategies are similar to strategies for other social media sites. These online strategies will help you build a following quickly, making a significant difference in the strength of your company’s social media presence.

 

LinkedIn Company Page

 

LinkedIn is more than 275% more effective than Twitter or Facebook when it comes to generating leads. Research found a full 50% of the people who use LinkedIn are more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on the site than from that company’s competitors. With these statistics in mind, your LinkedIn strategy should focus on building and maintaining an effective page, so followers will come to you.

According to LinkedIn eighty percent (80%) of the members on LinkedIn want to connect with other companies. Give them what they’re asking for with these tips:

  • Engage current and former employees, by asking them to add your company to their profiles. They automatically become followers that way, giving them the opportunity to share, comment on and like anything they see on the company page. When employees do those things, they help your online marketing strategies because your page and your company receive more exposure.
  • Link your company page to your website and your social media outlets, and add it to your and your employees’ email signatures. A “Follow” button should be placed on your website, and LinkedIn provides the option to create a customized URL for the company page you manage. All these features make it easier to generate leads and gain followers by sharing your LinkedIn company page frequently and conveniently.
  • Network and interact with other companies and individuals, along with getting active in groups. Offer advice and be helpful in your interactions. Don’t try to sell them something. People need to get to know you and your company. The more convenient you make that and the more likable you are, the more likely engagement will happen. People you help and interact with on LinkedIn will make an effort to learn more about you and your company, resulting in higher visibility for your company.
  • Share updates on your LinkedIn company page using the same strategy employed on your other social media sites. Some posts should be about you and your company; and more posts should be sharing content from partners and others in a similar or related industry, along with interesting tips, humor, news, etc. The more you are seen, the more followers you are likely to gain. Once a day is adequate. Start with a few times a week and build up from there, being careful not to post too frequently.
  • Use LinkedIn analytics. LinkedIn provides demographic data on all posts. Reviewing the data can help you see how your company page performs and the strategies needed to help you target future posts.

 

LinkedIn Analytics

 

Implementing a solid social media strategy for your LinkedIn company page may make a significant difference in your ability to gain followers and attract new potential leads. By implementing the tips in this article, you can expect to generate more followers and leads. Did we miss anything? What tips have you employed to increase engagement, followers and leads on LinkedIn company page?

 

Respond to Favorited Tweets to Encourage Twitter Engagement

Posted on by Melanie Yunk

With new technology comes new acronyms, names and buzzwords. For Twitter, many newly coined words and terms emerged over the years; ‘favorited tweets’ is one of them. You gain favorites on Twitter anytime someone clicks the little star button under your tweet. If you are trying to encourage Twitter engagement, knowing how to respond to those little stars can work to your advantage.Twitter, Twitter Birds,

Why do favorited tweets matter?

A recent study by the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence shows that most people favorite tweets the same way they like a post on Facebook. The data shows a variety of response-motived reasons, such as:

  • The tweet is informational.
  • Someone they liked wrote the tweet.
  • The user had a personal connection to the author.
  • The tweet invoked an emotional response.

Favored Tweet, Tweet Favorite

On the functional side, the most popular reason people gave for favoriting a tweet was to bookmark the tweet. Similar to Facebook’s save button, the favorite button on Twitter collects all your favorited tweets in a list. This list may be seen and read by other users who visit your profile page. Therefore, encouraging favorites from people should be taken seriously as a way to gain additional exposure.

Encourage Additional Twitter Engagement

Using the favorite button on Twitter may give you more exposure and hopefully prompt others to engage back with you. Once someone has decided to favorite your tweet, it’s time to get to work.

Try these suggestions for improved engagement:

  • If you are not already following the person who favorited your tweet, follow back. Following anyone on Twitter is usually a first step to encouraging engagement.
  • Do your research. Check out the person’s profile, the types of tweets they broadcast and his or her influence. Take note of the types of tweets they favorite or otherwise engage. This step provides an opportunity to determine whether or not you want to pursue engaging further and the type of engagement that will encourage a response.
  • Take action. In the least, you can favorite one of their tweets or retweet something they had to say. If you really want to go for it though, reach out and begin an interesting conversation or ask a question or mention them in a tweet that is similar to other tweets they favorited in the past.

Engagement from you will encourage additional Twitter engagement from others to a certain extent, but it is all in how you maneuver. By responding thoughtfully to favorited tweets, you may attract new followers and connect with different audiences while driving them to your site.

Have you created engagement with people who favorite your tweets? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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  • Melanie Yunk Founder Melanie Yunk cooks up the perfect recipe for building customer engagement using her fresh take on digital marketing strategies as the key ingredient. Melanie launched Yunk Consulting in January 2009 and began creating social marketing campaigns and optimizing sites for clients. Today, Melanie’s successful business grows under the Roaring Pajamas name. As social media and search engine optimization change rapidly, Melanie and her team are available to provide creative digital solutions for your business.
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