The online world can sometimes be a complex and confusing place. However, it’s highly important to communicate with readers, customer and prospective clients effectively and efficiently through your website design and your social media.
It goes without saying, but a reminder never hurts, online communication is made up mostly of text, that is known as ‘copy’ which is placed throughout your website design. With this in mind, it can be difficult to convey certain emotions or engage readers fully if the copy isn’t just right. Many business courses talk about the ‘7 C’s’, so today, we’re going to look at these and adapt them for communicating online. To learn how to communicate online to the best of your ability, read on!
Clear writing allows the reader to understand the meaning of your message, just as you wanted it to be understood. When thinking about how to be clear, carefully consider not only word choice, but also the formatting and structure of your copy and how it will look within your website design. Simplifying your vocabulary and not over complicating sentences will help the reader understand the message you want to convey.
When communicating a message online, it’s very important to provide all of the information that a reader will need in order to fully engage. If you’re trying to tell a story, sell or build your audience, you need to paint the full picture to provide a complete overview of the message.
Yes, at times, we’re all guilty of wanting to sound sophisticated in our writing. However, ‘sophisticated’ writing doesn’t always come across as intended. Therefore, it’s very important, especially when it comes to online communication, to be brief where possible, avoiding rambling on about unrelated or unnecessary information.
When it comes to online copy, visual, factual and numerical communication can really help engage your reader. Many won’t have the patience to sit and read through copious amounts of text, so visual representation can work effectively in replacement of words.
If your online copy isn’t correct, it can make you or your business look highly unprofessional. It is absolutely essential to proofread and edit any copy before publishing it online. There are some online tools that can help correct grammar, such as Grammarly, but enlist in a professional copyeditor or proofreader (depending on your requirements) to bring your writing up to scratch.
Sometimes messages can get miscommunicated and be misunderstood, especially in cyberspace. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your writing is engaging, kind, and above all, courteous. Always reread any copy (including web copy, email, instant message etc.) to check that it won’t offend or be misinterpreted.
Directly linked to courtesy, consideration is about focusing on the needs and expectations of your audience. Think about whom the message is going out to and how they may take that communication. With that in mind, tailor your copy to keep positive and relevant to your audience.
In addition to the ‘7 C’s’, your copy should be professional, original and creative. Make every online interaction better by following the above steps. But bear in mind that they are not independent of one another; together they will help you communicate in written formats.