Learn how to Grasp Social Media: 5 Ideas for Writing Effectively

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As probably the most adopted CFA charterholder on LinkedIn, Eric Sim, CFA, has expertly leveraged social media to join with different professionalsconstruct his private model, and advance his profession. Within the Learn how to Grasp Social Media sequence, tailored from his latest e-book Small Actions: Main Your Profession to Massive Success, Sim shares some important classes on the way to make social media be just right for you.


Once I was 14, I failed an essential English literature examination at my highschool. I scored simply 28 out of 100, a consequence that basically dented my confidence in my writing skills. Years later, even after doing effectively at college, I nonetheless considered myself as a poor author. Regardless of this insecurity, I’d all the time needed to write down a weblog, however I didn’t know the way to begin. I requested a food-blogger good friend of mine for some recommendation, however slightly than providing encouraging ideas, she simply informed me to “use WordPress” and hinted that I used to be unlikely to make it as a author.

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I may see why she thought that. Whereas I’m a foodie at coronary heart, if I’d tried to write down a meals weblog it might need been too restrictive as a result of I don’t eat animal organs, caviar, and lots of uncooked meals. If I’d blogged about trend, my readers would have shortly bored with listening to about my white shirts and blue fits. A couple of mates urged that I give attention to my core experience — finance and investments — however which may have conflicted with my banking job on the time. Anyway, I nonetheless had no clue what WordPress was, and I put my running a blog ambitions on maintain for some time.

Luckily, my curiosity in publishing my concepts on-line by no means fully went away. In 2015, I had a while on my fingers in the course of the Chinese language New Yr vacation in Hong Kong, so I satisfied myself to submit my first LinkedIn article. It took me three days to consider what to write down as a result of I saved asking myself, “What’s there to share that’s not already on the market on social media?”

After I lastly drafted the article, doubts about my very own skills in English made me edit it repeatedly. As I mustered the braveness to click on the “submit” button on LinkedIn, I frightened how my connections — about 300 of them at the moment — would view me. Would they snicker at me?

My LinkedIn submit was titled “I failed my arithmetic examination.” Sure, I failed math the yr earlier than I failed English. I obtained about 100 views and 7 likes for my very first article on social media. I used to be overjoyed as a result of once I was in class, my essays often had solely two views: one from my instructor and the opposite from me. Neither of us favored what we learn!

Previously few years, as my articles acquired extra views and likes, issues have begun to alter. My American good friend, Diana Wu David, who labored for a few years in a senior function on the Monetary Occasions, lately complimented me for my wonderful writing. Regardless of receiving this type of reward occasionally, the 14-year-old boy who failed his literature examination nonetheless haunts me immediately, however he additionally motivates me to maintain enhancing how I talk to my followers on LinkedIn.

After writing on the platform for greater than six years, I’ve realized that social media readers care about your content material greater than your language expertise, so if English isn’t your forte or your first language, don’t let that stand in your means.

If you wish to have a go at writing, you may contribute articles to commerce publications in your business, however publishing on social media is simpler and might help you attain a wider viewers. You would begin on LinkedIn or select some other channel that fits your wants. Regardless of the platform, for those who develop into your personal writer, you get to resolve what and when to publish.

Listed here are my prime 5 ideas for producing attention-grabbing social media content material, primarily based on my successes and failures on LinkedIn since I began out.

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1. Inform a Private Story with Common Utility

Our brains are wired to be attracted by narratives, so you need to inform tales in your social media posts. Whether or not they’re Cinderella-style fables or Mission Inconceivable films, tales all have these three core components: (1) setting, (2) battle, and (3) decision.

However tales needn’t be lengthy. The shortest one, typically attributed to US writer Ernest Hemingway, has solely six phrases: “On the market: child footwear, by no means worn.” Private tales, which can be related to the lives of your connections, often carry out effectively on social media. It’s your story, so no one can say if it’s proper or mistaken.

2. All the time Add Worth to Readers

Being upgraded to enterprise or top notch on a flight could make you are feeling euphoric, however writing a submit about it doesn’t do a lot in your followers.

To construct your model, you need to all the time add worth to them and never simply submit in regards to the primary info of an occasion. If you wish to write in regards to the nice meals you simply ate, go behind the scenes. Discuss to the chef and take pictures of the kitchen. If you wish to submit about your journey abroad, point out an area good friend you met whereas away and inform folks what you chatted about.

3. Begin Your Social Posts Strongly

Based on a Microsoft research, the common grownup consideration span was 12 seconds earlier than the social media age, however by 2015 it had fallen to simply eight seconds — shorter than that of a goldfish. It’s best to seize readers’ consideration along with your first sentence.

I as soon as wrote two LinkedIn articles a few Singapore avenue meals vendor who gained a Michelin star, and posted them a day aside with related content material, aside from the primary sentence. Which introduction do you favor?

“Congratulations to Mr Chan Hon Meng, who was awarded one Michelin star for his rooster noodles . . . ” or “For 30 years, he’s labored 100 hours per week; within the final eight years, he’s been promoting rooster noodles for lower than US$2 a plate.”

The primary submit gathered some 700 likes, which is so much by LinkedIn requirements. However the second attracted greater than 90,000. That simply reveals the ability of beginning your submit with a bang.

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4. Use Dialogue

Attempt to use conversations inside tales to carry occasions to life and pull the reader into your world. The dialogues I embody in my tales are typically about on a regular basis conditions. A number of of my LinkedIn readers have informed me that these conversations assist them visualize the settings or eventualities I’m describing.

Within the following instance from LinkedIn, I used dialogue as an example how impressed I used to be with the service on the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong. As I walked into the lodge’s grand membership lounge, and earlier than I sat down, the service particular person requested:

“Purple wine?”

“Sure,” I replied, pleasantly stunned.

“Shiraz?”

“Wow! You keep in mind my order from yesterday!”

I then described the cheerfulness and the willing-to-go-the-extra-mile perspective of Warren, who had lately come to Hong Kong from Mauritius to work within the hospitality business. However my readers may already see that for themselves as a result of they’d been drawn into our dialog.

5. Do Attention-grabbing Issues Offline

It’s troublesome to submit unique and fascinating tales and pictures, for those who’re not doing something compelling in your offline life. Solely by continuously making an attempt new issues can you could have new experiences and views to share along with your social media viewers.

In recent times, I’ve spoken to small store house owners to hunt out their tales, attended videography lessons, and tried out audio-chat apps after they have been nonetheless of their beta variations. It’s best to select your personal new adventures and create your content material round them. Producing content material for social media nonetheless isn’t all the time simple for me, however I’ve discovered many classes.

Within the ultimate installment of the Learn how to Grasp Social Media sequence, I’ll clarify the way to construct your following on LinkedIn.

For extra recommendations on social media and profession growth please consult with Small Actions: Main Your Profession to Massive Success, by Eric Sim, CFA, and his co-author Simon Mortlock.

When you favored this submit, don’t overlook to subscribe to the Enterprising Investor.


All posts are the opinion of the writer. As such, they shouldn’t be construed as funding recommendation, nor do the opinions expressed essentially mirror the views of CFA Institute or the writer’s employer.

Picture courtesy of Eric Sim, CFA


Skilled Studying for CFA Institute Members

CFA Institute members are empowered to self-determine and self-report skilled studying (PL) credit earned, together with content material on Enterprising Investor. Members can file credit simply utilizing their on-line PL tracker.

Eric Sim, CFA

A key opinion chief on LinkedIn, Eric Sim, CFA, is the writer of the e-book Small Actions: Main Your Profession to Massive Success. He based the Institute of Life with a mission to coach younger professionals to achieve success at work and in life. Beforehand, when primarily based in Hong Kong, Sim served as a managing director at UBS Funding Financial institution and an adjunct affiliate professor of finance at HKUST. Take a look at his visible CV and its notable failures right here.

Simon Mortlock

Simon Mortlock is a author and editor, and an knowledgeable in producing B2B and B2C content material throughout a variety of digital channels. He focuses on employment-related subjects, and at the moment works as a content material supervisor at eFinancialCareers (eFC), a number one careers web site for the monetary providers sector.

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