Grasp Social Media: 5 Ideas for Writing Effectively


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 Grasp Social Media collection, tailored from his latest e book Small Actions: Main Your Profession to Huge Success, Sim shares some crucial classes on easy methods to make social media be just right for you.


After I was 14, I failed an essential English literature examination at my highschool. I scored simply 28 out of 100, a end result that basically dented my confidence in my writing skills. Years later, even after doing nicely at college, I nonetheless considered myself as a poor author. Regardless of this insecurity, I’d at all times needed to write down a weblog, however I didn’t know easy methods to begin. I requested a food-blogger good friend of mine for some recommendation, however quite than providing encouraging ideas, she simply instructed 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 style, my readers would have shortly uninterested in listening to about my white shirts and blue fits. A number of mates instructed that I deal with my core experience — finance and investments — however that 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 utterly went away. In 2015, I had a while on my palms through the Chinese language New Yr vacation in Hong Kong, so I satisfied myself to put up 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 “put up” button on LinkedIn, I nervous how my connections — about 300 of them at the moment — would view me. Would they chortle at me?

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

Up to now few years, as my articles obtained extra views and likes, issues have begun to vary. My American good friend, Diana Wu David, who labored for a few years in a senior position on the Monetary Occasions, just lately complimented me for my glorious writing. Regardless of receiving this type of reward once in a while, the 14-year-old boy who failed his literature examination nonetheless haunts me as we speak, however he additionally motivates me to maintain bettering 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 abilities, so if English isn’t your forte or your first language, don’t let that stand in your method.

If you wish to have a go at writing, you could possibly contribute articles to commerce publications in your trade, however publishing on social media is less complicated and can assist you attain a wider viewers. You might begin on LinkedIn or select every other channel that fits your wants. Regardless of the platform, if you happen to turn out to be your personal writer, you get to resolve what and when to publish.

Listed below are my prime 5 ideas for producing fascinating social media content material, based mostly 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 it is best to inform tales in your social media posts. Whether or not they’re Cinderella-style fables or Mission Not possible films, tales all have these three core components: (1) setting, (2) battle, and (3) decision.

However tales needn’t be lengthy. The shortest one, usually 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 nicely on social media. It’s your story, so no person can say if it’s proper or unsuitable.

2. At all times Add Worth to Readers

Being upgraded to enterprise or first-class on a flight could make you’re feeling euphoric, however writing a put up about it doesn’t do a lot to your followers.

To construct your model, it is best to at all times add worth to them and never simply put up in regards to the fundamental information of an occasion. If you wish to write in regards to the nice meals you simply ate, go behind the scenes. Speak to the chef and take photographs of the kitchen. If you wish to put up about your journey abroad, point out a neighborhood good friend you met whereas away and inform folks what you chatted about.

3. Begin Your Social Posts Strongly

In line with a Microsoft examine, the typical grownup consideration span was 12 seconds earlier than the social media age, however by 2015 it had fallen to only eight seconds — shorter than that of a goldfish. It is best to seize readers’ consideration along with your first sentence.

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

“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 every week; within the final eight years, he’s been promoting rooster noodles for lower than US$2 a plate.”

The primary put up gathered some 700 likes, which is loads by LinkedIn requirements. However the second attracted greater than 90,000. That simply exhibits the ability of beginning your put up with a bang.

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4. Use Dialogue

Attempt to use conversations inside tales to convey 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 instructed me that these conversations assist them visualize the settings or eventualities I’m describing.

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

“Purple wine?”

“Sure,” I replied, pleasantly shocked.

“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 just lately come to Hong Kong from Mauritius to work within the hospitality trade. 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 put up unique and fascinating tales and pictures, if you happen to’re not doing something compelling in your offline life. Solely by consistently attempting new issues can you’ve got 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 had been nonetheless of their beta variations. It is best to select your personal new adventures and create your content material round them. Producing content material for social media nonetheless isn’t at all times simple for me, however I’ve discovered many classes.

Within the last installment of the Grasp Social Media collection, I’ll clarify easy methods to construct your following on LinkedIn.

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

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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


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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 Huge Success. He based the Institute of Life with a mission to coach younger professionals to achieve success at work and in life. Beforehand, when based mostly 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 spread of digital channels. He focuses on employment-related subjects, and presently works as a content material supervisor at eFinancialCareers (eFC), a number one careers web site for the monetary companies sector.



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