April 2014  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought; this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.

—Norbet Platt

Word Pair of the Month: alright, all right

This month’s pair is unusual. Alright is considered by many to be the incorrect spelling of all right. In formal or business writing, especially, use the two-word spelling, all right, which means “everything is fine, or in order.”

Keep in mind, though, that many other words beginning with “al” are correctly spelled, including already, always, altogether, and almost.

Writers’ Forum Question

How does your company use social media? Please share your best-use tips for various sites and tell us how a social-media presence has impacted your business.

Sean Cameron of Boston operates a business focused on home modification for persons with disabilities and decreased mobility. He writes:

When using social media for advertising, it’s critical to know your demographic. My main target customers are baby boomers, so I concentrate my online advertising on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, which are more heavily trafficked by mature adults than the newer, trendier sites are.

Marva Tyson of New Orleans agrees that the “medium is the message” when using social media to advertise her beauty salon and day spa:

My business is based on providing our customers with an attractive appearance, and sometimes they need help later on to recreate a look we gave them in the salon. We present videos on Facebook and YouTube that show how to achieve salon-quality hair and makeup results at home. We consider it a kind of tech support in beauty. Our customers appreciate this help outside of the salon, and our repeat business proves it.

Elena Ochoa of Los Angeles likes the immediacy of social media:

I run a high-end antiques business, and I have a roster of regular customers seeking elegant pieces for their various homes. I love Twitter, as I can post photos of new pieces as they come in. This allows my clients immediate access so they never miss a coveted piece.

Albert Gianinni of Milwaukee also uses Twitter and offers this advice:

In business, familiarity breeds contentment, so pick your tone and stick with it. Let your customers become familiar with you and your attitude. And keep it light as well as consistent. Don’t be funny in one post and dull in another. Become a friend your followers can count on for something amusing and interesting, and they will stick with you—and buy your product.

Finally, Mary Jensen Cole of Newark offers this tip:

Don’t count on social media as your only online presence. Instead, use links to drive traffic to your Web site. And pepper that site with changing elements to provide new and interesting information on a regular basis. The idea is to hand out just enough useful information at the social-media sites to whet your followers’ appetites for what they’ll find at your Web site.

A Final Thought

Let writing help you understand what you are doing wrong—and what you are doing right. When you’ve finished a project, make a T-chart. On one side, write down the things you did that you are proud of—things that made the project successful. On the other side, list the things you could have done better—the missteps you didn’t see until after the project was completed. Keep this chart on file, and use it as a blueprint for future projects.

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