TU English

Roles of Social Media in Business

From a business perspective, Social Media can be a very effective tool to convey information to a large audience. There are positive and negative ways that it can be used, but to be efficient as a communication mechanism, I’ve looked for three main methods of using it well.

  1. It can lower advertising costs, especially if a business has accrued many followers that view the content being shared. It can be seen as “free advertising” when followers share their posts with others. Posting frequently and consistently can improve the chances of new individual followers.
  2. Engaging with an audience and having participation can help boost online presence. This includes having contests, poll questions, and even just asking questions that can cause the audience to think creatively and interact, and even be responded to.
  3. Using interesting, original, or brand-specific keywords can boost online search optimization. Being found by people searching broadly for businesses like yours will probably not just be searching titles, but the specific fields of the organization, such as government, technology, services, etc.
TU English

Psychology of Business Writing

Here are my take-aways on important psychological principles discussed by psychologist Helen Morris-Brown.

  1. She suggests treating text-based communications like verbal communication by responding sooner than later. With some types of digital communication, when there is more of a distance from the receiver, there is less expectation of communication. Only say things over text-based communication that you would be willing to say in-person.
  2. For behaviors, maintaining a good relationship of mutual trust between people is a consistency of successful interactions between each other. By matching expectations from both sides, trust can be maintained. She provides examples of mismatched expectations in a car dealership, and with a magic trick demonstration of “solving” a Rubik’s Cube in front of the audience by throwing it up.
  3. The psychologist talks about compliments. She explains that using multiple compliments can be more efficient than just one, and genuine sincerity is essential for conveying the message. Associating with more compliments leads to happier feelings and a sense of reward.
TU English

Twenty-First Century Linguistics and Writing Styles

Steven Pinker, a cognitive psychologist, linguist, and author, details on reasoning on how to reach a reader using proper wording and phrasing, as well as using common themes and ideas. He uses popular culture and humour to engage the audience in his lecture, including presidential quotes with grammatical errors and memes.

Pinker started off with humor about bad writing and how it is complex to set definitions of it. Is bad writing intentional, or is good writing hard to come by? He goes over theories, such as the idea that modern technology is often used as an excuse for causes of bad writing, but then goes on to explain that each generation has similar consistencies of bad writing.

One major topic that our friend Steve goes over is how language can be used. Some may say that using proper grammar is more of a guide than a rule, others may only care if the the point of the conversation or writing piece has been understood. Because language is constantly evolving, different rules can be applied in one instance that wouldn’t have applied in a different era. He discusses this throughout the lecture, including using examples of grammar rules that are now obsolete.

Another important takeaway from Pinker’s lecture was the discussion about Classic Prose and Professional Narcissism, where he discussed the reader being on an equal level with the author, and where writers may over-complicate their statements with complex wording to sound more professional. He discusses examples along with the simple English counterparts translated to show how simplification can dramatically change how the reader absorbed the message.

In a business context, making sure that the message is understood the way it was intended to is essential. Conveying the message in simplistic to-the-point manner is important, while using filler and extended versions of words can be more of a distraction and an inefficiency. On the other hand, when something is too simplistic, it isn’t suitable for use in a business setting. Kind of like Apple products, as seen below.

The pains of attempting to use an MacBook for presenting to an audience, needing far too many conversion cables, thus, the products are too simplistic and don’t include basic video output.
TU English

Writing For Business and Industry

All new blog posts relevant to the course “English 317 – Writing For Business and Industry” at Towson University will be added to a category of this blog labelled TU-English.