Category: Social Media

Optimizing Social Media Presence

Lazzaro Designs has helped several clients with various aspects of their organization’s social media presence. Maryellen recently created a collage of inviting, on-site and stock photos for The Silvercrest Center, which she custom-fit for the client’s Twitter homepage. The header is now a colorful, engaging peek into the vibrant life of Silvercrest, not just another stale image of a facility shot.

And we have created many blog posts for clients’ websites, using similar skills to present inviting, solid content marketing.

In many ways—small and large, editorial and visual, and by getting the ongoing job done—Lazzaro Designs can help you with optimizing your social media presence. Turn to us, whether you need to refresh a home page look and tone, create fresh content on a regular basis, or brainstorm and organize an editorial calendar for each platform.

> If you need help optimizing your social media presence, give Lazzaro Designs a call or shoot us an email.

Better a Blog #4: Seven Ways to Polish Your Writing


alt text="7 ways to polish your blog"Whew, glad you got through that writer’s block! Now that your entry is finished, let’s polish it up.

1. Do the easy work. Read it through and get rid of the yadda yaddas. Correct obvious mistakes. Tighten up sentences that are rambling.

2. Consider the structure of the piece. Does it flow? Do you tell your story in an organized way? Does the entry start with a catchy sentence or compelling quote? Are the paragraphs in a sensible order? Is it one big block of copy? That’s hard on the reader. Breaking up your copy with paragraphs, headlines, subheads, bullet or lists makes it easier to access.

3. Examine the sentences. Are there excessively long ones that should be trimmed or divided? Can you say the same thing in two sentences versus three? Alternatively, do you need another sentence to clarify your thought?

4. Drill down to the words. Are you using simple and precise words? Are you avoiding jargon, technical terms and acronyms? Omit these words: just, quite, very, first (or, heaven forbid, firstly).

5. Not sure about grammar? Spell checks and grammar checks are useful, but they don’t always catch everything or make the best choices. The internet to your rescue. Search exactly what your confusion is, for instance, “which or that.” You’ll find answers.

6. Avoid the passive voice. Instead of, “The woman’s memory has been damaged by dementia,” try, “Dementia damaged the woman’s memory.” Do a search for “have” or “has” to help you spot problems.

7. Read it aloud, slowly and from hard copy. Catch any typos? Does the punctuation cue you properly, for instance, is a sentence begging for a pause, which probably means it needs a comma? If you hear yourself saying any one word too often, search for the instances of that word and change it up.

> If you need help building or bettering a blog or writing entries, give Lazzaro Designs a call or shoot us an email.
> Coming soon: What you need to know about search engine optimization or SEO.

Better a Blog #3: Six Ways to Break Through Writer’s Block


alt text="FL blog writers block"

You know your audience and you have scheduled time to regularly write your blog entries, but still the blank page yawns in front of you. Never mind that it’s a computer screen and the only one doing the yawning is you! You are blocked, my friend. Here are six ways to break writer’s block. Work through them in order until the words flow!

1. Ditch distractions. Turn off your phone, sign off of Facebook, and consider turning down the music. On that last one, there are mixed reviews. Some writers love to work with music. Kim, on the other hand, can’t pen a sentence unless it’s library quiet. So if you’re stuck, try turning it off…or on if it helps.

2. Speak, don’t write. You’re not writing, not really. You’re talking. Talking is easy! Just speak to a person in your audience (Maybe, Gabby Grown Daughter) and capture what you’re saying on paper.

3. Become a story-teller. Using anecdotes and reporting real-life situations are powerful ways of conveying a message. For instance, don’t just write the tip, “Keep your siblings abreast of decisions about your parent in care.” Tell the story instead of how Deidre scheduled a conference call on the first of every month with her brother and sister to discuss the latest updates on Mom. Explain how that call made all the difference in airing conflicts, clearing up confusions, delegating tasks and brainstorming new approaches.

4. Throw out the timer. Instead of saying, “I’ll write for 30 minutes,” put your fingers on the keyboard and don’t pick them up until you have 250 words. Even if somewhere in there you start to peter out, type “yadda yadda yadda” until real words come back to you. Don’t be overwhelmed: 250 words fill only one double-spaced, typed page of copy.

5. Write terribly. If you’re editing while you’re writing, bad news. There is no better way to block your writer self than by turning on your editor self. Give yourself permission to write the words unchecked—yadda yaddas and all—until you get to 250. If you feel better and your entry remains undone, keep going until you hit the end. Then leave it there and…

6. Go for a walk. Even if music was working for you during the writing process, turn it off now. Walk for a bit—15 minutes or so—and let the words you wrote bubble in your mind. Don’t overthink, don’t force it. You might realize as you walk that your entry would be improved by adding a patient quote or a perspective from one of your care providers. Maybe that last paragraph was unecessary and repetitive. Maybe nothing comes to mind but the chirping of birds. That’s ok, too. Finish your walk, go back to the computer, adjust your copy from what you thought about from your stroll and then put your editing hat on to polish those words up. More on that in the next entry.

Congratulations, you are officially unblocked!

> If you need help building or bettering a blog or writing entries, give Lazzaro Designs a call or shoot us an email.
> Coming soon: Tips to Polish Your Writing.