December 4, 2016

The verb is the story

Drop the modifiers on Facebook

“Rule No. 716: Bars don’t have mayors.”
Esquire’s “New Rules for Men”

Strunk & White were right, says viral marketing scientist Dan Zarrella: Modifiers aren’t as effective as nouns and verbs. And now Zarrella has the data to prove it.

Adjectives and adverbs don’t perform as well on Facebook as nouns and verbs. Zarrella learned this by analyzing his Facebook data set to study the relationship between parts of speech and Facebook sharing.

Specifically, he says:

  • Adverbs get shared nearly 3 percent less often than average.
  • Adjectives get shared nearly 2 percent less often.
  • Nouns get shared a little more than average.
  • Verbs get shared nearly 2 percent more than average.

In Facebook, as in life, the verb is the story.

  • Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked in Portland

    Online, constant problem solving (to click or not to click?) and divided attention (you’ve got mail!) lead to cognitive overload. (One researcher even found that reading on the screen temporarily lowers your IQ more than smoking weed!)

    “Try reading a book while doing a crossword puzzle,” writes Nicholas G. Carr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. “That’s the intellectual environment of the Internet.”

    So, in this environment, how do we reach readers online?

    Portland Online Writing workshopAt Get Clicked, Read, Liked and Shared — a two-day online-writing Master Class on July 27-28 in Portland — you'll learn techniques for overcoming the obstacles of reading on the screen to get the word out on the web, in social media and via content marketing.

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    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for Online Writing Workshop in Portland.


    Browse all upcoming Master Classes.

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