In March 2015, Intouchers descended upon the SXSW Interactive Festival, an annual curation of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity. Their mission? To absorb, interact, scrutinize, analyze, discuss and debate the most important takeaways from the event … and then share those back. They left SXSW inspired by actionable, practical ideas that would make a difference in how we do our work at Intouch every day. Below is an excerpt from their experience.

As a social media aficionado, I looked forward to content strategist Evany Thomas and her session, “Use Your Words: Optimizing Content for Growth.”

I wasn’t disappointed. Her presentation was funny and engaging and — in an awesome, kind and unusual fashion — is posted on Medium in its narrative entirety for anyone who wasn’t there!

As you can read, Evany went through a variety of examples regarding the power of choosing exactly the right words — from naming her son so that he could grow up to be either a Pulitzer-winning professor or a star MLB catcher to figuring out the perfect phrase to explain what Pinterest is to modifying a mobile pages so that registration went up 811% (no, that’s not a typo).

“Great solutions are a love child of data and intuition,” she said. But “even the best-designed products can use a little explaining.”

Teeny tiny words matter. It’s so important for us to #usewords, as Evany hashtagged — exactly the right ones — with our audiences, particularly to drive registration.

Perhaps my favorite part, though, was her slide, “Great Writing Is GUTSI.” She explained:

  • Gets the job done. (Achieves the goal it sets out to achieve.)
  • Understands its audience. (In her case: non-Pinners, Pinners, Pinfluencers, and partners.)
  • Tells a coherent story. (One key idea, a clear call-to-action, coherent words and pictures.)
  • Sounds like your brand. (In the case of Pinterest: personal, warm, down-to-earth, honest, delightful.)
  • Is well-written. (Clear, concise, simple.)

I think we’ll all become better at what we do if we take the GUTSI acronym to heart.