There is no denying that when you are producing content for social media, you have to acquire and utilize a distinct set of skills, strategies and outlook. If your firm doesn’t put into place the appropriate social media strategy, then you are quickly going to realize that your efforts have been rendered a waste.
While that may be a harsh realization, the fact that social channels are filled with high-volume, fast-paced delivery of content means that you have to be prepared with a game plan and a surefire way to execute said scheme.
While those outside the industry may simply assume that all social posts are created equal and are quickly written up in the moment, those of you in this line of work know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. On the flip side, you also know how much power social media copywriting can have over engagement and conversions when done correctly.
When you are creating social media content, you are permanently in competition with every other piece of content produced at that moment for the attention of an audience. More than anything, you need to be answering the audience’s subconscious question: “What’s in it for me?”
If you are able to do this time and time again, then you have mastered the fundamentals of copywriting.
Every firm has a different way of approaching this matter, and there are a wide array of systems and points of view regarding how to achieve this.
This article shares several action steps that you can take to guarantee that your company’s social media content receives the optimal amount of attention from your target audience and creates an impact according to the goals you have set for your company and brand.
If you desire some assistance in taking your marketing efforts to the next level, then continue reading to learn four steps to make your social media copywriting more compelling.
1. Identify the most effective platforms and what constraints they have.
Before diving into generating your fantastic social media copy, you need to increase your understanding of each social network platform and the mindset of the people who are using them. This is essential if you are going to be in a position to generate appropriate posts for each platform.
Not every business can deploy the appropriate resources to maintain competitive advantages on every social media platform, which is why it is critical that you thoroughly explore which are the right channels for publishing and promoting your content.
Keep in mind that each channel has its own target audience or followers and is better suited for differing forms of posts.
For example, Facebook is known for sending more website referral traffic than any other social media platform, whereas Instagram isn’t as proficient at sending referral traffic but can help to curate a powerful brand image. Twitter and LinkedIn are both heavily used for sharing content and for facilitating discussion, while Pinterest is perfect for companies with strong visual imagery.
When deciding on the channels that you are going to utilize, look at your target audience and on what channels they tend to spend their time. Additionally, research your competitors and observe where their most popular and most compelling content is published. This will help you get a thorough overview of the space.
Also, if your firm has a blog, you want to have a plan in place for taking parts of that copy and making it more fitting for your social media channels. This is a great way to cross-promote platforms and also to reuse copy. Remember, not everything has to be brand-spanking new — especially when it comes to copy.
When it comes to platforms, it is crucial that you recognize your character limits. Every social network platform has a character limit, which may affect how concise you need to be and the form in which you present your message. For example, Twitter has a (recently expanded) 280-character limit and Pinterest has a 500-character limit, whereas Instagram doesn’t have a limit.
Additionally, hashtags can be a valuable strategy for getting your posts seen by more people. On Twitter, you can use up to three appropriate hashtags, and on Instagram, up to 30 (although it is recommended to practice self-discipline and use up to 11 to avoid looking spammy).
By spending some time researching the pros and cons of each social network platform and how people tend to use them, you will be better suited to create the right kind of compelling content for the platforms you choose to utilize.
2. Decide on your tone and style.
The proliferation of social media networks has made it possible for a wide variety of small and medium-sized businesses to hit the big time and to find a large audience around the world. However, while the potential for growth is excellent, it also means that the competition is higher than ever.
For many firms, the hardest part of all social media creation is finding a way to stand out from the crowd and to determine and stick with their own tone and style. However, this is essential for being able to consistently create compelling copy that followers want to follow along, engage with, and share.
So, how do you make this happen?
First of all, your copywriting has to be original which, of course, is a lot easier said than done. How you go locating your originality is going to vary depending on the industry you are a part of and the type of product or service you are selling. But a good rule of thumb is to explain whatever information you are trying to present in a way that allows your company’s personality to also shine through.
Secondly, your copy needs to be both interesting and informative. Consumers of content are being bombarded with messages and notifications on a minute-by-minute basis, so to grab their attention, you need to be providing value. Lots and lots of value. Ask yourself, what are you giving them that no one else is? Then ask yourself the same question before posting anything.
You can describe a fantastic bonus that a reader can receive, pose an interesting question that introduces additional benefits, or merely display a thrilling quotation from your work or your customer reviews.
Thirdly, you want your every social media post to summon an emotional response from those who read it. Whether this is because it makes them laugh, makes them think, or is just genuinely reliable and useful, the critical takeaway is that it is quality content that sticks in their mind.
Finally, for almost all copy on social media platforms, you want to ensure that the sharp writing is also combined with images or visual patterns that catch the reader’s eye and provide for a fantastic user experience.
Whatever tone and style you decide on, you must be maintaining a cohesive sound across all your platforms in order for your branding to make sense and be successful. Therefore, your social media copy should sound similar to your e-mail marketing content and your blog posts, while also providing different types of information and offering its own experience.
3. Keep your ideal customer in mind.
When discussing “compelling content,” it is essential to keep in mind to whom the content must be compelling. The answer, of course, is your ideal customer, which is why it is a million percent necessary to write as though you are your model customer.
Therefore, in addition to including your company’s uniquely compelling tone and the style in your content, you also need to be including the voice of your ideal customer. This means describing and representing your products or services with language and phrases that this segment of consumer would regularly use.
It also means that each line of social media copy should be there to aid your customers in achieving or discovering something. The more intimately you can talk to them, the easier it will be to align yourself with them. This is essential for producing copy that drives sales.
In order to discern this important language, you must begin by researching the prevalent pain points in your niche and then finding out what potential customers are looking for from companies like yours.
These two steps are critical in the process of writing social media copy that works.
On this note, make sure you are always encouraging your potential customers to speak with you and provide feedback. You can then take this to your social media copy brainstorming sessions and implement it into your content calendar and social media strategy to ensure you continue to create content that is informative and valuable to those you are trying to reach.
Armed with this market research knowledge, you will then be able to write compelling copy with components that intrinsically speak to your potential customer. The goal is that no matter which piece of social media copy someone comes across, they will instantly be able to identify that you are communicating with them about something of importance and that you know them and are there to help.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. If you want to get a potential consumer to take decisive action through your social media copy (whether that means following your social media platforms, subscribing to your email list, or making a purchase), you need to be proving to them in a holistic way that you see them, hear them, and understand them.
Additionally, you want the reader to know that you recognize their problems and desires, and that you are there to help because you are thinking the same thing.
Become their trusted companion.
4. Focus on the writing.
Last but not least, at the end of the day, when it comes to social media copy, you do have to spend a significant amount of time on the craft of writing these posts. Social media copy is different from every other type of copywriting and presents its own challenges, but also its own exciting twists.
The first thing to do in your practice is commit to removing all “weasel words” from your social media copy. You know, those wishy-washy words such as possibly or hopefully or try — the ones that are meaningless and don’t add any value? Yes, those ones need to go and be replaced with words that have some deep substance such as guarantee or require.
You will be astounded at the difference this makes in your social media posts as they will instantly start sounding more confident. And that confidence will stick to your potential consumer’s mind and increase their trust in your firm.
Moreover, you want to remove any urge to use the passive voice in your social media copy. The active voice (such as “I did this”) is better in these scenarios because it is a much more straightforward way of explaining an action.
You want your social media copy to be as simple and easy to follow as possible.
Similar to leaving the weasel words behind, getting rid of the passive voice helps your copy sound much more powerful, confident, and (you guessed it) compelling.
No one wants their brand’s identity to come off as weak and insecure, right?
On that same vein, the character limit of many social media platforms, as well as readers’ short attention spans, require you to use as few words as possible while still saying everything needed. For this reason, you need to get used to editing, editing, and editing some more and being brutal when deciding to cut out unnecessary words.
If you are having trouble sticking to this, come up with a harsh word limit that you have to hold to and only publish something when you have fitted it into that count. While this may seem tragically tricky at the beginning, you will find that with practice, you are consistently creating compelling social media copy in a minimal amount of space.
Does your firm use social media copywriting as part of your marketing strategy? If so, what challenges do you often find yourself dealing with? If not, what is stopping you? Let’s start a discussion concerning this topic in the comments below!
Hisham Wyne is an award-winning copywriter, brand consultant and content creator based in Dubai. He has over a decade’s experience in helping brands get their messages right. From crisp web copy and zippy brochures to in-depth company profiles and analytical annual reports, Hisham makes words work for you – so you can sell better, gain visibility, and give your brand a unique voice.