Social media is a very powerful marketing tool, it’s the best a wide variety of audience. It's also a chance for you to get more personal with your audience, show them behind the scenes, and explain more in-depth about your business. That’s why it’s important that your posts are not only seen, but also read. And how do you ensure that? By writing good copy!
Before we get into the actual tips, let’s dig into some basic technical considerations. After all, you need to understand the mechanics of social media before you can master them. Not every platform works the same, but they do share similarities.
Know your character limits
Each platform has its own word limit that you need to take into consideration. For example, a post on Twitter has a maximum of 280 characters, whereas you can write a whopping 63,206 characters on Facebook. That’s not to say you should use them all. People have limited time and attention spans. When faced with a wall of text, they quickly lose interest. That’s why your posts should be clear and concise if you want people to read and engage with them.
To hashtag, or not to hashtag
That is the question! Almost every platform uses a hashtag system, but they all have different best practices. Research where you want to be seen and where your audience is. Then, research how best to utilise hashtags on those specific platforms. The internet is your friend!
Ten copywriting tips for social media
1. Define your voice and tone
First things first: how do you want to come across? You could be professional or excited, relatable or funny. Consider what best suits the image of your business. Just remember that you can’t read emotions in short copy, so it’s important to understand the voice and tone you want to portray. If possible, write down concrete guidelines, such as: ‘no abbreviations’ or ‘focus on formal language’. This will create a consistent experience for your audience on social media.
2. PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solve)
Let’s focus on what you’re going to write. You want to show your audience that your service or product adds value to their lives. So, how are you going to do that? By focusing on being the solution to their problems. Your audience probably has no shortage of them, so use that to your advantage. State a problem. Agitate that problem without sounding too negative. You don’t want to be a downer. Then, ride in with the solution, and the crowd goes (metaphorically, at least) wild.
3. Keep it short and sweet
The main idea of your message should be front and center, because people have a short attention span. If you keep your posts short, people are more likely to engage and click through to the content you want them to see. Let’s say you’re launching a new product. You announce your new product and highlight its best feature in a Twitter post. Then, you add a link to the product page, which explains the product’s benefits in more detail.
4. Simple is better
People usually skim social media. So, try to avoid writing long-winded and complex posts. You want people to understand your content at a single glance, so they’re more likely to engage with your content.
Tip: Pretend you’re writing the post for someone who doesn’t understand your product or service. This will force you to write clearly and concisely.
5. What does your audience think?
Everyone loves to give their opinion. Use that to your advantage! Ask your followers open-ended questions they will enjoy answering. This will increase the engagement on your post, which algorithms love.
You can also ask your audience for input. Say you’re thinking of launching a new product. Why not ask your followers what they think and want? After all, they’re the ones buying it. Their input will allow you to create a product your audience is going to love! Just don’t forget to create accessible posts, so everyone can read your questions and respond.
6. Emotions are a powerful tool
If you want more engagement, you can try to evoke emotion in your copywriting. There are two options for you to choose from: negative or positive emotions. Some brands thrive on controversy, while others use emotion to elicit a positive response. Whichever you choose, remember it should fit your brand image and language. Stay conversational and approachable. It is social media, after all!
7. Be findable
Hashtags are somewhat misunderstood. So, let’s look at their function. On social media, hashtags indicate what topic your post is about. They make your content easier to find. Therefore, we recommend you use them! However, do conduct some hashtag research. Find out which hashtags your audience is using, so you don’t end up putting 30 tags in your post.
You could also use hashtags in your text and in context. This will help the people reading your post to know where to look if they want more inspiration.
8. Consistency is key
Keep your brand voice consistent, regardless of what platform you’re posting to. It may be tempting to match the youngsters on TikTok, but you risk sounding like your brand has multiple personalities. Naturally, this will confuse your followers. That’s why it’s better to remain consistent in your language and tone of voice.
9. Always use a CTA
Your followers have seen and read your post with interest. What now? They scroll further, without taking any actions. Which is a shame! You should therefore always include a call to action (CTA) at the end of each post. Tell your followers what they should do after reading. For example, you might want them to visit your website or follow your social media channel.
10. Always use active voice
If you want your audience to be engaged, you should always write in the active voice. Why? Because sentences in the active voice are generally shorter and easier to read. They make your writing clearer, as opposed to passive voice, which generally produces longer sentences. Not to mention, passive voice can sound evasive. ‘It was decided that prices are to be lowered’ immediately begs the question ‘by whom?’. Whereas ‘We decided to lower our prices’ is a lot clearer and easier to understand. It also feels more personal.