Hot tips for copywriting for social media

With social media now dominating the marketing mix, business owners and marketers now have a whole new range of channels to write content for. For years, people have been confident when writing news releases or brochure copy but writing for these new platforms can leave some people feeling nervous and a little stumped. We’ve put together a list of sure-fire ways to take the fear out of your social copywriting and spark your creativity.

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HEADLINES

Users of social media are fickle. They scroll mindlessly through Instagram and Facebook feed until something really jumps out at them. The image or video is primarily what does this, but you can stop their thumb with some stand-out text too. Think carefully about your headline and what you want it to do. Is it meant to evoke a response, be a call to action or to inform your customer? Whilst we’re not condoning clickbait headlines, remember this is your chance to draw the audience in.

Go back through your previous posts and see which ones have performed best. Use your Facebook and Instagram Insights to see which posts have generated the most engagement. If the images you’ve used are similar, it could be the text making all the difference.

ACTIVE VOICE

When it comes to social; everyone wants to feel involved. By using an “active voice” you can help add some urgency to your copy and make the reader feel a part of something happening right now.

GRAMMAR

Bad spelling and grammar are enough to make some consumers unfollow you. If you often type your content directly into Facebook or a content scheduler like Schedugram, you may miss your trusty spellcheck. Download Grammarly for your desktop and you’ll never have that sinking feeling of spotting an error on your post from a week ago. The free tool checks your spelling and grammar across multiple sites, as you type.

TONE OF VOICE

Your brand is such an important part of your business, but remember it extends further than just your logo and font. It should run through every bit of marketing you do; especially your copywriting. Think about the most successful brands on social media – they have their tone of voice locked down and it’s consistent across their communications. Match your tone of voice to your business brand. If your brand is fun and quirky, let your conversation be led by that. If you’re representing a more serious business, stick to the more formal tone. Woolworths is one brand that has nailed this on social media. Their tone of voice is cheeky, friendly and ever so slightly sarcastic. They respond to all comments in the same way, often causing great reactions from their followers.

LENGTH

Length of captions for social media is something interesting to play around with. There is no hard and fast rule here – some brands find short and sweet captions work the best, whilst others prefer to story tell in their captions and really take their readers on a journey. Play around with different options and see what works best for you. Again, keep checking your Insights to see which kinds of captions are generating the best return for you. And remember, what works on Facebook might not necessarily transfer to Instagram. You may need different versions of the same message for each channel.

READ

Read, read and read some more! Inhale as much writing as you can. It will help build your vocabulary, get inspiration for your own copywriting and generate new content ideas. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, books, social media channels and everything in between. If you see something you love, make a note and try emulating for your own business.

PRACTICE

Practice really does make perfect. Keep practising with different styles of writing and trying new themes, ideas and stories. Always check your Insights so you know what’s working. You may find that an educational / How To style social caption is what really captures your audience. It may not have been your original strategy to produce this kind of content, but if it is working, you should listen to your audience.

PROOF

Always get a second pair of eyes on your copy BEFORE going live. If you really don’t have anyone to ask, save the version, go do something else for an hour, then come back and re-read. You’ll often spot mistakes after you’ve had time to think about something else.

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