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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7 social media video marketing tips for the camera-shy

Next week we are out on location filming some new content for our client Australia’s Golden Outback. Throughout my career, I’ve written countless briefs, scripts and notes for on-camera interviews, and helped project manage the filming. Some people just come to life on camera; speaking easily and naturally and they just invite the viewer in. Others… not so much.

I myself am actually much more confident behind the camera. But in today’s digital world where video is a must-have for savvy digital marketers; how do you create engaging video content if you hate being on-screen?

We’ve compiled our top tips to create engaging and professional looking video content, even for the shyest people out there.

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Capture things other than you.

Videos don’t always have to be of you. If you have a product that looks good on camera, or you’re selling an experience or destination – capture that on film and let it be the focus. If it’s talking on camera that bothers you most, don’t worry! Did you know 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound? If you need to explain something, use subtitles to get your point across

Think Vertically.

It used to be that all video content was created “movie style” in landscape mode. However, on Facebook and Instagram vertical footage is now the preferred style. This allows for more tight shots, focusing in on products or a focal point of interest. You can crop yourself out slightly and let the product do the talking.

Animation.

You can now create animated videos cheaply and easily online. This style not only removes the need for you to be on camera, but it helps to break up other more traditional imagery and video and will stand out on people’s timelines and newsfeeds. Go Animate and Explee are great affordable options that we love.

Practice makes perfect.

If you really need to be on camera (and sometimes, you will) then practice, practice, practice! Now be warned, some people become more wooden with every take and can you hear that they’re reading a script. So try not to keep re-reading what you’re going to say. Rather keep practising being in front of a camera so you get more comfortable. Do a couple of takes without your notes, being spontaneous and see what feels right and sounds like “you”. The more time you spend in front of the camera, the more natural it will feel and you will come across. Remember the latest stats show short videos (between 15 and 30 seconds) work the best on social media. So even if you’re uncomfortable it really isn’t for long; fake it till you make it, baby!

Research for inspiration.

Sometimes a key to finding your own voice is identifying what YOU like in a video presenter. If you see something on Facebook that stops you scrolling, save it and come back to it later. What was it that you liked? The style, the content, the way the person spoke. Use this as inspiration and find people with a similar disposition and style to your own. This is a great way to build confidence and take away the fear of starting with a blank page.

Turn images into video.

There are now heaps of tools you can use, even straight from your mobile phone, to edit together images and short videos into great videos for social media. This is a great way to repurpose content and make it more engaging for your audience. You can even add stickers and emojis to make it more fun for channels like Instagram Stories. Great tools we love are Magisto, InShot and Ripl.

Dive in.

The biggest piece of advice is to just give it a go. Find a style that suits you and you feel comfortable with and just begin! Consumers these days buy into brands they love and they want to know the person behind that brand. Channels like Instagram and Facebook Stories are growing rapidly in popularity and offer the consumer a chance to see “behind the scenes” into your brand. These snippets into you and your brand are a great way to build confidence and connect with your audience in an informal way. There’s no need for polished performances, just an insight into you and your brand.

 

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Online search now more trusted than media

For the first time ever, online search results are now more trusted than a journalist. 80% of people no longer trust businesses. 80%. Just imagine that. When you engage in traditional communications, you’re potentially only affecting 20% of your audience.

User generated content has never been more important, especially in the tourism industry where people often make decisions on where to go based on their friend’s photos and videos.

By engaging your audience online and encouraging content production, organisations can massively increase their online presence, create brand advocates and secure new customers.

Watch the full Edelman 2015 Trust Barometer video  before considering your 2016 strategy.

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