7 ways to write killer copy for social media

We’re all pretty well-versed in the importance of social media in marketing. Come on, it’s 2017 – right? But it’s one thing being aware of how important social media is when it comes to spreading the word about your product or service; it’s another thing entirely to actually be any good at doing it.

Now, despite noticing many companies in recent years (particularly smaller ones) blending copywriters and social media coordinators into one role, they are actually different professions with separate skill-sets. But that said, both roles definitely overlap – and should work in synergy.

This is because killer social media content requires killer copy. Here’s how to make sure yours is razor sharp, leading to likes, follows, favourites – and ultimately sales.

Keep it simple.

Just like most forms of copywriting, less really is more. It’s so easy to slip into the bad habit of waffling with online copy, but it’s even more essential to keep it brief when it comes to crafting quality social media posts.

Sure, you might have an engaging long-form article or blog post you’re keen to direct your followers to, which is fine. But to get them there, you’ll need to keep your tweet, post or caption brief. This is your hook; a taste to get them salivating and wanting more – so don’t give it all away.

Go on, be a tease. You know you want to.

Know your tone of voice.

Like with any sort of copywriting, it’s essential to have a good understanding of your audience so you know what sort of tone of voice to use. This tone of voice should mirror the voice used across your entire brand’s communications, including all website copy, newsletters and other website collateral.

No matter who you’re talking to, you’ll want your social media copy to be personable and enticing. If you’re not excited about what you’re writing about, why should anyone else be? Which acts as the perfect segue way for my next tip.

Make it engaging.

It’s very likely you’ve heard about the importance of engaging content; but what does it actually mean? In short, engaging content offers something fresh. A new perspective, a strand of knowledge or something helpful and relevant to the user. It might be entertaining, or inspiring or just downright inimitable. But ultimately, great engaging content will be content that a user hasn’t come across before.

Sure, it’s good to be across what your competitors are doing – but make sure your copy is unique to your brand. Try drafting a post that will get the message across you’re trying to convey, then re-write it again a few times in completely different ways. The results might pleasantly surprise you.

Be consistent.

Having quality, engaging social media copy written in a distinctive tone of voice is all well and good. But it means nothing if it’s not consistent. We’re always told that ‘Content is King’, which is definitely true. But it’s also important to know that Consistency is Queen. And a King is nothing without his Queen.

The best brands keep both their design and copywriting consistent, as it builds trust within their audience. Sure, you should try different types of posts out, especially when you’re getting started with social media and trying to gage your audience. But once you’ve got a formula that works, stick with it. This is what will keep your audience coming back.

You could spend hours crafting wonderful, witty copy for your social channels, but unless your posts have purpose – they’re also worthless.

Pen with purpose.

You could spend hours crafting wonderful, witty copy for your social channels, but unless your posts have purpose – they’re also worthless. Now, that’s not to say that every tweet, Facebook post and Instagram image needs to be a hard sell for your product or service. In fact, that would be a very bad move. Social media should be about building your brand and getting to know your audience, not making a quick buck.

That said, simply posting any old thing into social cyberspace is both pointless and ultimately damaging to your brand. Ensure you have a social media strategy put in place, so you can organise the purpose of each post, depending on timing and relevance. This way you can work out whether the objective of your copy is to inform your audience about your product, or simply to engage them.

Include a call to action.

Regardless of what your intentions are with your social media posts, it’s a great idea to include a call to action. This could be getting the user to follow a link to a blog post you’ve written, suggesting that they sign up to your newsletter or ultimately purchasing your product. You must make sure the call to action is clear, concise and powerful; after all – you’re trying to get the user to do something.

You’ll also want to create a sense of urgency with your call to action. Language like ‘Last Chance’ and ‘Final 24 Hours’ will help prompt the user to act; just make sure you make the benefit clear. Your potential customer needs to know exactly what journey they will be taken on when they follow your call to action.

Make it shareable.

Last but in no ways least, your social media content should be shareable. This tip joins the dots of all the previous points, because for a post to be shareable it needs to include, quality, engaging content. This is also the perfect time to include a call to action if you don’t need to direct the user anywhere particular.

In the world of social media, sharing is the Holy Grail. This is because it creates a ripple effect, quickly spreading the word about your brand and instantly connecting with your potential customers. So when you’re working on your next bit of copy for social media, stop and ask yourself: “Is this shareable?” If no, rethink it. If yes, then tweet, post and share away! You never know, it could even go viral.

So what are you waiting for? Get those likes, favourites and follows rolling in.

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