When it comes to writing copy for social media there are some generally accepted tips that apply to most, if not all, platforms. Each platform obviously also has its own quirks and best practices (which we will cover in separate blogs, so stay tuned). But the focus here is on the general, the tips that can apply across the board. So, let’s get started…
1 post, 1 goal
Try not to overcomplicate your posts and ads. One train of thought / article link / CTA (call to action) is all you should really be aiming for. Any more than one, and suddenly your readers will feel like you’re trying to pull them in various directions at once. Are they supposed to click the link? Like your post? Share it? This uncertainty will result in one sure thing – inaction. They simply won’t engage with any of your CTAs because you’ve overloaded them. So, keep things simple.
Plan it, don’t wing it
Social media copy should be thought out. Yes, it’s generally short, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be rushed. By planning what you intend to post ahead of time, you can ensure that all of the aspects align. A great picture that grabs attention, but is at odds with the CTA and copy isn’t really that great after all.
Use clear CTAs
As we stated in our first point, you don’t want to confuse readers with multiple CTAs. But you also don’t want to confuse them with unclear CTAs either. By clear we mean both explicit and straight forward. ‘Like this post’ is clear. ‘You can like this post if you like but you don’t really have to, we’re not going to force you’ is not. Neither is ‘Like this post, then subscribe and follow and do a little jig, responding to our email at the same time’. Now obviously these bad examples are extreme, but the point remains. If you cannot clearly show or express how a reader is supposed to interact with your copy, they won’t do anything.
Check, check, check
Check your spelling and grammar. This one should be obvious, yet there are still people and companies out there who fail to do so. If you don’t write properly, it will send out a couple of messages to your audience. The worst of which is that you are unprofessional. And it’s very easy for readers to make the leap from unprofessional to unreliable. And unreliable is obviously something that you don’t want to be seen as.
Be prepared to get social
You’re not firing messages, statuses and tweets into a void. The whole point of posting on social media is to engage with your audience. With that in mind, don’t forget to take the time to respond to them when they do engage with you. This could be as simple as liking their comments. But it could also mean responding to any questions they have or providing links to additional information.
So, there you have our five general tips for writing copy for social media. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for our platform-specific blogs, which we’ll be posting soon.
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