In our recent blog post about small business copywriting, we briefly highlighted writing copy for social media as one of the big 3 types of copywriting services offered. And because the world of social media copy is so vast and varied, this branch of copywriting deserves its own post.
Social Media Copywriting requires technique, craftiness, a clear understanding of your target audience and how to best engage them, and most of all, brevity. And that’s because you’re competing with every other brand, business and influencer to get your ideal customer’s attention and stop their scroll long enough to pique their interest in your product or service.
With the right strategies in tow, you’ll be well on your way to writing copy for social media that captures your followers’ attention and convinces them to take action.
Social Media Copy vs. Regular Copy
Great copywriting grabs people’s attention, puts your product or service front and center and seals deals. Stellar copywriters do this by focusing on the needs of target customers and how a product or service meets those needs.
Social media copywriting achieves the same result, but often in less time and with more casual, personalized content, depending on the platform and audience the brand or business has in mind. Visuals, graphics and brand aesthetics all matter – but it’s clear, compelling copy that entices customers to purchase, subscribe or sign up.
Social Media Copy for Facebook
With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is still the leading social media platform, making it a prime playground to build a following and promote your products and services – and one of the best ways to do that is through Facebook ads.
Now, Facebook has its own set of guidelines for businesses to follow when submitting ads, and they’re very in-depth and particular. The good news is that in the event your ad gets rejected, Facebook will let you know why so you can fix any errors and resubmit.
When writing copy for social media, it’s important to be clear on 2 things: your business goal and who your audience is. From there, you’ll speak directly to your ideal customer’s needs and how your product or service is the perfect solution. Lastly, remember to end your ad with one of Facebook’s calls to action (CTAs) like “Apply Now” or “Learn More.”
For more help with this, take a look at our blog post about writing ad copy. Now that we’ve gotten the social media heavyweight out of the way, here are 8 tips and strategies you can apply to make your copy jump off the screen on any social media platform:
Social Media Copywriting Tips and Strategies
#1: Make Your First Sentence Count
Things move fast on social media so if the headline or first sentence of your post doesn’t instantly grab your customer’s attention, don’t expect them to stay for more. You have 1 golden opportunity to get them to stop scrolling or swiping so be sure the main idea of your post is up front and presented in a creative, interesting way.
Contrary to popular opinion, people still read captions. And the more engaging, direct and personable you make them, the better your chances of getting your viewers to stay tuned and follow through.
#2: Pack It with Emotion
As with any type of copywriting, conversion depends on touching your reader’s heart with your words. To do this, you have to put yourself in their shoes and speak directly to them and their needs. The emotion you want to evoke depends on your desired outcome. How do you want your reader to feel? Encouraged? Inspired? Understood? Seen?
Once you identify the emotion, work backward to make sure your client feels that exact emotion so that they’ll be inclined to follow up once they get to your CTA.
#3: Hashtags are Still Your Friend
Hashtags are the way to make your content searchable on social media, particularly on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.
Before posting, do a little hashtag research to make sure you’re using relevant hashtags that closely align with your content and intended audience. And no need to go overboard – 3-5 carefully selected hashtags will suffice.
#4: Ask Open-Ended Questions
A great technique copywriters use to engage readers, especially when writing copy for social media is asking open-ended. Questions targeted to your audience tap into their specific wants, needs or desires, which prompts them to determine if you have the solution.
You can also use open-ended questions to boost engagement on social media so that when you do have an offer, you’ve already built an interested community. Just don’t forget to respond!
#5: Keep It Simple and Short
Every platform has a different word/character limit, but keep in mind that just because you have more space doesn’t mean you should use it all. Be sure to read over your content a few times to eliminate wordiness or redundancy.
Social media users like simple, straightforward content and clear CTAs. Making it hard or confusing to buy your product or service will only make your customers move on to the next post or message in their feeds.
#6: Don’t Just Sell, Sell, Sell
While this blog is all about writing copy for social media, keep in mind that the goal isn’t always direct selling. If every single one of your social media posts asks your customers to buy something, you’ll gain a reputation for only pushing products and never posting information that your audience values.
Consumers tend to buy from people they like and feel a connection with, and you can’t build connections when you’re only concerned about the sale. Make sure you offer your followers a mixture of curated content, engaging copy and sales copy in order to keep them in your orbit.
Your product or service is awesome! But without a people-first approach, you run the risk of it staying on the virtual shelf.
#7: Be Casual and Conversational
Even though you’re running a successful business, you don’t want your social media content to come off too stuffy or buttoned up. Social media is the place where we let our hair down and share a little more of ourselves than we might in the office or at work. Let your followers get to know the real you and the sales will come.
Haven’t quite found your voice and tone on social media? This Word Stylistz blog about social media post writing styles will be of great help.
#8: Don’t Hit Copy and Paste
It’s important to keep your brand voice consistent across platforms, but don’t just duplicate content. Users gravitate toward content that feels unique and authentic, and posting the same exact content to every platform comes off as disingenuous.
You can easily modify your content without doing a complete overhaul, but don’t forget to still be you no matter what platform you’re engaging with.
Best Social Media Copy Examples
Over at Word Stylistz, writing copy for social media is our jam, and we’ve written thousands of attention-grabbing social media posts. Here are a few of our top opening sentences:
1. “What could you do with more time and less stress?” We used the open-ended question strategy for this social media post as a can’t-miss way to grab the reader’s attention immediately.
2. “I know you’re not gonna miss out on this opportunity …” One thing no buyer likes is missing out. With this sentence, we applied 2 strategies: using a casual and conversational tone and incorporating an emotional sense of urgency to compel the reader to act now.
3. “Self-care is not a trend.” With this example, we employed the simple and straightforward strategy to get right to the point so users know what the post is about immediately.
Need a little more inspo? Check out these copywriting examples from some of the world’s most popular brands.
Listen, social media copywriting is an art, and if you’d rather focus on offering your customers and clients top-notch products and services than writing the perfect caption or Facebook ad, the Word Stylistz are more than prepared to take that task off your to-do list.