Content production as a brand has come to include a wide-variety of content — from written to video, created to curated. Additionally, advances in search have made some of the mediums such as photo or video more attractive from the standpoint of SEO.
However, writing and text-based content is still highly valuable. Since writing is a large part of what we do here, we use the term “social writing” to describe what we do for clients. Our definition of social writing is as follows:
“Content, primarily in written format, that is designed to be optimal for social sharing.”
Optimal: This means that it’s made to be search-friendly, using well-known and emerging trends in SEO marketing such as keywords, effective titling and various other techniques.
Social Sharing: This is an important part of what we do. Olivier Blanchard wrote a great piece on marketers as spammers, and this is exactly what we hate about some digital writing. The “social” part of writing, to us, means that it has value (information, storytelling, emotion, etc), that people want to share it with others, and, from a technical standpoint, you’ve made it easy for them to do so.
These two things combined make effective online content in written form, and both are necessary to get there. If looked at separately, a piece that’s merely “optimal” runs the risk of becoming spammy and you could lose the trust of your readers. A piece that’s merely focused on value misses the opportunity to be more search engine friendly.
What do you think? Are there other equally as important pieces of writing for the digital age?
Social media has become a massively valuable platform in recent years.
With millions of active monthly users, an incredibly diverse base of users, and reach to virtually every corner of the earth, it’s clear why the various platforms in the social media family, ranging from Facebook to LinkedIn, have stood out as such valuable and relevant places to share content.
But how, exactly, do you craft content that performs well on these diverse and different platforms?
In one of my first #howtowrite series, I’m here to share with you!
How to Write Content for Social Media: 10 Tips
Since social media is such a varied and unique environment, it’s critical to ensure that you’re writing the right content at the right time. Here’s how:
1. Optimize what you write according to the platform you write it for.
Twitter is different from Facebook, which is different from Google+, which is different from Twitter! To make the most of writing content for social media, it’s critical that you take the additional time and effort needed to also optimize the content you write for the various social platforms for which you write it.
For example, do you know which of your readers frequent which platform? Do you know how long content should be for said platform, or how to present your content so that it performs the best it can on a given platform? If not, now is the time to learn. Optimizing content for the platform you publish it on is critical, and it’s essential to master this skill accordingly.
2. Add images.
Images are as critical for social media content as they are anywhere else. To make the most of your social content, fill it up with images once you’ve written it. Beautiful stock photos, in-depth screenshots, and even personal pictures can go a long way toward improving your content and making it feel more approachable and friendly for your readers.
To understand why this is so important to good social media content, think for a moment about how you regard posts with images vs. posts without images in your own social media news feeds. Which are more likely to get your clicks? If you answered “posts with images,” you’re not alone.
While people only remember 10% of what they read, they remember 65% of what they see, and pairing a relevant visual with your social media content can help it stick in your readers’ heads.
3. Keep your audience in mind.
Your audience is critical when it comes to social media content, and if you don’t know who they are there’s no way you’re going to be able to address them properly. With this in mind, do everything you can to build targeted personas, research your audience, and develop a solid understanding of who they are and what they care about.
In addition to allowing you to tailor your content more effectively, this step will also help to ensure that the posts you publish on social media will have a wide, broad reach with the potential to extend well beyond your audience.
4. Keep it about other people.
Social media can be an echo chamber for narcissism, so it’s important to keep your content focused on other people. If you’re one of the many social media users who finds it tough to contend with other users who publish self-centric posts on a regular basis, take heed.
Instead, keep your posts broad and externally-focused for the best result.
5. Become a master of headlines.
Social media headlines are critical to your click-through-rate, and they can make or break the success of your content. With this in mind, follow the best practices for stellar headlines. In addition to earning you more clicks, a simple tip like this can easily boost the success rate of all of your social media content and ensure that you’re as close as possible to going viral online.
6. Experiment with different content types.
Social media is a great place for all sorts of content types, ranging from articles and blog posts to videos and infographics. To build a well-rounded and unique content strategy, try your hand at all of them.
In addition to giving your fans something to look forward to, this approach will also help expand your content horizons and teach you what works best with your audience and what doesn’t!
7. Address your readers.
Social media works best when its personal, so don’t be afraid to address your readers directly. The personal “you” makes more of a splash in the news feed than anything else, so it’s smart to include it.
8. Cover trending topics.
Social media is an excellent place to tap into current events and web-wide trends. In addition to the fact that these things will generally perform well with readers, social media content has a relatively short lifespan, so using it to cover current events is a great move.
With this in mind, don’t hesitate to look to trending hashtags, news sources, and industry events to come up with topics for your next batch of social media content.
9. Keep it concrete.
Social media isn’t a place to get obscure and experimental with your headlines or your content. Since people skim through social media feeds so quickly, concrete, tangible, unique headlines and topics will perform the best. Don’t forget to give your readers something they can hold onto.
10. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
If readers click your title expecting one thing and they get another, they’re bound to be disappointed, and rightfully so! With this in mind, make sure your headline and the content beneath it deliver what’s promised, and don’t be surprised if your CTR drops when this stops happening.
Learn how to Write for Social Media & Gain Serious Brand Attention
Social media continues to grow, and learning how to write content for social media is more critical today than it’s ever been before.
When you ace your social media content, it’s easy to attract readers, develop your brand identity, and spread ideas worth sharing.
It’s also a great way to build an ongoing following that supports the goals and long-term objectives of your company.
If you post on social media, you’re a writer. Being a writer is an important distinction to make. You’re a writer because you publish what you share online for public consumption. Once you press “post” the content is no longer in your hands. And even though you can delete your social media content, as long as someone took a screenshot or shared your content, it will continue to exist.
When you begin to think of yourself as a writer, the social media landscape changes. No longer does it seem appropriate to slap content together and see what happens. No, every writer follows a style guide and those who write social media content should follow a stylebook as well.
So where do you start? Let’s take this article from Social Media Today: 6 Secrets of Generating Huge Returns from Social Media. How would you write social media content?
Step 1: See if someone has done part of the work for you.
When possible, click the “share” buttons on the blog and see what pops up. Share buttons are a good place to start if you need ideas for writing. If you wrote the blog on your website, skip Step 1 and move to Step 2.
As you can see from the screenshots above, either no text is provided or the text is very generic and a regurgitation of the article title. The auto-text is unhelpful, so you need to start from scratch.
Step 2: Read the article.
If you’ve already read it once, re-read the key sections. Many times the article holds the key pieces you need to write an effective social media post.
The title of this article alone reveals that there are six secrets. The title should get your wheels turning. Can your social media content play off of the secrets? Should you reveal a few and then leave your reader hanging so they’ll click for more?
The article also has some great images. Maybe one of the images can be saved separately so the social media post can also have an image. The image of the dog on the skateboard is particularly great. Social media loves animals and using that image could be the first step toward a great post.
Step 3: Sum up the article.
It’s a lot easier to write social media content when you know exactly what you’re trying to talk about. Get the BIG picture down on paper and it will be a lot easier for you to figure out how to write something that people want to read. The summary of this article:
To achieve social media success, it’s all about the type of content you share. Are you listening to your audience and providing them with content that is valuable? Make them say, “Yes, I’m glad I’m following you because you help and give back to me. It’s not just about you.”
Step 4: Find a great quote.
It can be incredibly helpful to start writing your social media content with a great quote from the article. Even if you don’t use the quote in the end, having the quote down on paper can be a good source of inspiration.
“Pay attention to what your fans are telling you. Your goal is to let people know that you care and have something of value to offer.”
The quote above matches the article summary quite nicely, but it’s rather dull. That’s where Step 5 comes in.
Step 5: Get creative.
Begin trying different things. The best way to write social media content is just to start writing. Try out a few different options and then compare.
“Would you rather buy a skateboard after watching a dog ride it or after hearing that the wheels have been tested over two hundred times? According to the six secrets of success, stick with the dog: LINK”
“Everyone is looking for the secret formula to social media success. These six tips might not be secret, but they’ll help you “sell the sizzle.” LINK”
“Do you want to be the next social media powerhouse? If your answer is “Yes!” then you don’t want to miss these industry secrets: LINK”
“Are you ready for 6 secrets to social media ROI? First, it starts with sharable content. Then, it’s about engaging your audience. After, you ‘sell the sizzle.’ Next, you. LINK”
Throughout the creative process, ask yourself the following questions:
- Would I be interested in this?
- If someone else wrote this, would I click on it?
- Does this sound too cheesy or desperate?
- Is it fun?
Step 6: Write a unique social media post for every platform.
If you have a successful creative brainstorming session, you hopefully have a few great posts to choose between. Use these different content options to help you write a unique post for each platform. Keep in mind these tips:
- Facebook: When possible, don’t write more than five lines or 400 characters with spaces. Speak in a friendly and casual tone. Use image posts more often than link posts or text-only posts. Use formatting such as paragraph spacing and list format.
- Twitter: You have 140 characters so keep it short and sweet. The best tweets are under 115 characters in length. Tweets are very news friendly, so headlines work well. Don’t forget to add a trending hashtag.
- LinkedIn: This network is for professionals. Write social media content for LinkedIn as a news brief or an internal information email to your customers. Think about how you would sell the article to a CEO.
- Instagram: Keep it short and casual and love the hashtags. Over 11 hashtags per Instagram post is your best bet. Don’t worry about the text so much as choosing the best hashtags.
At the end of the day, as long as you remember that every time you write social media, you’re a published author, you’ll be fine. It’s about putting out quality content in the right way.
There’s no point in writing social media content that no one will read. Writing effective social media content is quite easy once we grasp a couple of tips. Approximately 60% of the world’s population has internet access, attracting even a small percentage of that with your content will be invaluable to you.
Here’s a list of steps that will guide you write compelling content:
1. Have a Niche
What topics will your content be based on? Before you can shift your focus to writing social media articles, its best to identify which fields you’re knowledgeable in and can comfortably write content on. Importantly, identify a niche and stick to it. Whenever we publish articles on topics that we are not conversant in, chances are that we will have too much irrelevant content, not forgetting misguiding information that may cost us our audience. You don’t have to be a ‘jack of all trades,’ chose your niche and let that be your identity.
2. Know Your Audience
Do you know your audience? Can you define the persona of your prospective reader? These are among the many important questions regarding your audience that will dictate the nature of your content. Content for an older audience will, of course, be entirely different from that for young adults or kids. This distinction will be crucial in writing effective social media content. Knowing your audience will guide you to write content that’s tailored specifically to them. Otherwise, writing content without a target audience in mind will make you write content that will ‘miss the target’ rendering your article ineffective.
3. What Platform Are You Using
There are many social media platforms available for you to publish your content on, each with its own requirements. Over the years, the number of these sites has been growing, and your audience probably has a preference which you must know. The channel you use will dictate a lot of aspects that relate to the content, for example, the length, level of formality and so on.
A common feature on most websites – the share function
The other factor to consider is making your content shareable across a number of social media platforms. This increases the level of effectiveness of social media content since you’ll get to reach a bigger audience that way.
4. Do Extensive Research
Legitimacy online is a crucial aspect that cannot be ignored. There are hundreds of thousands of content pieces being posted online every single minute each day. The question is, how does your content stand out from the rest? The answer is simple, establish legitimacy.
Working on the quality of your content to ensure that no information you post will be misleading to your audience in any way is the way to go. Competition for the audience is stiff online, therefore, ensure that before writing your content, you’ve gone the extra mile and done extensive and sufficient research such that your content is irreproachable. Should any queries arise, be in a position to justify or defend your posts with credible proof. Your audience values truth and honesty, ensure that you give them exactly that.
5. Work On the Content
Content that’s guaranteed to interest readers
The quality of your social media content is the primary determinant of whether it will be useful or not. Once you have attained all the four steps highlighted above, your next action will be to draft the content. This might also mean creating a social media post checklist to ensure you cover all your bases. Every aspect from the title to the conclusion is critical to your success. Therefore, as you work on the material, there’re a couple of things that you’ll need to look at in detail to guarantee effectiveness.
About the Author:
Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. Check out his website During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter , Linkedin & Google+ .
When you post something on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you want many people to click and read it. Right?
You’ve spent hours on writing your masterpiece, finding a perfect image for it. And social media is a great way to promote your work and attract people to it. But if you post without a social media strategy, which outlines how each platform will help you accomplish your business goals, many of your efforts will be wasted.
As you know, each social media platform has its own tips, tricks, algorithms, and best practices. Content that performs well on Facebook isn’t likely to see that same success on Twitter or Instagram if posts are simply copied and pasted uniformly across every channel.
In this post, I’ll share seven social media content writing tips for creating posts that get the attention of your target audience, and inspire engagement.
Facebook campaigns are most effective when you vary your types of posts, so mix it up with photos, infographics, text, gifs, memes, blog posts, links, et cetera.
So, if you think you need more influential image or description for your Facebook post, choose them but make sure they play one of the following roles:
- They stir some emotions
- They catch attention
- They entertain people
- They send some powerful message
Posting on Twitter requires smart, concise word choices to convey your message within a limited space. It can take a little extra practice, but once you get the hang of it, your tweets will take off.
Front-load your tweet. Most people on Twitter are skimming through a massive amount of content. Put the most important information at the beginning of your tweet to catch their attention.
The ideal length for a tweet is 240+ characters. Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280 in 2017, and users seem to appreciate the extra room to express themselves. If you need more than 280 characters, create a thread or add a link to a blog post.
Instagram is all about visual content, but that doesn’t mean you can skate by with insufficient captions. If you want your audience to interact with your content, your words do matter.
Use emojis. For real, though, emojis have proven to be incredibly effective on Instagram.
Use relevant hashtags. You’re allowed up to 30 hashtags, but don’t just pick the ones that are currently trending. Instead, try to vary your hashtag use. Select a few broad, popular ones but also mix in some niche-specific hashtags, plus one or two branded ones.
Considering all of the facts, keep your content and social posts effective and ensure they’re easy for your audience to consume. And look to add images, videos and CTAs to increase your content’s effectiveness.
Time to read: 3 minutes . Worried about wasting time on social media, but still believe in it? Good news: Effective social selling depends on your ability to apply direct response marketing inside posts. Success has little to do with techie stuff. Knowing how to write social media posts for business is the game-changer. Here is a simple, effective posting technique that creates leads.
Copywriting is king (not content)
Content without “guide rails” for readers is worthless. Literally.
Tired of creating “compelling content” that doesn’t generate business? I was too. Then I realized content is not king. Copywriting is king. It’s what makes kings wealthy!
Effective copywriting powers each stage of the “attract, engage, nurture” process—starting with posts.
#1: Structure posts to provoke a response
LinkedIn, Google+, blogging, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook. Social platforms offer a way to post words. So how can you always remember to post in ways that get you paid?
Make it a priority to write in ways that get customers reacting—talking to you. Provoke them.
Don’t worry so much about what to post (and when). Focus on HOW you structure words .
Avoid what most people do: Getting hung-up on what time of day to post updates, fuss about what you’re going to say, not say, “sounding human.” All of this just distracts you from investing time in how you structure words.
“The how” of social media posts gets you paid. Always try to be:
- Provocative —say something honestly new, different, valuable and a little risky
- Warning —people love to be warned of dangers and steered clear of risks
- Telling “dirty little truths” about what your unscrupulous competitors try to get away with
Another warning : Ignore all the “experts.” Don’t make social sharing your #1 goal. What good is going viral if it doesn’t generate business? Instead, focus energy on making a lead capture the goal.
A strange place to start
Start by asking, “why am I about to post this?” Literally, next time you post. Because this forces you to focus on THE most important part of how to post on social media for business.
When you ask, “why am I about to post this update, what do I want the customer to do?” you’re forced to consider possible answers. For example, you want customers to:
- share and like an article (weak)
- respond to a video by signing-up for a white paper (stronger)
- react: call or email to learn more about a solution (strongest)
Asking “why?” draws attention to weak points in your post writing approach. If you don’t have a process in place to grab attention, engage and provoke response don’t feel bad. You’re not alone.
Here is a free copywriting for social media course to help you start applying this technique.
#2: Drive buyers to content with offers
Converting readers to business leads demands strong copywriting on social platforms PLUS effectively written, long-form content. This includes blog and landing pages filled with your best tips, tricks and advice.
The idea is simple: Drive customers from your social post to content that “sets up” your lead generation offer. (call-to-action)
Here is an example of long-form content playing on the pain of people suffering from in-effective use of LinkedIn InMail. The social post (driving buyers to this page) at Google+ can be seen here.
Remember: Everything you write should help customers achieve a desired goal, avoid a risk or solve a problem.
Also, your blog is a content marketing hub. It is where you send prospects using short-form social media posts. It’s the destination—where they arrive and find relief, better-ways, short-cuts, etc.
In exchange for a little bit of information about themselves (a lead).
Facebook and Google+ updates. LinkedIn group discussions, company page posts, LinkedIn updates. Social media posts drive visitors to blog articles and long-form landing page content that proves you’re worth a real email address! (and that’s a growing issue these days!)
#3: Apply this copywriting system
Effective copywriting for social media is all about helping customers:
- believe there is a better way (this is where your short, pithy social media posts play a role);
- realize they just found part of it (on your longer-form blog);
- and act—taking a first step toward what they want (giving you a lead).
The process starts with your social media post—and ends when you capture the lead, nurture the customer and close the sale.
Get to the point, reveal slowly & provoke reponse
Follow these guidelines to make sure your words get acted on-prospects see your call to action and ACT on it.
- Get right to-the-point
When you write be like a laser. Don’t make readers wait for the solution. Hit ’em with it in the headline & first sentence. Give them everything up front at a high level. Then, in the body of your long-form content .
- Reveal slowly
When it comes to all the juicy details of your remedy take it slow. Slow enough to encourage more questions—to create curiosity in the total solution. When you do this, make sure you .
- Provoke response by leveraging the curiosity you just created
Yes, be action-oriented and specific. But avoid being so complete in your blog, LinkedIn or Google+ post that readers become totally satisfied with your words.
Knowing how to write social media posts for business—that get you paid—is the difference between starving and thriving.
Effective social media and content marketing attracts, engages and takes customers on journeys to better places—where they decide how, when and were to get there. But it must pay us. Otherwise you’re in the charity business.
Writing great social media posts is more than just stringing together catchy words, hooks, and compelling calls-to-action; it’s an art form and one that should not be taken lightly.
Bonus Content: Grab a copy of our Social Media Field Guide.
Get Yours Now
David Ogilvy, advertising genius in the golden age of Madison Avenue, wrote in his essential book of copywriting wisdom, Confessions of an Advertising Man:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
You may not be creating high-dollar advertisements for international brands, but as a small business owner, you need to do everything you can to communicate in a compelling and professional manner to clients and potential clients.
By applying a few copywriting principles to some of the most visible elements of your client communication, you will see a huge increase in client engagement, open rates, and click-through rates. Follow Ogilvy’s advice and focus your energy on writing compelling copy for your most essential elements of communication: email subject lines, posts to social media, and titles for your content marketing pieces.
Often, writing about business can seem stale or dull. Use these opportunities to create an impression on your clients and energize them with your copy skills.
Here are 5 essential elements of copywriting we use to make our clients look great, and that you can apply to your business for writing great social media posts and ads.
1. DO be compelling.
I am constantly competing for the attention of an audience when I share content. The best way to stand out is to answer the age-old question: What’s in it for me? I use this opportunity to concisely describe HOW the item I’m sharing will benefit the reader. This is the essence of copywriting, and there are so many different ways accomplish this. Here are just a few examples of ways I could promote our blog post “The 5 Most Overlooked Business Benefits of Social Media”:
Describe an amazing benefit the reader will receive.
”Get more client referrals with content marketing.”
Pose an interesting question that mentions additional benefits.
“Do you have time to take on more business?”
Simply display a thrilling excerpt from your work.
“…9 out of 10 people would use their realtor again, if only they could remember their name.”
2. DO NOT use weasel words.
“Weasel words” are words that are meant to give the impression that something meaningful has transpired but in reality, are pretty meaningless. No one is impressed with words like “maybe” or “hopefully” or “try.” Replace those wishy-washy terms and show off real grit with words like “guarantee” or “expect.” How does this work out in your headlines?
Let’s take a look:
Weasel Statement: H & H Realty tries to find you the best home for your dollar.
Non-weasel Statement: H & H Realty guarantees you the best home for your dollar.
Which statement seems more confident?
3. DO NOT use passive voice.
Don’t live in the past; live in the now. Your actions can be described in a way that is either “passive” or “active.” Active voice is a straightforward way of describing your actions. “I did this.” Passive voice employs a third party or an unknown agent to perform the action. “This was done.” Passive voice downplays the impressiveness of your accomplishments. What’s the difference in practice?
Passive Voice: “We were awarded the championship trophy.”
Active Voice: “We won the championship trophy.”
Isn’t the active voice so much more powerful? Be bold and let your reader know when you’re responsible for something great.
4. DO cut out unnecessary words.
To avoid falling victim to tl;dr (Too Long; Didn’t Read), resist the temptation to communicate all the details of an idea to your reader. “Seven words or fewer” is the rule of thumb I try to follow when writing headlines or subject lines. This harsh word limit forces me to write the most compelling statement I can for a small space. I want readers to know immediately why the content I’m sharing is worth their time. Here is an example of two headlines that say the same thing — one just gets to the point faster.
Wordy: “We promise you will close more deals by using our product.”
To the point: “Close more deals with our product.”
Remember, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it is a helpful way to push your writing further.
5. DO write and rewrite and write and rewrite and write and rewrite…
Unfortunately, my best idea is rarely my first idea. I wrote and edited 10 different titles for this blog post before choosing the one you see above. By writing, rewriting and refining my words, I’m forced to think of new ways to entice the reader.
This is what I started with:
Essential Copywriting Do’s & Dont’s for Your Business
Here’s the final product:
5 Crucial Elements for Writing Great Social Media Posts
Like most skills, writing improves the more you do it. So practice!
Keep these copywriting tips in mind, and with a little practice, your writing will be more compelling and more persuasive. Expect big boosts in your open and click-through rates as well. And if you don’t want to worry about it, just let us know and we’ll do it for you.
Tips to Engage Your Audience When You’re Social Media Posting
When it comes to social media posting, the way you write your posts is the key to engaging with your audience. The more engagement you have on a post, the bigger the reach. The greater the reach – the more comments, shares and likes you’ll have! So, you’ll want to take time to craft smart, creative copy that attracts users. Once you have an idea of what you want to write about, follow these 5 tips to help boost engagement and make your content stand out from the rest.
Tip 1: Write for Your Audience
Think about the people you want to speak to. Do they respond to funny or serious posts? Are they professional or relaxed and casual? Make sure to keep your target markets in mind when writing and direct your posts to them! Don’t forget to even add in words like “ you” and “your” to engage them directly! You won’t be able to please everyone, so focus on pleasing the right people.
Tip 2: Keep it Short & Instructive
When writing posts – shorter, succinct posts are better received. No one wants to take the time to read lengthy posts and in most cases, long posts will even be cut off making the reader have to click to read more. The attention span of users on social media lasts for seconds so the first 3-4 words of your post are crucial! A general rule is to keep your posts between 100 – 250 characters for optimum engagement.
Tip 3: Power Words are Your Friends
Some words are overused and glazed over while others may stand out. Power words tap into your emotions and compel readers to take action. Integrating power words into your social media posting produces more engagement and motivation from your audience. Write your posts and see where you can add in a power word or two! ( You can get a FREE list of power words here! )
Tip 4: Be Visual
Posts with photos receive more “Likes” on average than just a text post. Using high-quality photos that connect with your message make for a better overall post and user experience. Think about testing different photos and messages to see which ones your audience responds to. Make sure your photo is relevant to what you are writing and adding in branded elements or graphics create consistency in your brand experience.
Tip 5: Add a Call to Action
Make sure to tell people what you’d like them to do by adding a call to action. They are waiting to give you their opinion, so ask them to leave comments & thoughts. You can also drive more engagement by setting up posts to ask questions – This or that? Item A vs. item B? Agree or disagree? Like or dislike? The goal when social media posting is to have an immediate action, so simply adding “Contact Us” or “Learn More” can help too.
Now time to get writing! Implement these 5 tips and let us know if you see more activity!