In recent years, the world of social media marketing has exploded. There is no question that SEO and Google are still very important, but sharing on social media has become a new source of traffic that now plays a big part in online marketing strategies.
Having a social media strategy and action plan, based on your unique business goals, resources and available time, is essential to your success. But even with the best laid out action plan, you still need to create social media posts and content that speaks to your identified audience and inspires them to engage with your brand and take action. If you can’t engage, then you won’t get shares, and your website traffic will remain static.
As the competition for your audience’s time and attention can be fierce, the key to engagement has to be the way in which you write your posts. It is essential that you invest time in crafting smart, creative copy that attracts your target audience – content that is created with their wants and needs in mind, which they will want to consume.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Writing and posting on social media is a whole different story when you’re a business versus an individual, and the ever-changing social media algorithms make it harder to get engagement on social media posts.
In this article, we share seven social media content writing tips for creating posts that will get the attention of your target audience, make your content stand out from the rest, and inspire and increase engagement.
1. Do your research
If you want your target audience to notice and engage with your social media posts, then you need to make your content highly relevant to their needs and wants. This can only be achieved by gaining a deeper insight into your audience through detailed research, which will help you to understand who they are, and their lifestyles, values and interests.
Research will ultimately make your content more interesting and relevant, and the more relevant your posts are to your audience, the more success you will have. It will help you to create a persona of your audience, find sources and influencers who are credible to that persona, and have a deeper understanding of who you are writing to and the language that they speak – more on that later.
By understanding your audience, you will be able to connect with them on an emotional level that will ultimately create a bond leading to brand loyalty and recommendation. Examples of content that will enable connection include sharing relevant success stories of satisfied customers. This will help them to envision their own success as a result of using your product or service and make them feel positive about you. Alternatively, identify what needs, obstacles or challenges your audience have. Select a challenge or a need that may be a high priority for them and develop social media content that will provide them with a solution.
2. Write for your reader – speak the same language
As we discussed previously, research can help you to understand and learn the language that your target audience use to communicate their needs or challenges. Using this language when writing social media posts will ensure that your content resonates with your audience and will demonstrate your understanding of their wants, needs and issues.
For example, a post that you write on LinkedIn for senior level managers will be very different from a post you write on Facebook for new parents. Not only do these two groups of people have different needs, wants and challenges, but their language – the exact phrasing they use to speak about these factors – will differ greatly too.
When writing social media content, make sure that you keep your target audience in mind and direct your posts to them. Don’t forget to 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.
3. Develop your brand voice
Whilst it is important to write social media content in the language of your target audience, the overall message should be written in your own voice (or your brand voice).
Your brand voice refers to the personality infused into all your marketing activities and social media interactions. With the language and tone that you use when writing your content or interacting with your audience, you create the voice that will help them to view your company/brand as you wish them to.
This brand voice is primarily influenced by your company’s culture and personality, your ‘why’ story and the language used by your ideal customers. It needs to be consistent throughout all communications and the posts that you share on social platforms, as well as any engagement that you have on those social platforms. Compromising your personality with inconsistency will devalue your brand, whereas consistency will help your audience to connect with you emotionally, help to build trust and help them identify your social media posts as yours. After all, the brand is ultimately your company’s image, and the emotional association and ‘experience’ for your viewer.
4. Write for the medium
As with content in all media, that written for social media posts needs to be written to suit the medium. For example, a fashion brand will place different adverts in a national newspaper to those they would place in a male-orientated lifestyle magazine. The same goes for social media content – each platform and its network of followers has its own suitability.
When writing for different social media channels, the audience persona may be the same, but their expectations could be quite different. The reason being that as humans we unconsciously wear different hats for every channel and situation. Therefore, try to get inside your reader’s head on every occasion, and when writing for each specific channel remember the variance in:
A good tip would be to look at the best-performing content in the platform that you are writing for and get a feel for what makes them successful.
5. Keep it short, simple and instructive
When writing social media content, short, succinct posts are better received. No one wants to take the time to read lengthy posts and, in most cases, long posts will be cut off making the reader have to click ‘read more’. People value their time. If you want your audience to give you their attention, you need to show that you value their time too. The attention span of users on social media lasts for only a few 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.
6. Use images and videos
Visual content is more engaging and can often tell the story quicker and more succinctly than words alone; therefore, make full use of images, graphics and videos to tell a story.
An image or video can even stand alone in social media posts while still conveying the full message to your audience. Bear in mind that video in particular will allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. This is because people are known to respond particularly well to video as it humanises your brand/company and allows them to get to know you more intimately.
Take advantage of the benefits of the ‘live video’ features which most social media platforms have. An unscripted live video can have a level of authenticity that is often lacking in high-quality marketing videos.
Posts with photos receive more ‘likes’ on average than a post with just text. Using high-quality photos that connect with your message makes for a better overall post and user experience. Consider testing different photos and messages to see which ones your audience respond to. Make sure that your photo is relevant to what you are writing, and when adding in branded elements or graphics, ensure consistency in your brand experience.
For best results, optimise each piece of visual content for the platform you are posting it on to ensure that your message is being shared.
7. Add a call to action
At the end of your social media posts or content, always tell your audience what you want them to do next by including a call to action (CTA). CTAs come in different forms and have different purposes. For example, you can motivate your audience to take action with these CTAs:
- Ask them to like or share your social media posts
- Ask a question they can answer in the comments
- Direct them to another piece of content
- Send them to a landing page
- Direct them to your website
- Get them to subscribe to your newsletter
- Ask them to connect with you on other social media channels
The goal when social media posting is to have an immediate action, so even simply adding ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Learn More’ can help too. Remember that without a CTA most people won’t take any action after reading your content, even if they enjoyed it and derived value from it.
Our final thoughts…..
As social media continues to grow, developing the skill of writing content for social media will become more and more necessary. When you perfect this skill, it will become easier to attract your target audience, develop your brand identity, and share your thoughts and opinions. It’s also a great way to build an ongoing following that supports the goals and long-term objectives of your company.
However, if you lack the time and resources in-house to do it justice, or you simply have other commitments absorbing your time, we can help. Our team of experts can help guide and create every element of your social media content writing strategy to meet your business needs and objectives, so please get in touch.