Your social media strategy may include brand awareness, lead generation or customer retention and these factors are all achieved through one thing: excellent social media writing skills.
In this article, I’m going to share with you my social media writing tips for business so that you too can hone your communication and hit those all-important KPIs.
First, you really need to hone your brand voice. What are your brand’s values and how are you going to get them across on social media?
Understand that your social media accounts are not supposed to be a replica of your website. Even if you are a serious corporate brand, you will need to soften your tone and make it more casual. Remember why people are using most social media in the first place — to connect with friends — and why they follow your Facebook page instead of just visiting your website.
Remember too, that while casual, your tone should be adjusted for each social media network.
For example, on Linkedin, the professional network, you might say “The Agorapulse team has compiled a list of the best social media writing tips. Click below to read them.” On Facebook, where it is considerably less professional, you might say “Need to improve your social media writing skills? Check out our hot tips.”
Social media isn’t the place for deep musings, case studies, or pasted stories. Although Facebook gives you 400 characters, please don’t use them all! The optimal length of a Facebook post is 40 characters and after that point engagement wanes. Studies even show that some of the most shared posts are just 11 words and incorporate video and emoji like Buzzfeed below:
If you want to share a blog or story with your readers, then introduce it briefly and include a link to it.
Your CTA or Call To Action is something you need to be aware of every time you write for your brand.
Does that mean you need to be constantly promotional? No. But you do want your fans to take action, don’t you? Whether it’s to read your article, watch your video, join a conversation, share a post or attend an event. There is always a desirable response.
A good formula for a social media post starts with a thought-provoking question and an invitation for your followers to take action as shown below at Contentworks.
Focus on using pronouns such as “we” “I,” “me,” and “you” as opposed to “the company,” “the client,” or “the team.” Remember, you are trying to build connections and engagement — so lecturing your followers from your high corporate tower just doesn’t cut it.
Write as though you are speaking directly to each fan and you will see a much better engagement rate. Check out this example from Barclays, a huge international bank, who keep it personal.
You can be the best writer in the world, but if you don’t do your research then your posts just won’t resonate with your audience.
For example, say you are a beauty company and you know your target audience is women. What else do you know about them? News flash: are billions of women in the world and they are not all alike. 😉
To write well you need to understand who you’re writing to. Create a persona of your audience. Understand their interests, lifestyle and values. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to write for them.
You may be a professional writer but social media writing isn’t like writing your master’s thesis. That means you can break some traditionally held rules when it comes to creating social media posts. Here are some examples that go against the grain:
It’s OK to miss out punctuation, abbreviations, and words to save on character limits like my friend Ed Leake.
Unlike email or web text where block capitals are considered rude or aggressive, it’s OK on social media! Use block capitals to create excitement as I have done at Charli Says. The same goes for exclamation points (in moderation).
Posting updates is only part of your job as social media manager. You also need to construct on point replies to your fans.
This is where you really need to understand your brand voice and how you will respond to fans on social. Are you the cheeky brand that likes to play with fans? Are you the straight-to-the-point brand that answers questions without chatting? Either way, it’s important that your social media team are briefed and answering questions in the same style.
This is where the new Saved Replies tool from Agorapulse comes in handy. These are not bots or autoresponders. Think of them as canned responses for each of your social profiles. This saves a ton of time and can eliminate spelling errors when you’re in a hurry.
To create a new saved reply, click on “Create a new reply.” First, name the reply, then add your text into the field below. The next time you go to respond on that channel, you can choose from a list of easy drop-down replies.
How cool is that?
It doesn’t matter how much fun your brand is, how casual you want to be, or how many abbreviations you’re using. Your spelling and grammar needs to be good.
Poor spelling and grammar reflect badly on your brand and will give your audience the impression that you are not on top of your game. If you are targeting and posting in different languages, then be sure to have a native speaker checking the posts before you go live.
You can have the best product in the world but if you don’t know how to caption it, then it’s just plain dull! In the same way that a headline can make or break an article, a caption can make or break your post.
This is especially true in the tech world where you need to summarize a products’ functionality in very few words to make it stand out. Whilst I’m a proud Android user, I admire Apple‘s ability to write good captions. A good caption may be funny or informative, depending on your brand, but it does need to summarize the product and create intrigue.
Unless you’re managing the social pages for a funeral home, you need to maintain an upbeat and positive tone to your posts.
I understand that this can be tricky, especially when you’re having the worst day ever, but you need to put your brand hat on and get happy! Your updates, captions, and headlines should be exciting, inspiring, and positive to drive your fans to take the next action.
Social media writing can take a little getting used to but it’s also fun. If you’re managing the social pages for your brand then you can also see it as a chance to push some boundaries and get to know your community.