5 Writing Strategies to Create Better Social Content

5 Writing Strategies to Create Better Social Content Featured Image

There are many factors that impact the success of your company’s social media, but the most important element is without a doubt your team’s ability to write.

Whether you’re writing content for your website, an AdWords campaign, or Facebook posts, every detail matters when attempting to relay your message, uphold your unique voice, and drive action from your written prose.

Social media is a platform to better express the offerings, interests, and values of your business to your audience, wherever they are most active.

The copy included in your social content helps fuel this messaging across these channels, which is why it’s critical to consistently review the style of writing you’re using to ensure it’s helping your business better address the right themes of interest to your target audience.

To ensure your writing accurately reflects your business and is resonating with your audience, practice the following social media writing strategies and tips to improve your overall approach to social media.

1. Establish a Deliberate Voice

From the beginning, it’s essential that your brand is accurately reflected in the copy your organization uses in its social media content, whether that’s a tweet, a Facebook post, a LinkedIn update, etc.

Your brand story must be established already in order for this to resonate, meaning you’ve got to understand what’s unique about your organization’s offerings as it fulfills a consumer’s needs and how you’d like to package it to present these offerings.

For example, candy company Skittles as a brand is established as youthful, fun, and sometimes irreverent, which is often seen with the language included in all of their social content.

Skittles Tweet Brand Voice
Coutesy: Twitter & Skittles

The style of writing your team chooses to use when crafting content for sharing on social media should directly reflect your unique brand. By having a unique voice, you’ll be able to better stand out among all the other conversations happening on social media.

Is your brand funny? Irreverent? Empathetic? Are you interested in changing the dialogue on a certain subject? Answer questions like these about your brand and incorporate these distinctions in voice within each and every social media update your business publishes to help set the tone.

2. Write a First Draft for Your Posts

Many marketers don’t prepare their social media posts ahead of time, which greatly limits the quality of their content. One of the secrets to a successful social media campaign lies in having another person review the copy, visuals, and other content before it’s published.

Acting as a first draft of your content, prepare the copy your team will use for your tweets, Facebook posts, and other social content ahead of time using a spreadsheet or editorial calendar or through one of the many social media management tools available.

It doesn’t matter how large or small your team is, what’s important is that another set of eyes reviews your writing to make sure it’s grammatically correct, makes sense, is on brand, drives action, and is appropriate to use on that particular social channel.

No matter the skill of the writer, it’s always important to have another person review your work that’ll eventually be shared with the public. This process doesn’t have to be time-intensive if your business simply prepares your written social content a week ahead of time at the start of each week.

3. Assume Nothing by Providing Context

One of the most essential parts of your social media checklist should be to continually educate your audience about the topics and offerings relevant to your business with every message shared.

No matter if a customer first hears of your business through a Google+ post, a YouTube video, or a tweet, he or she should be able to understand what your organization is all about.

This is where word choice, simple sentence structure, and tone come into play in your content by providing an easy-to-digest message to an audience while quickly providing the right context.

Obviously, it’s impossible to explain your entire business in every social post since they are limited in character count or by the attention span of your audience.

Intel Facebook Post Context
Courtesy: Intel & Facebook

What your business can do is explain the context of a post by including the right information in your copy and direct a reader to take action whether that’s to click on a link, watch a video, visit your website, leave a comment, and so on.

Awesome content that provides value to your audience succinctly gets your point across with the right combination of text and visuals that complement one another.

Crafting the right text to include isn’t always easy, which is why referring back to your brand’s voice and the goal of a particular post will help inform the wording for your content.

4. Word Choice Can Drive Action

Encourage action with each of your posts on social media by choosing the right action verbs and nouns, paired with leading questions, teasers, and prompts.

Your content shared on social media can drive a variety of actions that generate varying results for your business.

For example, your social media content can send traffic to your website, downloads of your mobile app, increased engagement with your brand, visibility of your product offerings, drive growth in sales, educate your audience, and even just offer delight!

To incite certain actions with your content, choose action verbs and nouns aligned with your brand voice and best matched with the action you’re trying to encourage.

In this Google+ post from H&M, their word choice of check out is used to incite viewers to review the photos of their latest apparel collection as well as click on the link to visit the company’s website.

H&M Google+ Post
Courtesy: H&M and Google

The copy in the post makes it clear what the brand would like the reader to do, ending with an engaging question to spur further interest in reviewing the collection or engaging with the post directly.

Leading prompts, questions, and teasers in your copy alongside the right wording can also drive different actions from your content like in this example below from Oscar de la Renta on Instagram.

Oscar de la Renta Instagram Post
Courtesy: Oscar de la Renta & Instagram

These photos helped tease an upcoming fall campaign on Instagram for the apparel brand, which drove engagement from the initial photos shared, as well as users to come back to check out the campaign when it officially launched.

Generate additional interest in the content your business is sharing on social media by prompting it with the right copy that can help create a sense of urgency by capitalizing on the behaviors of your audience. Experiment to see which combination of phrasing and word-choice drives the most interactions for your business and on what specific social channels.

5. Be Concise to Keep Interest

To get your message across today, you’ve got to get to the point… and quickly. The attention span of a consumer is shorter than ever, and the content being shared across all of these channels is at an all-time high.

This strategy for writing better social content focuses on two key elements, the first being that it’s important to be concise, and the second that the amount of words used in social content should always be limited.

First, try to be as concise as possible when writing copy for any of your social posts, regardless if it’s for Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere. Find the sweet spot in between providing enough context and being as succinct as possible.

Your audience doesn’t have to pay attention to what you’re saying, which is why it’s important to say something of value quickly. If your business is sharing content on a particular channel for the sake of sharing content, then your business won’t likely see results from your efforts.

Secondly, the amount of words used in your content often affects engagement rates across most of the major social networks, further supporting the notion of being as concise as possible with your words.

Based on research, here is the ideal length of content shared across some major social networks:

  • Facebook — The ideal length of a post is 100-119 characters, according to ClickZ.
  • Twitter — The ideal length of a tweet is shorter than 100 characters, according to Twitter.
  • Google+ — The ideal length of the headline of a Google+ post is less than 60 characters, according to Fast Company.
  • YouTube — The ideal length of a YouTube video is 3-3.5 minutes long, according to Socially Stacked.
  • Pinterest — The ideal description length of your pins is 100-200 characters, according to HubSpot.

When preparing your content for sharing on your active social channels, write your first draft to review with your team before publishing. The editing process is the opportunity to sharpen your content to better reach your audience while keeping the focus of your messaging intact.

Who creates your content for sharing across social media? What practices has your business found to be the most successful when crafting and distributing content? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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