Everybody is writing these days. Even if you consider yourself an image creator, photographer, designer, or even if you create your content in video format, you are writing. The raw content is almost always in written format. The end product can be any of the formats I mentioned earlier, but the planning, outline, mind map etc… you have to write that.
And what about every time you need to upload something to social media to distribute your content? You will need to write something in the caption, give it a good eye-catching title and when people start engaging, you need to write your replies down in the comments.
These days, every single person who has a social media account is a media channel. This is an accepted fact, all the more with the current COVID-19 situation we are all facing. I’m amazed by how many more people are now creating content and uploading original stuff instead of being passive social media users.
With all that said, here are some tips for you to use to write more effectively for social media platforms.
1. Have an Identifiable Brand Personality and Voice.
Brand voice is something you need to discover either through self awareness, facilitated sessions with a brand professional or through constant feedback from those around you. You need to understand and define clearly what your official brand personality and voice is like to be able to write effective copy, because what you write is a reflection of who you are.
The tone you adopt when writing should be more of a conversational one when it comes to social media. Write as if you are speaking to your audience. Imagine the persona (just one person) in front of you. How would you speak. Our dynamics change when we talk to one person versus speaking to a crowd. Make it conversational and make it personal.
Be brief and straightforward with your writing. Social media is a place where attention is short so avoid overwriting and avoid using fancy and bombastic words. It won’t do you any good if people skip your content because it’s too hard to understand.
2. Write Strong, Compelling Headlines
Headlines are crucial to capture the reader for them to explore further, whether it’s via clicking through (marketing metrics) or spending more time on your post (also trackable).
Here are some quick fire tips to write great strong headlines
- use numbers where possible.
- start with a big idea and promise, and overdeliver in the copy itself.
- use words like ‘now, today’ to emphasise urgency
- highlight opportunity costs e.g. what people will miss if they ignore the content
- make it about the reader
- use adjectives like important, key, essential, unexpected etc
- factor in keywords you want to rank for because H1 tag is pretty important SEO wise
3. Write Shareable Content
People tend to share content that are relatable and emotional, at any point in the spectrum. How do we make the copy emotional? Here are some quick tips
- use strong vocabulary, e.g. always, never…
- use sentence pacing technique — which is the art of using short and long sentences to evoke emotions.
- use curiosity to your advantage, write in a way that make people curious about the next part of the content
Another way to achieve shareablility is to do soundbites. These are short phrases or sentences or groups of sentences written so well that people would love to quote them (or tweet them, or share them) these are words they wish were coming out of their own mouths. And people want to associate themselves with such soundbites.
4. Understand the Nuances of Native Channels
Behaviours vary from platform to platform. On Facebook, depending on who your typical audience are, users may scroll through expecting entertainment or pure distractions. So craft your content to that category.
On Linked In, people do expect business content so write to that tone.
On Twitter, you need to condense to a few hundred characters. And be able to grab attention with those few words.
Writing a one size fits all will not work across platforms..
I hope these tips are useful for you. Remember that attention is scarce on social media and it is definitely an overpopulated and noisy world. However, this is where the world’s attention is at, so let’s capture it with great writing.
One thing to note is that writing, like everything else, requires practice. You may not get the results on the first try, but with time and repetition, your writing and style will bloom.
So have a personality, write strong headlines, write content that people would love to share and understand the subtle nuances unique to each social media platform.
You’ll do great.