Here’s a plot twist —
You can have the smartest social media strategy out there…
…but if your social media copywriting falls short, even the brightest ideas won’t bring you the content marketing results you want.
Social media copywriting is a WHOLEEE different animal when compared with more long-form copy like blog posts or sales pages.
When creating content for social media platforms, you’re working with a strict character limit and elusive trends that change pretty much overnight — not to mention that you have less than a second to grab your audience’s attention 👀
So, how do you charm your followers with your social media posts?
I’m spilling my best — *wink-wink* — copywriting tips for social media in this post.
How to Write Good Copy for Social Media
1. Always Start with Research
“Let’s get to the heart of the matter. The power, the force, the overwhelming urge to own that makes advertising work, comes from the market itself, and not from the copy. Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product. This is the copy writer’s task: not to create this mass desire – but to channel and direct it.”
– Eugene Schwartz
Eugene Schwartz is a great copywriter — even a legendary one — and he came up with a pretty groundbreaking idea that is now the heart of modern copywriting.
Great content ideas don’t come from YOU.
They come from your AUDIENCE.
When you know what kind of social media content resonates with your target audience, you’ll be able to craft social copy that makes them feel connected to your brand.
This is why doing your research BEFORE writing copy is a must.
Here are some of the best ways to do it on social media:
- Surveys and polls. For example, you can create Instagram story polls and quizzes to gain insight into what your audience is thinking. For longer surveys, offering a small reward (like a prize or a gift card) is a smart way to get a big percentage of your followers to engage.
- Starting a conversation. Social media is all about connecting with your audience. Ask open-ended questions in the comments section or even get a little controversial and ask your audience for their opinions.
- Analytics tools. Most social media platforms have some kind of a built-in analytics tool. And if you’re using a content planner, you typically get all kinds of engagement stats. You can track these statistics over time to gain more insights into your audience and see what kind of content performs best.
Remember what Schwartz said.
Your goal is not to create interest — it’s to channel it.
2. Switch Between Different Types of Content
Want to know your target audience’s worst pet peeve?
Feeling like they’re being sold to ALL. THE. TIME.
People don’t like feeling used. If you’re only posting on social media to convince people to buy your product, it won’t be long before your followers grow REALLY annoyed…
…and tap that unfollow button.
Social media is all about building genuine connections.
This is why it’s important to switch up the type of content that you post.
Your social feed should be a mix of engaging, real conversations — not a broken record of the same sales-y message.
Social media experts often recommend breaking your content down into three different “categories”: education, inspiration, and sales.
- Education: sharing helpful tips and how-to’s that are relevant to your target audience. The goal with this type of content is to be genuinely helpful and to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
- Inspiration: connecting with your audience with personal or uplifting content that makes them feel like they know you. The goal here is to establish your brand’s personality and build a more intimate connection.
- Sales: advertising your product or service (duh!).
That said, you don’t HAVE to fit your content into these three particular categories at all.
In fact, it’s a great idea to come up with content pillars that fit YOUR brand and feel natural to YOU.
There are no hard social media copywriting best practices rules, except for one —
DON’T try to sell in EVERY post.
3. Define Your Brand Voice
Social media copywriting’s biggest goal is to form an authentic connection — and it’s hard to do that if your brand doesn’t have a cohesive personality.
Whether your thing is being quirky or serious, spend some time honing down on what your brand voice is and stay consistent across your social media channels.
Especially if you have a team, it’s a great idea to create a Brand Messaging or Voice Guide for your business, establishing written guidelines for things like:
- Words and sentiments you often use in your copy
- Words and sentiments you stay away from
- Your signature style
The more UNIQUE your brand voice is, the better.
So, trust your gut, get creative, and don’t fall for “you have to be XYZ” advice – the only thing you have to be is YOURSELF.
4. Don’t Overcomplicate Your Copy
The biggest copywriting tip for beginners?
Don’t overthink your social media copy.
Remember that you’re not writing the next great American novel — you’re creating an Instagram post.
Even though there is DEFINITELY room to be insightful, don’t try to pack too much into very few characters.
When it comes to social media copywriting, less is more.
Overanalyzing is also what makes the writing process drag out and feel so hard. Plus, it can make your social media post copy read stiff.
So, remember that most people are scrollers, aim to say more with fewer words….and start writing!
5. Use Character Limit to Your Advantage
When writing copy for social media, you’re writing for a certain medium that shapes your content.
For example, Instagram caption limit is 2,200 characters, but your caption gets truncated at 125 characters. Tweets can be up to 280 characters long, TikTok captions are up to 300 characters, and Facebook allows for a whopping 63,206 characters (but, please, don’t use all of them!).
You can do more than just be mindful of the character limit — you can get CREATIVE with it and use it to your advantage.
Pack a punch into those first 125 characters of your Instagram post, create a series of quirky tweets…the world is your oyster!
Whatever you do, think about how the format of the social media platform you’re working with can help you write more engaging copy.
6. Start a Conversation
Social media is a place to connect, so use your channels to ask questions, share opinions, and maybe even get a little — or a lot — controversial.
Many people go on social media when they’re bored and looking for entertainment, so share content that’ll grab their attention!
Remember that you’re writing for real people — not posting into the abyss.
7. Use a CTA
A CTA — or a call to action — is an essential element of every social media post, even if you’re not writing it with the goal of making a sale.
You can use CTAs to ask your target audience to engage in the comments section, share your post to bring new traffic in, direct them to a new article or resource you’ve created…
…and pretty much anything else under the sun 😎
Every single one of your social posts should have a purpose — so think about your CTA before you even start writing.
Need Help Copywriting Social Media Posts?
Social media copywriting can get tricky…
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