Every business is embracing the importance of having a digital presence. Even some are started completely to cater to the online audience. The revolution did not come overnight; it took time.
First, the Internet made its debut. Websites came soon after, and then a more revolutionary era started with Web 2.0. It is the launch of social media and connectivity platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Moreover, people prefer using these applications on their handheld devices, making them more accessible.
So, when most of your audience uses mobile devices and spends most of their time on at least one of the social platforms, it becomes crucial for marketers and digital advertisers to focus on social media marketing to leverage this audience.
But all businesses are trying the same, and people using social media are bombarded with content. Most of the time, people scroll through the content, and it takes something exceptional to hook them to stop and check a post properly. How are you going to achieve that success? How to write copy for social media that work and derive engagement? Whether you are a professional or amateur digital marketer, you may frequently ponder this question.
Hence, this blog is completely dedicated to discussing how to write copy for social media to keep your audience engaged. To make things more interesting, we will not only share your social media copy tips but also show you the best examples of social media copywriting. Thus, read this guide until the end to avoid missing essential details.
9 Tips To Make Copywriting For Social Media Work
Remember that understanding your audience is key to writing effective social media copy. Therefore, if you don’t know your audience, it is recommended that you first research your targeted segment. Once you are done with your research, you need to align your social media copy length and writing style accordingly. To help you understand the essence of engaging copy for social media, here take a look at nine social media copy tips.
Tip # 1 - Stop the Scroll With a Captivating First Line
Regardless of which social platform you are writing the copy for, the first challenge will be to stop your targeted audience’s scroll. You need to pen down an eye-catching copy from the start of your first line. Social media platforms present tons of information, and most of the time, people use to kill their time as a routine by scrolling through the posts. You need to write a copy that interrupts the random scrolling.
Most social media platforms present visual content, especially Instagram. Yet you can capture users’ attention by your copy’s first line. The first line of your copy should be captivating, powerful, and short. See this Instagram copy by Adidas.
They draw the reader in and make them intrigued with a quick fact, ‘It all started with a ball’. Adidas being a brand for sports lovers, their social media ad copywriter did a fine job to stop the scroll with this concise first line.
It perfectly aligns with their targeted audience and charms them to stop and read the complete copy. This is the power of writing a captivating first line. It decides whether the copy will perform or not. If you fail with the first line hook, then no one is going to read the rest of your copy, no matter how good it is.
Here check out another example of great copywriting by Tonara Connect.
According to Milena Farber of Tonara, this Instagram post helped them generate more than five thousand profile visits and forty-eight website visits. Moreover, most of the visitors signed up for their platform. They also got over four hundred new followers on their Instagram.
Although the main success came because of the content of the video itself, the first line of the posts helped them capture their targeted audience’s attention and make them watch the video to answer the question, ‘do you like this video?’. Interrogative sentences can act as a good hook if placed intelligently, keeping the targeted segment and post content in mind.
You can also bring out the intrigue by using capital letters and emojis in the first line if your post’s primary goal is to direct the social media audience on your website leading through a ‘read more’ link. However, ensure that your copy complements the visuals you are sharing. Otherwise, your post may come as spam and even turn off your loyal followers.
Takeaway – Your first line should be the hook that compels the audience to stop the scroll and see what you have to show them.
Tip # 2 - Keep Your Social Media Copy’s Length In Check
When we discuss how to write copy for social media, you should be wary of the length of your copy. In this section, we will discuss the ideal copy length for different social media platforms.
If you are here to understand how Facebook copywriting works, know that organic posts with short copy get more likes, comments, and shares. As of 2016, 800 million Facebook copies were analyzed. The findings showed that posts with eighty characters or less generate 66% higher engagement.
Shorter posts on Facebook perform better because the platform cuts off longer posts with ellipsis making the reader click ‘see more’ to read further. This step demands an extra effort from the audience, and most of the audience you hooked with your first line may lose their interest as soon as they reach this point,
Moreover, longer posts demand your brain to work harder to process the information. People like copies that require less cognitive energy to comprehend the information. Therefore, shorter posts derive more engagement.
On the other hand, paid Facebook posts to perform best when you use five words for the headline, fourteen words for the main text, and eighteen words for description, Regardless of the type of post; organic or paid, on Facebook, brevity drives engagement.
Check out this Facebook ad by Shopify; it displays good skills in Facebook copywriting. The headline uses an intelligent choice of words. Instead of finding out here, they specify that clicking ‘learn more’ will directly take you to why Shopify is better than Etsy. Moreover, Shopify does not put its competitors in the visual. They preferred a simple design and focused on the copy itself to do the job.
When it comes to Instagram, it is purely a visual-specific platform. Therefore, the Instagram copy also needs to be concise. But if you need to highlight some stats, you can display these through infographics rather than mentioned in the copy. For Instagram’s organic post, strive to complete a copy between 138 to 150 characters. For sponsor posts, keep it limited to 120 characters.
Keep in mind that people use social media platforms for entertainment, not to educate themselves. Therefore, keep the copy short on Instagram and Facebook and share long copies on LinkedIn.
Takeaway – Write concise copy to embrace the power of brevity.
Tip # 3 – Create a Sense Of Urgency With an Effective CTA
Creating motivation for your targeted audience to click on the CTA is the deal-breaker. Never rely on people seeing your ad and coming to it later. No one does; people are busy; they come across hundreds of posts in a day, even if they are interested in something, they forget about it in a while.
Marketers use CTAs in almost all of their copies. But only a sense of urgency can stimulate the reader to take action right away. If you are not sure how to write copy for social media to make your brand or product stick in people’s minds, one easy technique is the use of storytelling. It is a proven copywriting formula that copywriters use all the time to engage their audience and build an emotional connection with them.
You can use storytelling while doing copywriting for Facebook and Instagram. Moreover, you can use FOMO (fear of missing out) with it to create a sense of urgency. Using both formulas together will help your copy convert more.
You can see one example of storytelling in copywriting in this Instagram post shared by Wendy Margolin – founder of Sparkr Marketing. She posted her personal story shortly after Instagram Reels was released. Generally, she posted about her business, but this one exclusively explored the opportunity Instagram presents to reach their targeted audience without the need to dance around like Tik Tok.
In addition, think about what your audience wants to hear. You will produce engaging copy for social media when you think from their perspective. But, do not go about telling them something that they already know. Share the things they do not know yet to help your brand build an emotional connection with the targeted audience.
Takeaway – Not all stories put you to sleep; some can make you awake enough to like, comment, and share the post. You just need to tell the story that your audience wants to hear.
Tip # 4 – Let Them See Your Human Side
Avoid posting cringe-worthy content. Let people see the human side. Share posts on social media platforms that help your targeted audience see you as a human having the same life experiences or brand understanding their pain points. You can achieve this mastery by creating exciting and relevant posts for your targeted audience.
People use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to entertain themselves. Therefore, ensure to write copy that is full of personality.
Humans are social animals, and they tend to connect with humans, not machines. Thus, you must produce a conversation social media copy. Moreover, it is impossible to relate to everyone. Therefore, before you start to pen down your copy, think about a segment relevant to your brand and products. Localizing your content will help you produce a copy that connects with your targeted audience.
Here, you can see a post by PropertyPal. It has pun and relates to the targeted audience. Let’s agree, we all hate the day after the weekend. Discussing the Monday blues, make them come as humans that their audience can trust and want to deal with when it comes to buying or renting a house.
Takeaway – You should sound like a human in your social media copy.
Tip # 5 – Make Use Of Emojis In Moderation
People love using emojis all the time. The best thing is, they also like copies containing some. Social media copies with emojis see a 57% boost in engagement. But, they can also go wrong if used without consideration. First, you must know the emoji and the different meanings if you don’t want to use a ‘face of joy with tear’ emoji in a sad post.
Second, use emojis in moderation and ensure they use them correctly. Your targeted audience should perceive the same meaning that you wanted. Once you are sure about the message you want to convey, use your desired emoji naturally. Avoid overdoing it. Since there are thousands of emojis, you may find it hard not to add them against each word. But doing so may detract your targeted audience from your message.
The best way to use emojis is by adding them to the headline. You may also use them as bullet points.
Grey’s Anatomy used emoji in this post, but they also referenced Drake’s album cover, ‘Certified Lover Boy’, using the caption ‘#CertifiedMD’. By doing so, they made it clear to their audience that they stay up to date with the latest trends. As a result, the engagement on this post skyrocketed.
However, it worked because it was relevant and quick. If you also want to try this out, make sure you stay in sync with the ongoing trend since hopping into a trends days later does not make sense and may backfire.
See McDonald’s post if you are still unsure how to write copy for social media. It is another example of how you can use emojis simply and intelligently. The post is announcing the relaunch of Oreo shamrock McFlurry, so they wrote a simple copy; Oreo emoji plus shamrock is equal to enthusiastic feelings of love.
Here’s check this tweet by Goldman Sachs., an investment bank. They are not known for a youthful vibe, yet they used emojis in this post to share a message that connects them with the younger audience. It is an effective social media copy example. If they had used words instead of emojis, the copy would have been long and lost its engagement factor.
Takeaway – Emojis can help you connect with your audience and share the message in fewer words. But you should avoid overdoing it.
Tip # 6 – Use the Social Media Algorithm To Your Advantage
This tip is more of an insight for all amateur copywriters. The headline may have confused you, ‘what algorithm’? The most used search engine, Google, has an algorithm to display relevant search results against each search query based on several factors. The social media platforms also applied the same logic.
In 2016, Instagram implemented an algorithm that allowed it to increase exposure on more relevant posts by aligning its feed based on the recent user activity. That is, the feed does not remain chronological. Initially, the decision experienced an uproar from users as they thought it to be an issue. However, before implementing the algorithm, users tend to miss 50% of their friend’s posts and 70% of all the posts.
Now, Instagram shows posts with more engagement based on relevancy, making it reap the ripe fruit. Thus, it has become more important to write a social media copy that derives likes, comments, and shares to appear more on the newsfeed.
Takeaway – There is science behind why you see specific posts on top of your feed. Understand it and use it to your advantage.
Tip # 7 - Use Hashtags Wisely
Using branded hashtags helps you grow your audience by increasing exposure. The best example of using hashtags wisely and generating reference to it on user-generated content is Apple’s ‘#shotoniphone’. It not only helped Apple in deriving exposure from user-generated content but also in showing off their flagship phones’ latest camera technology. It generated over 24 million Instagram posts referencing back to iPhone’s hashtag.
Another similar example is #GettyMuseumChallenge. It started during the pandemic. It kept people entertained, as many users took the challenge and posted on Instagram.
But, these are not the only ways to use hashtags. It would be best to use it to get more exposure on your posts from your relevant audience with the same interests. Suppose you are a digital marketing agency, so you used #digitalmarketing on your LinkedIn post to increase your chances to appear in search queries of digital marketing on LinkedIn. It is another way of using the algorithm to your advantage.
Instagram follows the same algorithm. Try searching travel photography in the search bar and you will see tons of results. Click any of the images to see their hashtags. Most of them must have used ‘#travelphotography’ that helped Instagram understand their intent and align against search queries.
Takeaway – Relevant and branded hashtags must be used to increase your post-exposure and engagement.
Tip # 8 – Write Unique For Different Audiences
The worst decision you can take as a marketer is to generalize all the social media platforms and share the exact copy. If this makes your mind boggle, you may find yourself at square one, asking again, ‘ how to write copy for social media that work on all social platforms?’
Well, it is no rocket science. A simple understanding is that each social media platform is unique and different types of people use them. Coming up with a copy that works on all is not possible. Even if you are adamant about using the duplicate copy, you will still have to do some tweaks to align it against the platform requirements and audience.
However, the best way is to create different posts for each. For example, you can never go sharing your photographs having coffee in the latest café in town on LinkedIn and expect to generate the same response you generated over Instagram. Similarly, Twitter is a microblogging platform; it will not allow you to use the storytelling copywriting formula since the word limit is relatively short. On the flip side, Instagram mostly prefers visuals.
So, it is better to consider the platforms and audience, as sharing the same post may not help you create a loyal follower base and improve engagement.
Takeaway – You cannot sell oranges to someone looking to buy bananas. Use a directed copywriting approach for each social media platform to increase your brand authority and post engagement.
Tip # 9 – Compliment Your Social Media Copy With Captivating Imagery
If you are looking for ways to answer, how to write copy for social media that stands out. One effective way is to complement your copy with a visual. However, don’t go about adding any random imagery. Add a visual that aligns with the copy so that your audience perceives a cohesive message overall. Adding a sad visual with a happy personal story will contradict and fail to convey a clear message to the audience.
Moreover, remember, that adding a visual does not always mean a photo. You can also use infographics to share vital stats and metrics.
Even though this image is fetched from the original post, it is relevant and goes well with the copy that starts with, ‘want to work from paradise?’ It is a perfect example of how using relevant images helps the audience gauge the message quickly and increases engagement.
Takeaway – Use of visuals with copy help in conveying a cohesive message.
- SaaS Copywriting Tips For Businesses
- Best Creative Letter Writing Ideas
- Writing a YouTube Script Like a PRO
This guide explored nine tips to answer how to write copy for social media. We hope that all tips and examples will help you become a high-converting copywriter in your journey. But, if it does not happen overnight, do not lose hope. Initially, it will require some testing and failure from your end to understand what works for your targeted audience on different social media platforms.