Want to know how to write a social media copy that engages and converts?
Your search ends here.
In this guide, let’s take a look at five proven techniques to write social media copy for businesses. We’re going to focus both on quantity—the length of the copy—and quality—the content and its value.
Also, we’ll share real social media copy examples, so you see how other businesses are generating engagement with these techniques.
Sounds good? Let’s begin.
A social media post, no matter how engaging, has a very limited time frame to grab people’s attention. In most cases, it’s just a second or two.
That’s why keeping your posts short is the best bet. A social media user is more likely to read a concise and on-point text.
Like this LinkedIn post, which uses only one sentence— it takes a couple of seconds to read in full.
But what are the best lengths for social media posts, exactly?
Here are the data from Social Media Today:
Treat these as a good starting point, though. Only testing will determine the best length for your campaigns.
Okay, so we got the “quantity” part down.
But there are still so many other posts to compete against….
Now, let’s move on to quality. Next, you’ll learn how to write a social media copy that grabs attention even with that super short time span.
Great copywriters are extremely empathetic. This quality helps to understand customers’ emotions and write a social media copy that engages them on that personal level.
“Does it mean I have to enroll in an empathy course, too?”
Not necessarily (but I encourage you to—empathy is something that can be learned). Let’s appeal to the right emotions with storytelling.
This means writing story-based posts. If done right, stories grab the attention of online audiences well, so it’s a popular tactic in social media copywriting.
To write storytelling posts with empathy, try these few writing formulas:
1) Set the stage and identify the character, 2) present a problem, 3) resolve the problem
First, you introduce the problem. Then, agitate it with some emotional writing. Lastly, solve the problem.
Could be as short as two sentences. This post, for example, introduces phishing attacks as a problem and agitates by saying that they’re on the rise. The brand’s guide is described as a solution.
First, describe how a character struggles with a problem, and then present their world without it. The last sentence should be about resolving that problem
The famous formula to persuade people from Dale Carnegie. The incident part involves sharing a personal experience and moving on to the strategy used to solve a problem (action). Finally, the benefit part shares the details of the benefits of choosing that strategy.
When writing your social media copy with these formulas, keep this in mind. Each “part” could be as short as one sentence—in most cases, it is that long.
With these formulas, social media copywriters write compelling narratives that engage people. Try using some, too. A good starting point would be to share a case study of a customer whom you’ve helped to tackle an issue.
Social media marketing without user engagement is pointless. Don’t do it.
“Getting Neil Patel-caliber campaign results requires you to engage with followers in a meaningful conversation,” says Joanna Hill, a marketing writer from TrustMyPaper. “It starts with writing, of course, which means the copy should encourage engagement.”
How to do that?
Ask your followers:
In this Facebook ad, the brand asks about something that many businesses struggle with—a productivity drop associated with the onboarding of new employees.
This social media copy is engaging and, even thought-provoking a bit, for business owners looking to maintain employee productivity. Even though they probably won’t engage by sharing any details, seeing this question will make them stop and watch the ad.
The next post from Growth Tribe uses a similar tactic. It asks a question in specific social media users, which is a good move to attract the right audience.
To get a conversation going, consider asking lifestyle-related questions. In fact, even a simple question about how your audience is doing can be engaging.
Like people, brands have different personalities and images. They can be quirky, predictable, playful, super positive, rebellious, professional—you name it.
Is your brand’s personality also a way to increase user engagement? Then social media copy is a perfect opportunity to express it in creative ways.
Take a look at this Instagram post below.
The brand is trying to promote a new product, a robe. Instead of writing a generic message like “It’s a great robe and you’ll feel so comfortable in it,” the copywriter has chosen to inject some brand personality into the post.
The text starts with a sentence that doesn’t mention the product at all—basically, it’s the caption for a silly image. It describes the experience of being at home, which is something that everybody can relate to in 2020.
The product promotion comes almost like an afterthought. Still, the brand gets the point across—plus, most viewers are likely to have drawn attention to the image where they can check it out.
This way, the brand makes its playful personality shine, which is engaging and non-salesy. Obviously, no one is afraid to be a bit silly and playful, which makes them relatable, fun, and attractive to the target audience.
The takeaway here: don’t be afraid to let your brand personality shine in your social media copy. If your preferred communication style is friendly and positive, feel free to try and engage your social media audience with this approach.
The general rule of social media copywriting says the fewer words you have, the better.
Customers have a few seconds to glance over your post in their feed, so keeping it short and sweet is the best bet.
Does it mean editing each text until there are a few words left?
While “short & sweet” is a safe bet, I encourage you to try different text lengths. So, try experimenting with different lengths to see what generates the most engagement.
Every social media requires a unique approach in communicating with audiences. Yet, starting these proven tips is an excellent start. They will make your social media copy as engaging as it could be.
There’s no golden formula that works for every brand and industry, otherwise, we wouldn’t be here right now talking about this. So, try the proven tips, experiment, and stick to what works best—that’s how the most successful businesses got where they are now.