Writing for Social Media

There is writing and then there is writing for social media. In a world of limited character counts and even shorter attention spans, the right copy plays a vital role in helping your content break through all the other noise.

 

  1. Keep it short and sweet

On most social networks, users are expecting quick and easy-to-digest information. In fact, posts with 80 characters or less have a 27% better rate of engagement.

 

  1. Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation

I find it incredibly frustrating when I see social media posts that contains sloppy copy. Whether it’s a status update, a share of a link or a comment, if it doesn’t read well, or has a glaringly obvious spelling mistake, it is bad.

 

From a branding perspective, this is a major faux pas; it makes the company look unprofessional and careless. From a user perspective, it can harm interaction and engagement. I for one don’t retweet or share status updates or ads that have typos. It’s even worse when it is sponsored content. Don’t get me wrong, human error is inevitable and will happen from time to time, but some pages have consistent mistakes. It’s easy to look back over posts after you have sent them out, ask a colleague to double check, or use Word to type out your content first and run a spellcheck.

 

  1. Don’t beat around the bush.

 

Whether you’re writing copy to be shared socially, or you’re trying to fit a message into 140 characters, it’s important that the message is strong. Having a long winded way of saying something will look long, clunky and will waste a lot of people’s time, so make sure your message is to the point. This doesn’t mean to say that you have to write like a robot with no personality, in fact showing personality actively encouraged when using social media (if it is in line with your brand image).

 

  1. Speaking of brand image….

Make sure there is continuity between your brand image and social media personality – not doing so is a common mistake for any brand using social media. For example, a company may have the perception of being fun, vibrant, new and exciting, but their social media activity may be overly dull and corporate. Write in a way that will enhance your brand image, whatever that may be.

 

  1. Imagine that!

The majority of social networks lend themselves extremely well to visual content. When using visuals, make sure your copy not only makes sense with what is being portrayed, but that it compliments it. Look at each post as a short story and make sure all aspects of that story flow.

74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%).

 

  1. What’s the point?

Whether it’s to engage, inform, entertain or anything else, there should always be a reason behind your post and YOU as the copywriter, should always know what it is. Write with the point in mind.

 

In conclusion:

Above anything else, it’s important for anyone engaging with social media to have fun with it. This will show in the way you write. It shouldn’t be perceived as a burden, but rather an integral part of online marketing. 🙂