How to Win at Great Social Media Copywriting

How To Win at Social Media Copywriting

by | Jul 6, 2013 | Social Media

Social media: it’s become the standard for how we communicate, connect, and synthesize world news.

Today upwards of 70% of the U.S. population has a profile on at least one social media platform.

By 2018, the number of social media users around the world is projected to grow to 2.5 billion.

With those numbers in mind, it’s clear that social media copywriting is more important today than it’s ever been before.

While many people assume that all social posts are created equal, this simply isn’t true, and anyone who spends any time in the world of social media likely knows that great social media copywriting can go a long way regarding engagement and conversions.

While social media copywriting is a bit easier said than done, this post is designed to help you hone your skills and start overhauling your social presence today.

Read on.

content for social media

Why Social Media Copywriting Matters

In addition to the fact that social media is becoming a near-universal method of connection, the people using social media are also becoming more discerning.

Before virtually every brand on earth had a Facebook page, it was easier for companies to create content that stood out – partially because there wasn’t a lot to compete with.

Today, though, Facebook alone sees the sharing of 30 billion pieces of content each month, and it’s getting tougher and tougher for brands to create content that gets noticed.

While it’s unrealistic to expect that social saturation will slow down anytime soon, the one thing companies can do to compete is ensure that the content they create and publish on social media is as quality and relevant as possible.

And the best way to do this is by focusing on social media copywriting.

content for social media

5 Smart Tips to Improve Your Social Copywriting

Great social media copywriting isn’t born in a day.

Instead, it takes months (and, in some cases, years) to perfect.

While few marketers have the patience to sit with it long enough to learn what works and what doesn’t, the people who do will find that, by improving their social content, they can subsequently enhance their entire social following.

This, in turn, helps the brand build a stronger social presence and promotes things like sales, shares, and engagement, all of which promote a positive SEO cycle that helps a company dominate the internet.

With that in mind, follow these five tips to improve your social media marketing, starting today:

1. Niche down: write to your target audience, rather than social media at large

Right now, 78% of the U.S. population has a social media account, and the worldwide number is pushing 1.96 billion. As you can imagine, trying to write to all of those people at once will only cause your content to sink, and will simply mean that you don’t reach anyone effectively.

While it’s important to write to your target audience in all of your online copywriting, nowhere is this more critical than on social media. Thanks in large part to the sheer saturation of social media, ensuring that you’re targeting your content to your primary audiences is critical, and the companies that do it are the ones with the best chance of enjoying a high ROI for their social material.

While there are thousands of examples of businesses that are great at this on social media, one of my favorites is Innocent Drinks. The UK-based smoothie and juice company’s Facebook page is filled with material that caters to their audiences’ concern over sustainability, human rights, and the environment.

Don’t get them wrong, though, Innocent Drinks isn’t all work and no play. They pepper things with humor to keep them light, and they do a great job of engaging their target audience as a result.

Innocent Drinks Facebook

Another company that does this very well is Bogs Footwear. Specializing in waterproof, insulated boots for men and women, the company’s social profiles are filled with social media copywriting that’s designed to appeal to families and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s wholesome, engaging, and “awe”-worthy throughout, and it just works.


Bogs Footwear ScreenshotWhile these two companies have different target audiences, they both speak to them well, and they demonstrate exactly what is possible when you speak to your audience (rather than the massive population of Facebook as a whole) in your social copywriting.

2. Keep it brief – social media was designed for brevity

While platforms like Facebook support long-form content more than, say, a platform like Twitter, it’s still important to keep all of your social media copywriting as brief as possible.

This does not mean that you should sacrifice detail or quality in the name of meeting a character limit – only that social media is meant for skimming, and you’ll get more engagement on your posts if they’re easy to interact with in just a few seconds.

To help you get an idea of how long the optimal social post should be, Buffer put together some research on the topic.

According to them, Facebook posts with 40 characters receive a whopping 86% more engagement than longer posts. Tweets are ideal when they’re between 71-100 characters, and Google+ posts perform best around 60 characters.

While these may seem too short, remember that you can always add a visual to help demonstrate your point, or provide a URL where readers can dig into a longer post, if they choose. No matter what you do, though, keeping your in-feed social media copywriting brief will work wonders in making it more efficient.

With that in mind, cut unneeded words, and work to alter your copywriting so you learn to drive your message home in a succinct, compelling, and compact way. For some tips on how to do this, check out The Day You Became a Better Writer, by author and Dilbert creator, Scott Adams.

3. Pepper your social content with quality visuals

While not a “copywriting tip,” per se, the inclusion of visuals is critical for effective social copy.

In addition to the fact that adding visuals to your social content can help illustrate your points more effectively, they can also have a dramatic positive effect on your content’s share and engagement rates.

According to HubSpot, Facebook posts that include a visual earn 2.3x the engagement as text-only posts, and researchers have discovered that adding a colored visual (such as an infographic) to a post will increase a person’s willingness to read it by 80%.

In light of this, it’s clear that visuals not only enhance your social content but also expand its reach.

4. Borrow some style from people you admire

Today, we’re surrounded by dozens of brands that are excelling at social media copywriting, and one of the best ways to boost your game is simply to look around at theirs. If there’s a company you admire (or, better yet, one on whose content you regularly click), spend some time on their page evaluating what it is they’re doing.

In addition to helping you figure out what works and what doesn’t on social media, this will also help you get an idea of what you want to work on in your own copywriting, and how you can synthesize another brand’s approach to fit your unique persona.

Whether it’s the use of action words, custom visuals, original content, or just frequent posts, there’s a lot to be learned about how and why social media copywriting works, and looking around at the brands you admire is a wonderful way to enhance your knowledge.

5. Use power words to your advantage

Although I mentioned it in the last tip, there’s no way to over-stress how important power words are to social media copywriting. According to a recent CrazyEgg post, any social content you write should contain at least two power words, in addition to your relevant keywords.

The reason for this is simple: if you’re going to pare down your social media copywriting to only 60 characters, the words you include in your headlines and descriptions need to pack as much punch as possible. Action words drive readers to, you guessed it, action, and they’re a wonderful way to boost the effectiveness of any writing you do, especially social writing.

With this in mind, add highly emotive, insistent language to your social media copy. It will help your readers connect with your material, while also improving the effectiveness of your online content as a whole.

More Effective Social Media Copywriting Starts Today

While it’s easy to agonize over why your social media copywriting isn’t performing as well as you want it to, it’s important to remember that learning to write well for social platforms is a long-game pursuit, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

By taking these five tips to heart and applying them to every Tweet, Google+ post, and Facebook update you write, you can improve your engagement rates and build better relationships with your customers, starting right now.

Need a team of skilled social media experts to help you manage your online presence? Contact Express Writers today! We offer social media services and can help you create outstanding social media copywriting today.