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As a business owner, you probably know that social media is a potent marketing tool. Nowadays, it’s the best way to reach the younger generations. But it’s also a chance for you to get more personal with your customers, show them behind the scenes, and explain more in-depth about your business. That’s why your posts must be not only seen but also read. And how do you ensure that? By writing good copy! 

Before we get into the actual tips, let’s dig into some fundamental technical considerations. After all, you need to understand the mechanics of social media before you can master them. Not every platform works the same, but they do share similarities.

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Know your character limits.

Each platform has its word limit that you need to take into consideration. For example, a post on Twitter has a maximum of 280 characters, whereas you can write a whopping 63,206 characters on Facebook. That’s not to say you should use them all. People have limited time and attention spans. When faced with a wall of text, they quickly lose interest. Your posts should be clear and concise if you want people to read and engage with them.

To hashtag, or not to hashtag

That is the question! Almost every platform uses a hashtag system but has different best practices—research where you want to be seen and where your audience is. Then, research how best to utilize hashtags on those specific platforms. The internet is your friend!

Ten copywriting tips for social media

1. Define your voice and tone

First things first: how do you want to come across? You could be professional or excited, relatable or funny. Consider what best suits the image of your business. Remember that you can’t read emotions in short copy, so it’s essential to understand the voice and tone you want to portray. If possible, write down concrete guidelines, such as: ‘no abbreviations’ or ‘focus on formal language.’ This will create a consistent experience for your audience on social media.

2. PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solve)

Let’s focus on what you’re going to write. You want to show your audience that your service or product adds value to their lives. So, how are you going to do that? By focusing on being the solution to their problems. Your audience probably lacks them, so use that to your advantage. State a problem. Agitate about that problem without sounding too negative. You don’t want to be a downer. Then, ride in with the solution, and the crowd goes (metaphorically, at least) wild.

An example: We’ve all been there, surrounded by wooden planks, screws, and a manual that doesn’t make sense. And you’re only on page 4 of 28. Your partner in crime is already annoyed, and you have so much left to build. How will you get through this without ruining your relationship and sanity? Using our BuildItNow app is a valuable tool that makes building furniture a walk in the park! Enter the product you’re building; the app will give you easy-to-understand instructions. With videos! 

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3. Keep it short and sweet

The main idea of your message should be front and center because people have a short attention span. If you keep your posts short, people are likelier to engage and click through to the content you want them to see. Let’s say you’re launching a new product. You announce your new product and highlight its best feature in a Twitter post. Then, you add a link to the product page, which explains the product’s benefits in more detail.

4. Simple is better

People usually skim social media. So, try to avoid writing long-winded and complex posts. You want people to understand your content at a glance so they’re more likely to engage with it.

Tip: Pretend you’re writing the post for someone who doesn’t understand your product or service. This will force you to write clearly and concisely.

5. What does your audience think?

Everyone loves to give their opinion. Use that to your advantage! Ask your followers open-ended questions they will enjoy answering. This will increase the engagement on your post, which algorithms love.

You can also ask your audience for input. Say you’re thinking of launching a new product. Why not ask your followers what they think and want? After all, they’re the ones buying it. Their input will allow you to create a product your audience will love!

Related: 3 Social Media Hacks to Help Your Content Go Viral

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6. Emotions are a powerful tool

If you want more engagement, you can try to evoke emotion in your copywriting. You can choose from two options: negative or positive emotions. Some brands thrive on controversy, while others use emotion to elicit a positive response. Whichever you choose, remember it should fit your brand image and language. Stay conversational and approachable. It is social media, after all! See 120 of the Best Words and Phrases for Marketing with Emotion

7. Be #findable

Hashtags are somewhat misunderstood. So, let’s look at their function. On social media, hashtags indicate what topic your post is about. They make your content easier to find. Therefore, we recommend you use them! However, do conduct some hashtag research. Find out which hashtags your audience uses so you don’t put 30 tags in your post.

You could also use hashtags in your text and context. This will help the people reading your post to know where to look if they want more inspiration.

8. Consistency is key

Keep your brand voice consistent, regardless of your posting platform. It may be tempting to match the youngsters on TikTok, but you risk sounding like your brand has multiple personalities. Naturally, this will confuse your followers. That’s why it’s better to remain consistent in your language and tone.

9. Always use a CTA

Your followers have seen and read your post with interest. What now? They scroll further without taking any actions. Which is a shame! You should, therefore, always include a call to action (CTA) at the end of each post. Tell your followers what they should do after reading. For example, you might want them to visit your website or follow your social media channel.

10. Always use active voice

If you want your audience engaged, you should always write in an active voice. Why? Because sentences in the active voice are generally shorter and easier to read. They make your writing more straightforward, unlike passive voice, which typically produces longer sentences. Not to mention, passive voice can sound evasive. ‘It was decided that prices will be lowered immediately begs the question ‘by whom?’. Whereas ‘We decided to lower our prices’ is much clearer and easier to understand. It also feels more personal.

Practice makes perfect!

It’s okay if you don’t get everything right the first time. Just keep practicing. And be mindful of your audience. After all, they’re the ones you want to reach. If you need more help, our Yoast SEO plugin has excellent tools to help you optimize your social media. For example, when you want to share a blog post, it shows a social media preview where you can edit the content and image. It only takes a few minutes!

Keeping all these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to write excellent social media copy in no time. Good luck!

Related: Five Golden Rules of Copywriting

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Article by Sam Alderson

Sam is a digital native with an analog heart and has a passion for all things Social Media. Social is a fantastic way of getting your brand story and values across. And the more human you can make it, the more connections you will make.