How To Write Engaging Social Media Copy To Boost SalesWritten by Rachel Thannhauser on February 01, 2021
If you’re running a small business in 2021, it’s impossible to avoid social media. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter… Trying to get it right for every audience can feel like a nightmare – we get it.
But what if we could give you some simple tips to optimise your social media copy for each platform?
By understanding the audience and requirements of each platform, you can maximise your effectiveness, boost link clicks and ROI. What are you waiting for?
Build Your Brand
If you’re promoting your business on social media, you should 100% be taking the time to build your brand and brand voice. Your voice should be consistent in use and tone, and appropriate for your target audience.
- “This new jacket slaps” will mean almost nothing to the over the Baby Boomers demographic
- “This new jacket is just precious!” will be equally irrelevant to Gen Z
Spend some time thinking about your target audience. Get really specific – how old are they, where are they from, what do they spend their time on social media doing?
You can even pick out a few key buzzwords that you think fit really well with your brand. Once you’re vibing with your audience, you’re much more likely to get ROIs.
Consistency is also really important, from the tiniest things like writing as an individual (with words like me, my and I) to a collective (we, us and ours). It doesn’t matter if you’re a single person company, if you feel using a collective term sounds more appropriate for your brand – go for it!
On a point unrelated to copy, everything you are posting, aside from shared content, should be branded. You want your potential customers to associate words, images and videos with your brand immediately.
Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by branding and don’t know where to start? Check out this great guide on how to build a brand.
Know Your Platform
It might seem like social media is, well, social media. But the optimum use of the various channels is very different. There are dozens of platforms, all with different uses, target audiences and optimum content.
Check out the quick rundowns of the major platforms below:
- Instagram – Imagery and aesthetics are everything on Instagram. People are not scrolling for long-winded captions so short and snappy content is vital. Hashtags are an important tool to maximise your reach, though remember to keep it under 30!
- Facebook – Brevity is important on Facebook but you have a little more leeway than Instagram. Whilst it is possible to post just text, images and videos still garner the most engagement. Try and avoid @ and #s where possible, unless used in an ironic sense e.g. #mancrushmonday
- Twitter – Brevity is literally the point. Content on Twitter moves at a quicker pace than other platforms so relevancy is doubly important. It is tricky to schedule good Twitter content for this reason. Use hashtags to stay relevant but limit it to two.
Twitter is also a great place to get playful and controversial, check out this post from fast food chain Wendy’s calling out McDonalds’ (their competitor!) Egg McMuffin. Will everyone agree? No. Will it get everyone fired up enough to make a comment? Hell yes!
- LinkedIn – Yes, this counts as social media! Longer posts and articles are the name of the game on LinkedIn to share industry news, updates and studies. It is also a great way to get website clicks and connections with other professionals, making it an indispensable tool if you are a B2B business. Over 94% of B2Bs use LinkedIn to distribute content.
When writing for LinkedIn, it’s to keep it branded and professional – imagine you were writing a company email to a potential customer. It’s also one of the only platforms where you can break your brand voice and write as the owner or CEO.
Unless of course, that’s your brand voice anyway!
Ok, so now we get to the nitty-gritty – the actual words of your copy. There are some great rules of thumb to apply to your awesome social media copy that will help elevate it, even if you’re a small business with no copywriting experience.
Let’s jump in.
Keep It Relevant
For social media copy, concision is vital. No-one is scrolling looking for essays to read. Sorry. You want to give your audience short, sharp and relevant information that either makes you feel good or look good.
The best performing Facebook copy, for example is less than 80 characters.
People spend so little time reading social media captions that you want your point to be made quickly and effectively.
Try and concentrate on the Who, What, Where, Why and When:
- “Car Helpers R Us provides 24/7 cover on the roadside or at home, to get you back on the road as soon as possible”
Write confidently, without passivity.
- “We will find you the best deal on car insurance!” NOT “We will try to find you the best deal on car insurance”
- “We won the top prize!” NOT “We were awarded the top prize”
If you need to post longer social media copy on your page, such as customer testimonials, try and limit it to every other post or fewer, or convert the long text into small “soundbites”.
Think About It
Ok, this is a big one. Things live on the internet forever, don’t fire off just anything into the social media-verse. Find yourself a decent scheduler for your posts and write a few at a time. Make sure you take the time to optimise each one for your audience and the platform. Ask yourself:
- Is it on brand?
- Is it engaging?
- Is it relevant?
When you’ve done this, leave it alone. Then come back the next day and edit it again. Once you’re more used to writing in your brand voice, this process will speed up but take the time to get it right at the beginning!
Pro Tip: Replying to your customers should also be in your brand voice, for consistency. Taking the time to think about it is vital, especially if the review isn’t 100% good. Walk away, calm down and reply with a cool head.
Writing social media ad copy is double important because you’re spending hard-earned cash on it! It is vital to know what your target audience is going to respond to best.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to run A/B testing. Running the same ad with multiple iterations of copy will help you understand what is getting clicks.
Below you can see a Facebook ad with lots of reactions, comments and shares. We are looking to maximise these numbers. Have a play around with copy length, images and content to see what works best for your brand!
Don’t where to start with a fully-fledged social media campaign? Check our handy 5-Step Guide!
Get Your Audience Talking
Don’t be mistaken into thinking social media copy is just fluff – it all has the potential to convert your audience into customers and make sure you’re the first brand they think of.
Social media copy differs from traditional sales copy because it gives you a unique chance to interact with your audience. The key aim is to convert your audience from a one to two-way conversation. The modern age of social media is accessible to everyone and almost 80% of people with internet access have a Facebook account. So get ‘em talking!
Once you’ve got your audience talking, you will sit like an earworm in their head – like the virtual version of the shop they walk past each day. There are some easy ways to get your audience engaged. Utilize Calls To Action (CTAs) abundantly with phrases like:
- Let us know what you think in the comments!
- Share this with someone who would love this!
- What’re you looking forward to most about Christmas?!
Keep ‘em Laughing!
Long story short: funny sells.
Obviously, funny pictures and captions don’t work for all brands, so bear this in mind. But for most; short, snappy and, often slightly sarcastic, copy will get people to smile. If they’re pausing on your content to read it and smile, they’re more likely to do so in future. Well done – you now have a dedicated reader!
Funny images and memes work particularly well for brand awareness. If your image is getting shared, more people have eyes on your hard work and more potential customers!
Style, Baby, Style
Obviously this is an article about writing awesome social media copy – so why is there a section on visuals?! Well, there’s no point in writing killer content if no one is reading it. Pictures and videos get 2.3x more engagement than text alone.
Content is King
Content is king and it’s best not to forget. It is still possible to utilize your own style and brand on an image. In fact, it’s the words that give it personality.
Take a picture of a stunning sunrise over the ocean.
A poetry book subscription service might write:
- “The sunrise this morning was quite ethereal, reminding us of the halcyon days of summers past.”
Meanwhile, a surf shop on the beach might opt for:
- “Check out the rad sunrise we caught this morning!”
Same image, very different personalities.
A logo is the image that your customer is going to associate with you, and making sure it’s optimised is pretty essential. Fortunately, we have a great guide to logo development to help you out.
For social media, and online formats in general, big blocks of text are bad news. Ignore everything your English teacher taught you and start again. Well, except grammar and spelling – that’s pretty important.
Where possible, use short sentences and short paragraphs. Reading on a screen is stressful for the eyes and breaking it up makes it easier for the reader to digest.
The white space created between paragraphs also makes text more visually appealing. This makes it much more likely for readers to make it to the end of your well-thought-out caption…
Don’t be afraid to use short and broken sentences. Start sentences with “and” or “but”. Use single word sentences. Try and create soundbites with your words.
All social media ad copy is basically sales copy. But… You can’t approach them in the same way. Hard sells just don’t work on social media, and are often flagged by platforms as “spammy” and pushed down to the bottom of peoples’ feeds.
You want to utilise the classic sales funnel technique – but very, very gently.
- First, you want to get your target audience looking at your posts because they’re relevant, interesting or entertaining. No sales words at all. This is narrowing down the vast world of social media to your potential customers.
- Second, keep producing relevant content but ensure it is obvious what you can offer. Still no sales words!
- Lastly, the customers that are still interested are highly likely to be your potential customers. Now, you can make it obvious what you’re selling and start inviting link clicks and sales. Yay!
Once they’re into the sales funnel, one effective way of keeping them interested is to “Use the FOMO”.
FOMO, or “Fear Of Missing Out” is pretty easy to use to your advantage. If you make something feel exclusive or time sensitive, quick purchases are much more likely – everyone wants a good deal!
Use phrases like:
- Check out our April specials
- Have a look at our sale items now!
If you’re using ads, you can even throw in some more obvious “sales” phrases like:
- Flash Sale!
- Limited Availability!
- Limited time only!
- Exclusive Access:
Bear in mind that Facebook and Instagram particularly do not like you using these phrases unless you’re paying for ads. It makes it completely obvious that you are trying to make money and, unfortunately, they want their cut. So proceed… But use with caution!
Writing great social media copy is tough. But great copy can help cut through the background noise of the thousands of media posts we see each day and maximise your sales.
Whatever your brand or platform, you can optimise your copywriting using these steps and drive follower engagement, and ultimately, sales.
We hope by providing you with some examples of the best social media copy, we’ve made this seemingly endless task a little more manageable!
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