February 22, 2021
Do This, Not That: 5 Tips for Social Media Copy that Stands Out
Use these tips to get engagement on your posts.

Woman on phone crafting social media copy while hugging her dog

Pictures can say a thousand words… But you don’t actually need a thousand words when you write your social media copy.

In fact, that many words is probably too many.

Which is why copywriting is so important! Picking the right verbiage for your social media posts can make all the difference when it comes to creating authentic client engagement.

I’ve talked about copywriting for describing your services on your website. I’ve also mentioned how to create blog content that engages your readers.

So, how is social media copy different?

The biggest difference is that, with social media, you have a limited amount of space in which to stand out from all the other content surrounding yours. Studies have shown that our addiction to social media has dropped our attention span to about eight seconds (yup, one second less than a goldfish’s). Which means you only have eight seconds to convince someone to read what you’ve got to say before they move on.

Now that you get the why behind creating compelling content catered to social media, let’s get into the hows with some tips to follow (and some to avoid)!

Do Establish a Goal

This is an important starting point for every post: What goal are you trying to accomplish?

A post that’s trying to sell a product will look different from one that’s addressing customer service issues. What kind of engagement are you looking for — Is it likes or comments? Or do you want them to click through to your website?

Knowing what you ultimately want people to do will help you establish what steps they need to take, and how you can lead them there.

(On that note, don’t forget to include a Call to Action on your posts which explicitly states what you want readers to do next!)

Do Use Power Words

There are certain words that are more compelling than others because of how we associate them in our minds. My favorite example — the word “because” — gives people a reason why they need to take whatever action they’re being asked to take. It doesn’t matter what the reason is; just the fact that there is a reason can be powerful enough.

Urgency and exclusivity are important tones to consider in your social media posts. Words and phrases like “act now,” “today only,” and “just for you” make readers want to get in on whatever you’re offering before the offer goes away.

Want more ideas? Here’s an extensive list on hundreds of power words you can try incorporating into your social media posts!

Do Get Specific

People connect with numbers — We’re programmed to look for them.

So make sure to incorporate numbers whenever you can, particularly if they’ll boost the information you’re providing:

  • How many products or spots in your upcoming class do you have left to sell? You can create urgency with a low number.
  • How has your service improved your clients’ work/life? Show it with percentages.
  • Use a number followed by the plus sign to show that there are lots of benefits to whatever you’re marketing (ie. “There are 10+ reasons why you should buy this!”)

Other fun number facts: People trust odd numbers more than even numbers, and we have subconscious emotional ties to numbers.

Don’t Forget to Sound Like a Human

It can be easy to fall into robotic writing when you’re writing about products or services, but don’t forget that the #1 reason why most people go to social media is for entertainment, so be sure to inject a human voice into your writing!

There’s plenty to talk about when it comes to brand voice and tone, but suffice it to say that you want your social media to sound like you (well, the “you” that’s behind your business). If that voice is funny or kind, sarcastic or welcoming, make sure your posts fit within that. Don’t be afraid of being “too” casual — People want to see real people behind the brands they follow.

(And that extends to your images too! Be sure to include some human faces whenever possible in your social media photos.)

Don’t Forgo the Hashtag

Yes, hashtags are still a thing. Just make sure you’re not dumping a bunch of random ones onto your posts — Get specific about how you want to tag them.

These can serve two purposes:

  1. To be funny (#doingitforthelolz) or as part of your brand (like how Nike tags all their posts with “#justdoit”)
  2. To get more viewers

That first one is kind of self-explanatory. But to the second point, it’s important to remember that you can click on or follow a hashtag to find posts that fit within it!

That’s where getting specific with tagging comes in: Make sure that your post actually fits the tag you’re using. You could tag a picture of a dog with “#booklovers” but you’re probably not gonna get a lot of engagement from the people looking at that tag (and might even annoy them by clogging up their feeds with posts they don’t want to see.) Tags you might want to consider, however, including things like #doglover or a hashtag related to your location!

Next Step: Get on a Schedule

Now that you know how to write, the next step is determining when to write. The easiest way to not waste too much time on social media is by creating a schedule.

This doesn’t have to get too intensive — Maybe your schedule is:

  • Monday: Photos of cute dogs from your clients
  • Wednesday: Training tips
  • Friday: Upcoming classes/events

Once you have an idea of your schedule, want to know the best way to manage it?

Use a scheduler.

Spending a few minutes every couple of weeks scheduling your posts means you can just… Not think about it for a while.

Want to learn more about scheduling? Stay tuned to next week when I’ll give a primer on my favorite scheduling app!

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