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James Perrin

Copywriting Tips: Writing for Social Media

20th Jan 2012 Content Marketing, Social Media, Facebook, Social Media, Social Media, Twitter 4 minutes to read

WritingWith an ever increasing emphasis being placed on social, 2012 is certainly the year to start taking advantage of all the existing and emerging platforms currently available. Whether you’re a business looking after your own social media campaigns, or an agency or consultant working on behalf of a client, it’s certainly an important aspect to get right – and this is where learning simple copywriting tips for social media will pay dividends.

Okay, so we all know that social media has been around for a while. Initially, these were great platforms to help build brand awareness and improve user interaction, in fact they still are. However, in some instances they can be used to help drive traffic and improve conversion rates. In addition, social media and social interaction is playing a huge part in terms of rankings within search engines [See: Google Search, Plus Your World – An SEO’s Perspective].

With this in mind, it’s certainly time to start taking social media more seriously. Whether it’s getting the fundamentals right, or understanding social media strategies, the following copywriting tips are worth remembering when using any social media platform:

Spelling, grammar and punctuation

I can’t even begin to convey my frustration when I see social media activity that contains sloppy copy. Whether it’s a status update, a tweet, a share of a link, or a comment, if it doesn’t read well, it won’t work well. 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, rendering the whole process pointless.

Get to the point

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 an airy fairy round-a-bout 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 this is actively encouraged when using social media. Rather, be sure to be clear with what you are trying to say.

Continuity

Have 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 not necessarily reflect the same image. Therefore, write in a way that will enhance your brand image, whatever that may be.

Use active sentences

The way you write on social media sites is so important. Remember that the goal is to spark interest and enhance engagement. If you’re sending a tweet, or updating your status, you want to write something that will improve your Click through Rate. So be sure to always use active sentences containing strong action verbs. For example, “Google recommend +1s” rather than “+1s are recommended by Google”. Active sentences are those where the subject (Google) performs the action of the verb (Recommend). Always look to use powerful verbs rather than words like, ‘are’, ‘is’ or ‘am’.

Be creative

As mentioned above, it’s important to focus on getting the user to click on a link, or to look at something you have shared or like. One way of doing this is to be more creative with your posts or updates. For example, instead of tweeting, “Here is a list of copywriting tips for social media”, you could create excitement and suspense by saying, “For tips on improving your copywriting for social media, follow this link”, or “Are you looking for copywriting tips for your social media campaigns? Here are the tips you need”.

Send out multiple tweets at a time

The best way to get noticed is by sending out multiple tweets at a time. This way, your profile will appear in their news feed on a number of occasions, making you and your tweets more noticeable. This is especially true if the person who is following is also following a large number of other profiles. In this sense, a single tweet might get lost in their feed, so fire out three or four to get noticed.

Make sure you set time aside to engage

It can be all too easy to forget about updating any social media profile, especially if you have a great deal of work on. However, every little helps. So one tip would be to set reminders for you to send out a tweet or update your status at various points in the day. Not only that, but to spend time communicating with others and actually engaging in conversations. The more activity going on, the better this will be for your brand’s exposure.

Enjoy it!

The whole point of social media is to actively engage with others in a slightly less formal way. This is why for anyone tweeting regularly, or commenting on an interesting topic, it’s important to enjoy the experience and not hard sell or put people off from interacting with you. Potential customers and clients would rather take time to talk and engage with a brand that is enjoying the company of others, rather than abruptly trying to push their products or services onto them.

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. The abovementioned social media copywriting tips can be used by anyone straightaway. If you have anymore that you would like to share, please do so below. I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts.

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