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Copywriting for Social Media

Turn Likes and Shares into Traffic for Your Business!

How can copywriting for social media help turn likes and shares into traffic for your business?

If you’re like me I spend too much time on social media. I often wonder how far I’ve scrolled in my lifetime, constantly running my finger up the page on a search for the next funny meme or interesting post. We’re all guilty of spending time on our phones when we should be working, it’s part of modern life, and only a strong will or a spiky phone case will stop that.

For a copywriter, spending time on social media can be called ‘research,’ as that copy is one of the most powerful forms you can write. Every business, no matter how big or small, should have some presence on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the biggest, with more niche apps such as TikTok, LinkedIn and Snapchat useful for some, but not all, businesses. The latter two are more focused on the ‘social’ and entertainment sides of social media, but they can still be used effectively to reach a younger audience. In the last quarter of 2021, Facebook reported that it had 2.89 Billion monthly active users. That’s the widest audience a business can reach by a long way, and one you can’t afford to miss out on.

What makes Good Social Media Copy?

Effective social media copy is all about connection. All ads try to relate to the customer in some way, and on social media this is crucial. On average, Gen Z’s (people born between 1997 and 2012) have an 8-second attention span. Millennials (1977-96) have 12-second attention spans. As these are the generations most active on social media, it is essential to fit your copy within these tight windows of opportunity. All the information you share must be absorbed in 8 seconds. Sounds like a challenge? Well, copywriters love a challenge.

The copy has to be brief and impactful. Be bold. Draw the eye with a catchy title and relate to them as soon as possible. Vary the sentence length but keep them short. Start a conversation; ask them a question or ask for their opinion. Get them to write a comment, this will not only improve your SEO on the site but will promote further discussion with other customers. Someone who has just bought the product will sell it better than the post itself. You can also use reviews within the post to ensure that those positive voices are heard.

Use abbreviation to make the copy catchy. Use metaphors if they fit, a cliché can be effective if done well. Use emojis (I know, but trust me, they work) to shorten the copy and break it up.

The most important part is the tone. Your post needs to sound like a friend recommending something, not a stranger selling a product. Treat your customers informally but try not to patronize.

How To Use Facebook Content

If your business has active social media accounts, it not only increases discoverability, but it gives potential customers a way to find you again. Let me use an example:

I went to a coffee shop last week. I ordered my coffee and noticed on the counter was a blackboard with the shop’s Facebook page on it. While waiting I pulled out my phone and followed them. I then paid for my coffee and continued with my day. A week or so later I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post from the shop, a funny cartoon about needing coffee to function on a Monday morning. That post reminded me about the coffee I’d enjoyed, and I went to that shop on my way to work. If it hadn’t been for that post, I probably would’ve walked past the shop without a second thought and went to my usual place for my coffee. It’s a little thing, and it works.

Jokes and reminders are just the start. If you’re a business with a promotion on, sharing it on social media will reach far more people than an ad in the paper or even on TV and radio. It can be informative too. An ‘about us’ post won’t be buried like it often is on a website, it can be pinned to the top of a page or put in the account description, so every potential customer learns your story. I’m a big supporter of a ‘meet the team’ post too, it adds a human touch to your business and setting it up can be a great bonding experience for yourself and your employees too.

How to Use Instagram Content

If you’re using Instagram, which is an app that uses pictures and videos with text underneath, regular copy won’t work without good visual accompaniment. Imagine you are a bank manager who has just remodelled one of their branches. Instead of opening the doors and waiting for people to notice the change, you could try this: Record a video walking into the branch, as if you are a customer. Look around with the camera at the new changes, and then be greeted by a friendly member of staff. Then post the video with some brief copy underneath saying, ‘Check out our new look in ‘x’ branch today!’.

Sounds like a TV ad, doesn’t it? Well, that 30-second ad would cost a fortune. For social media, it wouldn’t cost a penny. All you need is a smartphone and five minutes of time to create something that will be seen by more people than any TV ad. And the best part is this: you can make as many of these posts as you want for zero cost!

How To Use Twitter Content

Twitter is a blend between Facebook and Instagram in terms of design. It can use images, written posts, or a blend of both. While it can be used effectively, Twitter is often used alongside Facebook and Instagram to cover all bases. A large business should always have one, but they are often not used as actively as its counterparts these days. Its best use is to inform about promotions and upcoming events.

See For Yourself

This first example is Jaguar’s Instagram feed. While not a stand-out example of copywriting, I wanted to draw attention to the style they’ve chosen. Their posts are always in threes, spread throughout each day. This gives their feed a lot of visual appeal, which in turn encourages you to click on each post.

In the images below, left post advertises a feature of a new model, the XE. Each of the trio of posts mentions a different feature. This keeps the copy short and spread evenly. The action shot of the car draws the eye and the feature advertised is appropriate. It mentions the ‘driver’ so the reader is addressed well. Lastly, the use of hashtags improves SEO on the site (helps to categorise the posts for what they want it to be found for!) and promotes the car’s other selling points.

The right post is a limited-edition model of a classic Jaguar to celebrate its anniversary. It uses hashtags within the copy, which works well on Instagram. It calls back to the original car, which will appeal to those who owned one, or wanted one when it was new. The E-Type was a poster car back in the 60s so it can also trigger childhood memories.

Finally, it encourages further action from the reader by advertising its other Instagram account. If you use more than one it is important that they work alongside each other while also standing out. Good management of social media will help with this, and a social media manager will schedule and monitor the posts to ensure effectiveness. For a business that uses social media as much as Jaguar, hiring a manager for the posts is essential so the copywriter can focus on creating the posts.

The second example is a simple Facebook ad:

This is from an online store that specialises in trading cards and board games. This is an effective post as it not only celebrates the New Year, which is relatable and appealing (using holidays and events is an easy way to spread posts throughout the year). It is short and formatted simply, making it easy to read within 8 seconds. The emojis also add colour and visual appeal to a casual tone of voice, it sounds like a speech.

They are advertising a promotion and have all the information clearly on show: the discount, the code, and the length of time it runs for. There are also the exclusions at the bottom, which are clearer on the site itself. It’s bright, flashy, and appealing while also being a good promotion for the business. It’s not necessary to have a promotion with each event post, simply wishing existing customers a Happy New Year makes them more likely to remember you next time they are online shopping.

Having contact options on every post is useful for the customer as they can have any questions about the promotion answered. It is vital that, if using a Facebook page, you keep all the contact information up to date and have someone checking messages a few times a day: another reason to hire a social media manager.

The post’s only flaw is it doesn’t advertise what the shop sells. However, this post is more aimed at existing customers, and Facebook’s advertising algorithms will ensure that the correct customers see it.

Conclusion

Social media is everywhere. A good copywriter can boost your business within days if you allow them access to your business accounts. But it’s important to know how and why it’s so effective. It’s the way forward and will be for a long time.

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