Seven hot tips for writing engaging social media posts
So, you’ve been given the task of writing engaging posts for your company’s social media profiles – where do you start? Here are some top tips for creating compelling content that gets your business noticed.
1: Think social
The key to creating engaging social media posts is in the name. It’s social. Imagine chatting to colleagues around the coffee machine, or discussing new ideas with a prospective client over lunch.
Effective social media is a two-way dialogue, not a one-way monologue. You want your audience to engage with your posts, so ask questions, seek feedback and opinions – even be provocative (within reason).
Short sentences, simple language, plain English – they’re all key to writing engaging social media posts that help your business cut through the communication clutter.
Twitter has its own (280) character limit, but whether you’re updating Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn it’s good practice to keep your updates short and snappy.
Remove redundant words such as very, really and just, and avoid abbreviations and text speak – they won’t make yr biz look gr8.
Your social media writing should aim to inform, entertain or inspire action, keeping your name – or the name of your business – in the front of your audience’s mind. So remember: keep it simple, stupid.
3: Set the tone
If you’re used to writing for traditional channels you may feel comfortable with a certain level of formality – business speak, buzzwords and jargon – and a happy distance between you and your reader. Not so with social media.
Social updates work best when you think of your writing as a conversation with your audience, so keep it light, informal and chatty. Imagine you’re addressing friends, rather than prospects.
Thank people for liking your page, or sharing your posts, and reply to their comments – be active. Consider each post as an opportunity to build relationships, not make sales.
4: Create shareable content
A successful social media profile is one that inspires engagement – sharing, liking and commenting. Thought-provoking, positive and inspirational posts are more likely to be shared, and retweets and likes all help to get your business noticed.
5: Pacify the punctuation pedants
The grammar police are more active on the internet than on any other communication channel – if you screw up your spelling or glitch up your grammar, you’ll know about it.
If you’re unsure of the difference between affect and effect, or principle and principal – check. Not only will you avoid the wrath of the nit-picking word ninjas, you’ll have learnt something new for next time.
6: Say it loud
When I finish a copywriting job, from a complex website to a simple email, there’s one thing I do, without fail, before sending my work to the client – I read it out loud.
Reading aloud makes it easier to identify repetition and inconsistency than reading on screen or hard copy. I don’t know why this works, I just know it does. The same goes for blog posts and even the shortest social media updates. Try it!
7: Sleep on it
Finally, it may sound like a luxury, but try to build time into your schedule to let your copy settle. It’s amazing the things you can pick up when you review what you’ve written with a fresh pair of eyes the following morning.
Okay, so this is neither necessary nor practical when you’re writing a tweet or a Facebook post, but it can certainly help if you’re creating a new blog entry or a company page for LinkedIn.
Start using these simple tips and watch your social media engagement soar.