Little Book of Confusables

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 my 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 get curious, ask questions, seek feedback and opinions – even be provocative (within reason).


Short, simple sentences, human 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, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn it’s good practice to keep your updates short and sweet.

Remove redundant words such as very, really, that and just, and avoid abbreviations and text speak – they won’t make yr biz look gr8.

Your social media posts 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, sweetheart.

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.

But stuffy, formal writing doesn’t work on 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 followers for liking your page, or sharing your posts, and reply to their comments.

Above all, be active.

Consider each post as a chance to build a relationship with your audience – not to make sales.

4: Create shareable content

A successful social media profile is one that inspires engagement – shares, likes, comments and saves.

Valuable posts that are thought-provoking, informative and/or entertaining are more likely to be shared – and shares help to get your business noticed.


5: Pacify the punctuation pedants

The grammar police are more active on social media than anywhere else.

Be warned: 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, imply and infer – check my The Little Book of Confusables.

It demystifies 600 confusing words and is guaranteed to make you laugh while you learn.

By checking your confusables, you won’t just avoid the wrath of the nit-picking word ninjas – you’ll learn something new for next time.

6: Say it loud

When I finish any copywriting job – from a complex website to a simple email – I read it out loud.

Reading aloud makes it easier to identify repetition and inconsistency than reading on screen or hard copy.

The same advice goes whatever you’re writing – blog posts, web copy, emails… even the shortest social media posts.

Alternatively, get your computer to read your text aloud.


In Word, select the Review menu and click Read Aloud – or dig into your computer’s accessibility settings.

Listening to an automated voice read your words out loud is a great way to spot repetition, clunky phrasing and spelling mistakes.

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 post or updating your profile on LinkedIn.)

Start using these simple tips and watch your social media engagement soar.

The Little Book of Confusables by Sarah Townsend

No more confusing words!

Master 600 confusing words with The Little Book of Confusables: 300 gorgeous pages packed with memorable, fun spelling tips – from ACCEPT + EXCEPT to YOUNG + YOUTHFUL.

Loved by writers everywhere, this multi-award-winning guide has been described as The perfect book for anyone who ever has to write anything!”.


Your fun guide to confusing words
The Little Book of Confusables
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