There is endless writing advice out there, and with an endless amount of anything you can find an endless amount of contradiction. Writing social copy isn’t the same as other types of writing; you need to keep in mind the best practices and constraints of the particular platforms you’re working with.
With that in mind, here’s our advice for how to write better social copy.
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Pay attention to platform
First, narrow down what you’re working on at the moment: Is it a campaign? Are you working on copy for just one platform, or are you working on something that you’ll need to tweak for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? That gives you a starting a framework you can begin drafting within.
Also look at what you have to draw from and work with. Are you collaborating with anyone else? Is the designer waiting on you or your team, or will you be coming up with only social copy following the bulk of content from the marketing team and media from the designers? Knowing this will also determine how much time and creative effort you’ll need to put into this project.
If you’re just working from existing marketing copy, it’s a lot less pressure and you’ll need to concentrate more on tweaking the main ideas for each platform and scheduling posts that reinforce a campaign without being repetitious.
Decide if you’ll be explaining any media that you’re attaching to posts, or if you’re expounding on it. (Do the campaign images explain themselves, or do you need to make sure there’s enough context for fans and followers to engage with it?)
What is your CTA?
What do you want your followers to do when they see this particular tweet you’re writing? This Facebook post? This Instagram post? Do you want to drive an action or drive awareness? Consider this when you’re crafting posts not just for a campaign, but for your ongoing organic feeds.
Keep in mind also that you always want to match your brand voice and recall your brand values in all of your content marketing, including things as seemingly small as individual tweets.
Don’t forget hashtags
If you’re writing copy that’s part of a larger campaign, there will be a specific hashtag or set of hashtags you’re using. If not, do some research to figure out which hashtags are most appropriate to include with your particular post— or not.
If you’re posting on Facebook, you probably don’t want to include hashtags. Consider your particular audience on Twitter if you’re writing copy that’s not part of a campaign. Hashtags are still key to discovery on Instagram, so find as many relevant hashtags as you can for each post you’re creating and include them. (Instagram caps hashtags at 30 per post. You can read more in our post The latest on using hashtags on Instagram.)
The single best way to constantly improve your social copy is to measure your results across platforms. We’d love to be the ones to help you do just that!
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