Content writing is the art of storytelling in a powerful way to engage consumers with your brand, and its use extends to social media. There is also a science to social media writing, and doing it effectively can make the difference between a social media marketing campaign that is adequate and one that launches your business to the stratosphere.
It is a fact that people rarely read or pay much attention to most raw advertising, however, they are likely to spend time on quality content of any kind that piques their interest in some way or another.
Brand wars happen as much on social media as they do elsewhere. The competition is no more than a screen swipe or a mouse click away, so as a business owner or marketer you need to stand out from the crowd and set yourself apart from your business competitors. As an informed brand owner, you will know where your target audience is – and which social media platforms they frequent. And, as an informed brand owner, you will make a plan for social media content marketing that outperforms that of your competition.
Modern marketing differs dramatically from the traditional marketing of the past. No longer is marketing and advertising purely focused on the potential benefits of a product or service to the consumer; it now requires visual storytelling that captures and engages the consumer to an extent that they will follow through and become a customer.
Social media writing is unlike any other form of content writing; you need to get it right to win in the cutting edge digital marketplace…
First and foremost, you need to identify your target audience and put yourself in their position. Doing so will allow you to better create content that resonates with your audience; this will in turn be liked, commented on, shared and will in some cases elicit the desired response – they will visit your store and become a customer.
Tips for social media content writing
Here are some more very valuable social media engagement ideas to use when creating your content…
- Create your content specifically for social media: And optimise your content for its platform. This includes optimising your content for each specific social media network that you use. Each social media platform has its own typical audience, and your content should reflect this.
- Twitter posts need to be newsy, concise, crisp, and to the point. You can think of Twitter as a loud party; everyone is talking at once and only certain conversations are going to appeal. Trending topics are the big thing.
- Facebook is akin to a big group discussion; opinions are shared and conversations happen. Posts with engaging images and value are what get noticed.
- Pinterest and Instagram are all about imagery.
- Google+ is like a club of like-minded members.
As such, there are some very basic platform-specific guidelines to follow:
Twitter: Make all posts short and sharp – you only have a total of 140 characters to say what you need to say. (Keep in mind that retweets need more space, so ideally keep tweets to below 120 characters). Set your tweets apart by including an image that relates to your post content. Images better capture the attention and imagination of an audience than does raw text. Also, use hashtags (these are also suitable for use on Instagram) BUT only use hashtags that relate directly to your post content and use no more than two hashtags per post.
Facebook: post options include adding links, images, and videos. There is more space to tell your story on Facebook, so use it but don’t be too verbose. Link to other content that captures attention, stirs emotions, entertains, is humorous (but not offensive), or that sends a powerful message. Images are premium for grabbing attention and these are commonly shared. Likewise, videos are extremely popular on Facebook and these increase growth of your follower base and their engagement with your profile.
Google+: the value of this platform is in its Circles; post to specific Circles to suit your target audience, as well as to Google+ communities.
Remember in all cases to be responsive to comments and feedback. Also be mindful that many audience members (if not most) will view your content on mobile devices. As such, ensure your content is optimised for mobile and that you are not too verbose, even when the medium allows for it. Use link shorteners where possible.
Here are some further simple things to remember to maximise your social media success:
- Personalise your story: Notable advertising creative director William Bernbach once said that “the most powerful element in advertising is the truth”. This also applies to visual storytelling on social media. Stories should be relatable and emotion stirring. Use your content to build trust and your place as an authority and leader in your field of expertise. Always reference outside information that you share.
- Stand out: With so much virtual noise out there, you need to have your brand stand apart from everyone else. Offer stories and content that your audience can identify with on some level; the key to this is knowing and understanding your target audience well. Challenge their thinking, make them feel comfortable, and make your brand feel accessible to them. Cater to a niche that reflects the values of your brand; alternatively, go against the grain to capture interest and keep your audience wanting more.
- Be subtle but powerful: The amount of social media posts that are published every day boggles the mind, and many of these are little more than news feed clutter. Make your posts worthwhile; don’t post direct sales pitch content or in-your-face advertising too often. Social media is not the place for a hard sell. Your posts should have a purpose beyond pushing your brand onto consumers. Present what your brand offers in a way that is subtle and which allows it to speak for itself. And remember, a great headline is what initially captures an audience’s attention.
- Be consistent with your brand identity: Consumers favour specific brands because they like what they offer and they know what to expect. Maintain quality in what you offer, yet keep up with innovations and advance your brand in turn.
- Be friendly and actively engage with your audience: Accessibility is the key when marketing your brand. You need to create a relationship with consumers and social media is the ideal place to do so – note the word “social” speaks for itself. Engage in a two-way conversation with your followers, rather than simply talking at them. Demonstrate interest in what they have to offer you in return and actively ask for their feedback and input. Accept negative as well as positive feedback in an open and respectful way.
- Don’t make it all about you: Your focus should primarily be on your customer. When you put the focus on them, they feel good about you and your brand. When they feel good about your brand, they are more likely to participate and complete the sales process – which, at the end of the day, is your ultimate aim.
Social media is a fantastic tool to promote your brand and attract new potential customers. By fine-tuning your content writing plan for your social posts, you will be able to lead the way, taking your business to the next level and, ideally, leaving your competitors in your wake.