SOURCE: Social Media Today

The ever-chang­ing social plat­form algo­rithms make it increas­ing­ly hard­er to gen­er­ate engage­ment with your social media posts. By apply­ing some sim­ple writ­ing tips, how­ev­er, you can make your mes­sage more appeal­ing to more peo­ple.

If you invest time, effort and mon­ey into post­ing on social media, I’m sure you want to get a good return on your invest­ment. That return should see you meet­ing, or exceed­ing, the goals you’ve iden­ti­fied for each plat­form — but if you post with­out a social media strat­e­gy, which out­lines how each plat­form will help you accom­plish your busi­ness goals, many of your efforts will be wast­ed.

Hav­ing a social media strat­e­gy and action plan, based on your unique busi­ness goals, resources and avail­able time, is essen­tial to your suc­cess.

Yet even with a well laid out action plan, you still need to cre­ate social media posts and con­tent that speak to your iden­ti­fied audi­ence, and inspire them to take action.

In this post, I’ll share sev­en social media con­tent writ­ing tips for cre­at­ing posts that get the atten­tion of your tar­get audi­ence and inspire engage­ment.

1. Do your research

If you want your audi­ence to notice and engage with your social posts, you need to make them high­ly rel­e­vant to your tar­get group.

The more rel­e­vant your posts are, the more suc­cess you will have — but rel­e­vance, in gen­er­al, is not enough. You need to take the time to tru­ly under­stand your audi­ence. Start with the gen­er­al demo­graph­ic infor­ma­tion and then go deep­er.

What needs, obsta­cles or chal­lenges do they have? Pick a need or chal­lenge that might be a high pri­or­i­ty for them right now, then devel­op con­tent and social media posts which pro­vide them with a solu­tion.

PRO TIP: To con­nect with your audi­ence on an emo­tion­al lev­el, share suc­cess sto­ries from your pre­vi­ous­ly sat­is­fied cus­tomers. This will help them envi­sion their own suc­cess as a result of using your prod­uct or solu­tion, and make them feel pos­i­tive about you.

2. Speak their language

Take your research fur­ther and learn what lan­guage your ide­al clients use to com­mu­ni­cate their needs or chal­lenges. Use this lan­guage when writ­ing your posts to ensure your con­tent res­onates with your audi­ence. This will help to show them that you tru­ly under­stand them and their chal­lenges.

For exam­ple, a post you write on LinkedIn for senior-lev­el exec­u­tives will read very dif­fer­ent to a post you write on Face­book for new moms. Not only do these two groups of peo­ple have dif­fer­ent chal­lenges and points of view, but their lan­guage – the exact phras­ing they use to speak about their needs and chal­lenges – dif­fers sig­nif­i­cant­ly also.

3. Develop your voice

Although you should write social media posts in the lan­guage of your tar­get audi­ence, the over­all mes­sage should be writ­ten in your own voice.

Your voice (or your brand voice) refers to the per­son­al­i­ty and emo­tion infused into all your mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties and social inter­ac­tions online — you cre­ate that voice with the lan­guage and tone you use when writ­ing your con­tent or inter­act­ing with your audi­ence.

This voice is pri­mar­i­ly influ­enced by your or your company’s per­son­al­i­ty — your ‘why’ sto­ry and the lan­guage used by your ide­al cus­tomers.

This voice needs to be con­sis­tent through­out the con­tent you cre­ate and the posts you share on social plat­forms, as well as any engage­ment you have on those net­works.

This con­sis­ten­cy will help your audi­ence con­nect with you emo­tion­al­ly, as well as build trust, and iden­ti­fy your social media posts as yours.

4. Be positive

This doesn’t mean every post needs to be hap­py — there’s a huge dif­fer­ence between pos­i­tive and hap­py. You want your audi­ence to be excit­ed, and inspired by your posts, and that doesn’t always mean hap­py posts.

In some of your posts, you may choose to share your opin­ion or take a stand on some­thing impor­tant to you and your brand. But there’s a dif­fer­ence between tak­ing a stand and attack­ing or crit­i­ciz­ing oth­ers.

A lot of school­yard-style bul­ly­ing hap­pens on social media. Don’t engage with it.

What­ev­er you do, avoid crit­i­ciz­ing any­one (or any busi­ness) pub­licly. Crit­i­ciz­ing oth­ers is not only unpro­fes­sion­al but also dan­ger­ous — it can draw more neg­a­tive peo­ple to your page, and can hurt any trust or cred­i­bil­i­ty you’ve built with your exist­ing fol­low­ers.

5. Keep it short and simple

Peo­ple val­ue their time. If you want your audi­ence to give you their atten­tion, you need to show that you val­ue their time also.

Great ways to do this include:

  • Mak­ing your con­tent and posts easy to read by writ­ing at an eighth-grade read­ing lev­el
  • Using head­ings, bul­lets and lists where pos­si­ble to make your con­tent or posts eas­i­er to scan
  • Keep­ing para­graphs to only two or three sen­tences
  • Being as suc­cinct as pos­si­ble when writ­ing on your top­ic

6. Use images and videos

Use images, graph­ics and videos to tell a sto­ry where pos­si­ble. Visu­al con­tent is more engag­ing, and can often tell the sto­ry quick­er and more suc­cinct­ly than words alone. In fact, an image or video can often stand alone in social media posts while still con­vey­ing the full mes­sage to your audi­ence.

Keep in mind that video, in par­tic­u­lar, can bet­ter enable you to con­nect with your audi­ence on a deep­er lev­el. Peo­ple respond well to video, as it can human­ize you and enable them to get to know you more inti­mate­ly.

7 Social Media Content Writing Tips

Most plat­forms have live video fea­tures, which can great­ly ben­e­fit you. An unscript­ed live video can make you feel vul­ner­a­ble, but that vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty will give your video a lev­el of authen­tic­i­ty, which is often lack­ing in high-qual­i­ty mar­ket­ing videos. Those slick mar­ket­ing videos are more like­ly to be ignored than a live video fea­tur­ing you authen­tic self.

For best results, opti­mize each piece of visu­al con­tent for the plat­form you’re post­ing it on to ensure your mes­sage is being shared, and that you look pro­fes­sion­al.

7. Add a call to action

At the end of your con­tent or social posts, con­sid­er prompt­ing your audi­ence with what you action you’d like them to take next by includ­ing a call to action (CTA). With­out one, most peo­ple won’t take any action after read­ing your con­tent, even if they enjoyed it and derived val­ue from it.

CTAs come in dif­fer­ent forms and have dif­fer­ent pur­pos­es. For exam­ple, you can moti­vate your audi­ence to take actions with these CTAs:

  • Ask them to like or share your social media posts
  • Ask a ques­tion they can answer in the com­ments
  • Direct them to anoth­er piece of con­tent
  • Send them to a land­ing page
  • Direct them to your web­site
  • Get them to sub­scribe to your newslet­ter
  • Ask them to con­nect with you on oth­er social media chan­nels

Increase your success with these social media content writing

The com­pe­ti­tion for your audience’s time and atten­tion can be fierce. The secret to being suc­cess­ful is to not com­pete, but rather to set your­self apart from the crowd by cre­at­ing and shar­ing con­tent and social posts your audi­ence will want to con­sume.

You can bond with your audi­ence over your con­tent by ensur­ing that every­thing you write is cre­at­ed with their wants and needs in mind. Do your research and get to know who they are, and what they need and/or want most. Speak to them using their lan­guage, con­sis­tent­ly con­veyed in your brand’s voice.

Keep your con­tent and social posts pos­i­tive (not to be con­fused with hap­py), and ensure they’re easy for your audi­ence to con­sume. And look to add images, videos and CTAs to increase your content’s effec­tive­ness — and dri­ve mea­sur­able results.