A well-written social media post can cause you to stop scrolling, read it in its entirety, and maybe even take action.
Even if your post includes a stunning image, you’ll need some strong copy to keep it engaging.
Take . You’d be hard pressed to find one image that wasn’t captivating, but even still, the captions are what anchor the images in reality and provide additional context and fascinating details. Merriam-Webster’s Twitter profile provides another great example. Take a look at their #WordOfTheDay posts, and you’ll find social copy that’s both informative and entertaining.
Clearly, smart writing is key to a successful social media strategy. Here are six copywriting tips to punch up your social media posts:
1. Keep it short and sweet
Research shows that less is more when it comes to social media copywriting. Although there are always exceptions to the rule, pithier posts do seem to make a bigger impact on engagement than longer ones.
- The ideal length for Facebook posts is 50 characters, according to an analysis by BuzzSumo, even though you have upwards of 60,000 characters to work with.
- On Instagram, you have 2,200 characters at your disposal, but it’s important to note that captions get cut off (from that initial view) at 125 characters—and some research from Quintly shows that the optimal length is actually between one and 50 characters.
- On Twitter, you can now write posts up to 280 characters in length, but research from Buddy Media suggests that the ideal Tweet length is 100 characters.
- LinkedIn statuses for companies can be up to 700 characters, but less than 140 characters tends to be best according to Influencer Marketing Hub. These shorter posts allow users to see your entire post as they scroll without having to hit the “see more” button.
2. Mix up your posts
As you’re copywriting for social media, make sure you aren’t hitting the same note every time. If you’re selling a product or service, some of your posts can be product-focused and written to encourage users to make a purchase. But that can’t be all you do on social. Mix in some thought leadership posts that can educate your target audience (such as this one from Deloitte) or toss in some inspiration like this Instagram post from Nike.
3. Invite conversation
If you want to boost engagement with your social posts, start encouraging community and conversation. As you’re penning your posts, invite users to join the conversation with open-ended questions as simple as “what do you think?” or “share your ideas.” You can also invite users to interact with your posts with polls or trivia questions. These features can increase the fun factor of your posts and drive engagement with your brand.
4. Write with the CTA in mind
Whether you’re writing a straightforward sales post or a more thought-provoking post, keep your end goal in mind. If your only goal is to entertain or provoke thought, that’s absolutely fine. But if you want your post to inspire a specific action, then you need to include a call to action (CTA). Be clear about what you’re asking the user. Whether you want them to click-through to a product page or subscribe to your newsletter, don’t be shy. To-the-point social copy like “check out the latest features here,” and “subscribe today” can encourage people to click as they engage more deeply with your brand.
5. Support your imagery with your copy
The visual element of a social media post can be even more important than the post itself, so be sure that your copy complements your image—and vice versa. Imagery and graphics possess a tone and message, too, so make sure you’re aligned with your design team to ensure your social posts are unified across art and copy.
6. Think of copywriting as a science … and an art
Writing effective social media posts that engage users is both a science and an art. Although you need to make sure you’re adhering to any brand guidelines and best practices around everything from hashtags to emojis, there’s also a lot of room for creativity. In other words, stay true to best practices and user expectations across each channel, but also allow your content team the freedom to get creative and push boundaries. Every social post is an opportunity to tell a story, get a laugh, evoke emotion, spark new ideas, or inspire action.
With these social copywriting tips in mind, you can do all of the above and then some.