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  • Writer's pictureDr Joseph Nightingale

How to Write Captivating Social Media Posts

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

Photo by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash

Writing social media posts is crucial to the success of your business. Captivating social media posts drive engagement, boost brand awareness, and increase customer creation. Considering 54% of social browsers use social media to research products, you cannot afford to neglect your posts. Yet, social media content writing is often a second thought.

Social media is a ubiquitous part of modern marketing. It's where brands receive user feedback ("social listening"), launch new products, and generate a significant proportion of their engagement. And yet, low effort posts are rife – affecting how customers perceive your brand.

No major brands would publish an advert without months spent honing the copy. Yet, because of the ease of social media, small- and medium-sized businesses create social media posts with little thought to their brand's message or image.

Craft compelling social media content writing, however, and you can see customers flock to your brand. From the witty to the educational, writing a social media post is about speaking to your audience.

Here's how.

1. Speak to your audience

Writing social media posts can feel like talking into the void. You're not – you're speaking to your potential customers. Think about who they are, and engage them directly—words like "you" and "your" connect with your audience.

Take this social media post from a legendary Yorkshire tearoom in England:

It's personal, friendly, and on-brand. Betty's is a prominent British business – and stirring up opinions, they've caused a storm in a teacup over the "dunking scones" debate. Little additions like this create a fun and fiery comment section.

2. Find your brand voice

Brand voice is how you communicate your business's personality and values in your content. Nowhere is brand voice more important than on social media. It's the difference between sarcasm and seriousness.

Major fast-food brand Wendy's, for example, has a fun, self-deprecating bio. You'll often see this kind of lively, sarcastic humour from fast-food brands and sweet companies:

Dove, on the other hand, is all about supporting women's courage and natural beauty. They're a cosmetic brand known for their soft, sensitive products – the message matches the product. Here they praise healthcare workers, showing how masks affect female healthcare workers' skin.

Their social media content writing is warm, compassionate, and supportive; it's everything we expect from Dove's powerful and impactful social media messaging.

3. Cut the weasel words

You should maybe, think about trying to stop using weasel words – what an awful sentence! "Weasel words" are wishy-washy words that take the impact and meaning out of a sentence (see underlined). With a word like "maybe", a brand can make a claim but not commit to it.

The trouble is that customers see right through it.

Commit to your messaging. If you can save people money – say so! Use words like "expect" or "promise" to add weight to your adverts - they put your skin in the game.

Here's an example:

With Impeccable Writing, you may see an uptick in social media engagement.

Impeccable Writing promises to skyrocket your social media engagement.

Be honest; which statement do you trust?

4. Remember to add value

Writing social media posts isn't a chance to wax lyrical or spam memes. While the occasionally funny post can generate traction, customers really want value. They want to be informed, educated, and engaged.

If you're a tree surgeon, a short video (and explanatory caption) about pruning trees is fantastic content. At the same time, a baking company could list their top 5 tips for creating delicious cakes.

Insider tips and informative news will do far more for your social media accounts in the long run than endless wise-cracking.

5. Keep it concise

All writing should be concise; all company messages should be on point. Avoid waffling or overly-detailed posts – readers get bored and turned off by the wall of text.

For an Instagram caption, around 125 characters is perfect, while on Facebook, much shorter posts – 40 to 80 characters – tend to perform better.

That's not to say longer posts can never be used – just use sparingly. You'll also want to break up longer posts into smaller, bitesize chunks. Leave spaces and use a heavy sprinkling of emojis to communicate your message more effectively.

Remember: your goal is to get read.

6. Add a call to action

Social media doesn't have to be shouting into the void – with a well-crafted call-to-action (CTA), it can be a conversation. That doesn't mean the hard sell. You can run competitions, ask questions, or tell people to head over to your website to see more information.

Praising Dove's genius social media content writing again, they sneak two CTAs in this post. (Can you spot them?)

This #InternationalNursesDay, we’re thinking of nurses around the world more than ever. Thank you for your courage, compassion and care 🤝 🌏 Not all heroes wear capes - you touch so many lives, in so many ways, every single day. We hope you know that you’re important, valued and appreciated for how you spend your days, now and always 💙 So, let’s all clap and woop and pick up those pots and pans and do everything we can to show them we care 📣👏 🎺 Tag a nurse you know, to say thank you – let’s fill the comments with appreciation for our nurses. 🎬 @mic To find out more about what we’re doing to support frontline workers head to the link in our bio ☝️ #Dove #CourageIsBeautiful #InternationalNursesDay #Nurses #ThankYou #Care #AppreciationPost #Clap

There's just one minor criticism: the second CTA should have the verb first – always put what you want your followers to do at the start of the sentence, e.g., "Head to the link in our bio to find out more about…".

Write social media posts that attract customers

Never lose sight of why you're writing social media posts: it's not to gain followers or get social media famous – it's to generate business. You want followers who'll buy your products and spread the word about your brand.

Remember to be persuasive, engaging, and compelling with every post. Oh, and avoid the top pitfall of all content – never be boring!

Contact me if you need help creating social media posts to skyrocket your brand awareness.


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