A Quick Guide to Copywriting for Social Media
To understand copywriting for social media, perhaps you first need to understand what copywriting is and more importantly, how it differs from content marketing, with which, it is often associated, interchangeably used or confused for. In truth, copywriting and content marketing are not at all synonymous with one another but businesses do have to get both concepts home and right to bring in new customers and at the same time, enjoy success.
Basically, content marketing is a strategy of producing and publishing information with a marketing purpose. The content builds trust and authority among potential customers and drives sales without resorting to actual “hard sell” tactics. In contrast, copywriting, which is used for landing pages, sales pages, and infomercials is producing content striking and compelling enough to make readers take a specific action whether you want them to make a purchase, opt in for an e-mail newsletter or go in store to check out a new product.
Now in social media, copywriting has a very special place. Why? Because whether we are talking about Facebook wall posts, Twitter messages or YouTube video descriptions, you only have so many characters in which to fit your message and the message needs to be powerful enough to make people on the social networks either
3. Or Respond
4. Or any combination thereof
Also you need to account for the fact that in social media, communication is now two-way or more. Gone are the days when you could get away with business messages like “ Product X rocks. Get it and it will be your best buy this year and your best friend for as long as you live!” Remember that on social media sites, your customers get to respond to what you post and if you post a message like the one above, you’ll probably end up getting a “Bullshit!” thrown your way. Your message needs to be more human and should resonate with your target audience.
About Effective Copywriting for Social Media
If none of your Facebook fans and Twitter followers are clicking on your links and no one is commenting on your posts and/or sharing them, chances are, your copy sucks. It could be something else but for sure the first thing you need to re-evaluate is your copywriting. Probably a few tweaks are in order! To get more attention on social media:
1. Every Product has a Unique Personality, Fully Understand What you’re Selling
For any copywriting project, the first task is to know exactly what you’re selling. Know your product inside out because your unique selling proposition is what will differentiate you from your competitors and the crowd on the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.
2. Focus on the Benefits of your Product just a Little More than on the Features
Because of the distinction between the purpose of content marketing and copywriting, when you’re crafting a copy to post on social media about your business or product, highlight the benefits of it in terms of the needs, wants and emotions of your readers. Such a message will resonate with readers more and impact them.
3. Think PAS- Problem, Agitate, Solution
This is the copywriting formula to master just about any social media network. Bring a problem to the attention of those who experience it and then solve it.
4. Be Clear about the Action you Want Readers to Take
If you are writing a copy for social media, you need to be
– And to the point
Don’t beat around the bush. One way to do this is to use the right active verbs. This will help you produce a post that’s sharp and devoid of fluff.
5. It’s Okay to Leave your Readers Hanging
Every now and then you go on Facebook or Google+ and you see a post with a headline that reads, “Before digging into that bag of “healthy” dried fruit, read this” or “This video has gone viral in the Arab world. Watch to find out why.” These are all headlines that hint at a titillating idea or story but do not give anything away. The reason? Human beings have an undeniable need for closure. If you use the right headline to go with your story, chances are, they will click through to read the rest of what you have to share; A classic psychological ploy that works more often than not.
6. Create a Sense of Urgency
This is another classic psychological ploy that works beautifully on social media. After all, aren’t we all afraid of missing out on something valuable or important? So if video reads “Watch this video before it gets pulled”, chances are, we will.
7. Use Quotes & Facts Wisely
And finally, using provocative quotes or lines from a post you published on your blog is an effective way to drive traffic to it. The key is to make sure you don’t give the story away but at the same time, the bit you post is compelling enough to tempt people to click through. Also, quotes and statistics are easy to retweet and share.