Marketing, Strategy
March 16, 2017
10 ways to write better social media content
10 ways to write better social media content

Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to “do” social media for your business? Most of the time, it actually comes down to the content you’re posting. Writing social media content is about more than promotional posts with your latest products and advertisements. It’s also about more than posting as much as possible because of the fear that someone may have missed your last post (FOMO is real).

It’s time you learned how to write great social media content so you can start seeing quality growth in your social media communities. Here are 10 changes you can likely make in your current social media content.

#1: Pay more attention to your audience

It can be easy to get stuck in the content generating machine where you just post content regardless of whether people are engaged or not. Some people might say having a presence on social media is better than not, but what is the point in using a marketing channel if you aren’t going to use it to connect with your audience?

Listen to what they have to say. If they aren’t saying anything, then you need to find ways to adjust what you’re saying to encourage dialogue. Your focus should be on adding value for your audience in everything you post on social media.

#2: It’s not about you… ever…

Consider the mix of what you write about on social. There are a couple of different rules:

  • The 80/20 rule – Post 80% about other things, 20% promotional
  • The thirds rule – 1/3 promotional, 1/3 industry trends and talk (but don’t use jargon!), 1/3 engaging directly with your audience

I am a fan of the thirds rule as it gives you a good sense of how much time you should spend on your daily engagement. The key thing to remember is if every other post is a blatant ad for your product/services, then you are doing something wrong.

#3: Don’t be longwinded, even if you can

You know when you are trying to have a conversation with someone and they go into a long rant about… something… and your eyes glaze over until they’re done? You can achieve the same thing on social media. Just because you can post 2000 characters on Facebook doesn’t mean you should. Your social media should mimic a conversation. For Facebook, it has been proven that the shorter the better for brand posts (80 characters or under gets the most engagement!). For Twitter, keep it to 100 – 110 characters so it allows for retweets and easy scanning. Use a link shortener like Bit.ly or the built in Hootsuite shortener to keep your posts shorter.

While you may think your large vocabulary is impressive, use shorter words on social media. This means most of your industry jargon is out. But this doesn’t mean you can start using your industry abbreviations for things. Your audience might not understand you.

#4: Spelling and grammar are still your friends on social media

Write complete thoughts on social media and use proper punctuation. This will make it easier to read for your followers. And even though social media content is usually quick and spontaneous, don’t forget to check your spelling. Mistakes might not be the end of the world, but they can make your brand look sloppy.

FYI: Just because the current sitting president of the United States doesn’t care about spelling and grammar on social media doesn’t give you a pass.

#5: Speak directly to your audience

When someone speaks to me by name or says “you” I am more inclined to listen to what they have to say. Actively engage your audience by asking questions using “you” and “shouting out” individuals on social media.

#6: Learn to use hashtags

There are a lot of people who still don’t understand what hashtags are, but they help you track conversations and, in some cases, dialogue about your brand and initiatives specifically. The key is finding the hashtags that make sense in your industry and focusing on joining the dialogue that way. Once you start to build a following of your own, you might consider introducing new hashtags so that other people can engage directly in your conversations.

Sometimes you can overdo it on the hashtags, so use them wisely.

#7: Write for the different platforms

Using the same content across all platforms might seem like you are being more efficient, but that is misguided. If you can’t handle managing all platforms, hire someone or cut back. You won’t be penalized for only taking on what you can handle, but your audience might not engage with you on all channels if they are just getting the same content across the board. Each platform should have a specific purpose, and the tone you use might not match across all platforms. Plus, the length could also vary.

#8: Include a call to action

Don’t be afraid to ask people to retweet and share your content. You will find your engagement goes up if you are specific. If you want comments on your latest blog or Facebook post, ask for comments.

#9: Be consistent

Remember back to when you created your brand story? This should run throughout your social media content strategy. When your audience visits each of your platforms, they should know it’s you without even seeing the logo. It’s your images, tone of voice, language, and messaging that ties everything together.

#10: DON’T YELL AT PEOPLE

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Writing in all caps doesn’t make your content more appealing/visible. No one likes to be yelled at.

Need help crafting better social media content? We can help!

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