As a new business, one of the first things you probably did was to create business accounts across the big social media networks. That’s good thinking…now, what do you do with them?
It’s no secret that social media is one of the most powerful tools available for today’s businesses to stay top of mind and forge a deeper connection with their audience. But writing social media posts for business is a lot different from writing your own personal posts.
On Facebook alone, we share more than 30 billion (with a ‘b’) posts each month. All that posting leads to a pretty big white noise problem—meaning brands have an uphill climb to compete for attention.
That’s where social media copywriting comes into play. Writing truly great social posts that sound like your brand and speak to your audience can help cut through the digital clutter.
...writing social media posts for business is a lot different from writing your own personal posts.
The only question is – how do you write great social media posts?
Start with a Social Media Style Guide
The best social media content doesn’t start when Twitter asks what’s happening. Behind every lovable, snarky or otherwise stellar social media account is concrete strategy and a well-documented social media style guide.
Think about favorite brands you follow on social. They probably have a voice that’s both distinct and consistent—a voice you could pick out even if we covered up the brand name. That kind of consistency doesn’t happen by accident, especially if your social presence runs across platforms and by more than one person.
Writing great social media content starts with defining and documenting your brand’s voice and style. Finding your voice comes down to 3 main things:
- Knowing your audience
- Understanding the social media platform
- Remembering your brand
Once you have the intel, use CoSchedule’s social media style guide template to document your brand’s social media voice.
Get to Know Your Audience
When you write a post for social media, who are you talking to?
Who’s your ideal customer?
What are they talking about on social media? What do they care about?
How do they speak about those topics? About their challenges? About products like yours?
Knowing your audience ensures your social media content speaks to them – both in content and form. That means defining your ideal customer and following them on social media. It means analyzing your competitor’s social presence and learning from what works for them and what doesn’t.
Understand the Social Media Platform
If you spend time on Twitter, you’ve probably seen one of those automated crossposts—when someone posts on Instagram and a tweet version of the post gets posted automatically. When you see a post like this, it’s really obvious.
Remember Your Brand
While the style your brand speaks with will vary across communication channels and venues, your underlying voice should always be consistent. The topics you’re interested in, the stories you share and the causes you hold dear are vital parts of your brand. They shouldn’t change just because you’re on social media instead of email.
That’s why one of the most important components of your social media voice is your branding everywhere else. Many businesses make the mistake of taking social media too casually—but your social media presence speaks for your brand just like any other messaging you put out.
You might phrase something differently depending on the channel, but the underlying context of the message doesn’t change.
That’s because the way we talk on social media varies from one platform to the next. What’s appropriate on Instagram doesn’t work on Twitter. What happens on Facebook doesn’t work on LinkedIn.
The topics you’re interested in, the stories you share and the causes you hold dear are vital parts of your brand.
If you have personal accounts on all the big social media sites, you should have a good understanding of the type of content that fits on each one. Otherwise, spend some time looking at the key differences across the platforms. Follow a brand – like HubSpot – that shares the same content across their social presence and analyze how the same post differs across each channel.
Best Practices for Writing Social Media Posts
Now that you’ve defined your brand’s social media voice, you can write posts that evoke the right feeling, speak to the right audience and consistently win the adoration of your customers. When it comes to writing individual posts for social media, all that’s left is to follow these best practices to craft the right message and ensure it translates.
- Be authentic and focus on connecting. Social media posts aren’t the place to lean into the hard sell—leave that for your website and social media ads. Instead, speak authentically about things you and your audience care about. Focus on connecting with people and encourage them to engage with your brand.
- Get to know what works where. Like we said above, different content performs best on different social media sites. While there are some hard and fast rules – like including an image – it’s also important to pay attention to what formats and topics work well for your brand and where they perform best. To get you started, HubSpot has a great guide to writing for each network.
- Emphasize clarity over cleverness. On social media, attention spans are limited. That means – even on platforms without a character limit – your social content needs to be clear and concise. If can be clever, too, that’s great—but when in doubt, keep it short.
- Follow a copywriting template. You don’t have to write every social media post from scratch. Following a standard template (like Problem, Agitate, Solve or Bridge After Bridge) can help you write social media content faster, easier and more effectively.
- Use a tool to help you learn the ropes. Writing great social media content isn’t something you learn in a day—it’s a process of continuous improvement as your learn what works for your audience. A tool like CoSchedule’s Social Message Optimizer can help you stay on the right track and teach you to write better social media posts.
Brands to Follow for Inspiration
By now, you might be wondering what all those best practices actually look like in the wild. We get it. It’s important to have a basic understanding of what goes into great social media content, but there’s no substitute for seeing it in action.
Writing great social media content isn’t something you learn in a day—it’s a process of continuous improvement as your learn what works for your audience.
Take a look at some top notch Volusion customers on social media, and follow the brands below for some serious social inspo.
Have any questions about writing social media posts for your business? Ask us in the comments below!