July 9, 2019

How to Write for Social Media

Writing for social media is easy, anyone can do it. But writing GREAT content for social media can be tricky. The good news is that we are going to look at a few of the major platforms and give you guidelines on how to navigate this task. Let’s start with the platforms below and go over some recommendations for making your content stand out from the rest.

Twitter

More than other social media platforms, Twitter is intended for dialogue. You could describe it as banter with strangers. Twitter once had a character limit of 140 but has since upped the limit to 280. This doesn’t mean all users are jumping to use all 280 characters. Only 1% of tweets are hitting the 280 limit and the average tweet is 33 characters. Research shows that tweets with fewer than 50 characters generate 56% more engagement than tweets with 50-100 characters. Let’s take a look at how you can make great content with those 50 or so characters.

Before tweeting, establish who you are. You should create a clear and concise Twitter bio. Distinctly state who you are and what you stand for. Next you can use a series of tweets to tell a bigger story. Carefully craft concise tweets to comment on breaking news or topics that align with your brand strategy. Within those tweets you can use calls to action. If you share a link in your call to action, use a Bitly to shorten the link, or shorten using a third party app like Hootsuite.

Other tips to consider when crafting a tweet is to use visual media, retweet and share third-party content, keep it short (50 characters or less), use the right hashtags, tag and engage other twitter users, share exclusive content on this platform only, have fun and don’t take it too seriously.

Facebook

The first thing we should note here is that Facebook isn’t free. It is a free platform. You should have a marketing budget if you want to really engage your audience and eventually get them as customers via post boosts. Long gone are the days of organic reach on Facebook.

Once you establish your budget you should keep your writing short. Craft a clear and concise message and let your audience spend more time on the call-to-action. The call-to-action should have a link directing your audience to a specific page. You can use emojis and hashtags within your message if it fits within your brand and social media strategy. Also, ask questions to keep your audience engaged.

Another way to keep your audience engaged is to tease the content. If you are sharing a list of ten important things, list the top four within the post and then link to the rest. You should also have compelling visuals and use a variety of media formats including video. Take the time to look at Facebook’s image guidelines to show your audience that you care. Lastly, you should know how often and when to post. Generally, the best time to post is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Instagram

Instagram is all about the beautiful, eye-catching image. But once you have the visual, what are you to write? A great Instagram caption explains the photo, tells your followers to take some kind of action and could even crack a joke at your own expense (social media is supposed to be fun).

To help get the best caption you should compose a draft and be sure to put the most important information up-front. Instagram only includes two lines of text under the visual until you see the ‘more’ icon. Again, you should include a call to action. You should note that Instagram does not hyperlink within the caption. So, if you include a link make it easy to remember or include it in your bio. Another way to get around this is to use a third-party vendor (later.com, tap.bio, linktr.ee) that will host your visuals and the corresponding links.

When possible, keep the caption short. Instagram does have a 2,200 character limit but you should never reach the limit (unless responding to a PR crisis). You can also add up to 30 hashtags, but you should limit yourself to three or four. Other tips include tagging other users, using emojis, asking questions, telling a story and showing the human side of your business.

These are just a few recommendations to consider when you are drafting your social media posts. There is no one way to write a post, but if you take these guidelines into consideration, your post will stand out from the rest.

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