5 Don’ts of Social Media Copywriting

5 Don’ts of Social Media Copywriting

Picture this: you’ve been working hard to build your brand. Years of sweat and tears poured into your dream and it’s all becoming a reality. You know it’s time to build a social media presence to really drive home the brand identity and create meaningful social media content for a community of people who want to follow you. You have your personal social media profiles, so it can’t be that hard, right?

Wrong. Writing copy for your social media content on your personal profile and writing for your brand is completely different. Why? A number of reasons, but namely because on your personal profile, your friends are your followers. You can post something boring or insignificant and they won’t unfollow you (most of the time) and might even throw you a like because, well, friendship.


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That’s not the case when it comes to business profiles. Your followers won’t hesitate to reach for that cruel unfollow button. So, what can you do to keep them engaged? First, you need to do a little (brand) soul-searching. Define who your brand is, what it stands for, and the voice you want to portray.

Once you lay that out, you can start conceptualizing what we like to call “content buckets.” These are themes you can pull from to guide your content creation. When writing copy, you can refer to this list of things you should avoid doing.

DON’T write your followers an essay.

Seriously, the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds. Not only do you need social media content that grabs their attention, the accompanying copy should be clear and concise; not open to interpretation from users. This means no beating around the bush or wordplay that can confuse your audience. A common goal among copywriters is to deliver a message with as few words as possible.

DON’T stray from your brand DNA.

As we like to say, keep it authentic. Always refer back to that soul-searching you did when you positioned the brand. If it doesn’t line up with your values, mission, or tone of voice, consider it off-brand. Consumers become loyal to brands who stick to their message and, now more than ever, take a stand and speak up. In fact, 60% of Millennials are considered belief-purchase buyers that will switch, change, or even boycott a brand if it doesn’t match their ideology.


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DON’T just write anything that sounds good, put some thought into it.

When crafting copy, use relevant keywords that help with SEO and reaching the right audience. Hashtags are used on the majority of social platforms to add keywords to posts and make them easily discoverable by the interested audience. Instagram took it a step further and allowed users to also follow hashtags.

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DON’T copy and paste other brands social media content.

Listen, we know it’s necessary to keep tabs on your competition. That whole keep your enemies closer spiel is relevant on social media as well. Seeing what works for them and engages the audience is a great place to find inspiration for your next campaign. But keep it original. Not only is it ethically wrong to copy another’s work (it’s called plagiarism, ever heard of it?), but if they have a loyal following, the trolls will come and they will call you out. Nothing can tarnish a brands reputation then social media rallying against it.


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DON’t be afraid to try something new.

Social media is constantly evolving and trends are over within hours. Stay up to date on the latest social media news (OMG, you should watch SocialLIVE!) and updates that can keep things exciting on your feed. There are always new ways to grow and engage your audience.


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What are some of your tips for engaging your audience? Tweet us @socialfly with your recommendations!

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