Writing for social media sounds pretty straightforward right? How hard can it really be?
Those of you that have tried your hand at a post or two will probably have a knowing smile reading this… as it’s not as simple as it seems.
It takes time and a certain amount of skill to craft copy and design images that people will actually read, let alone engage with. So here are five tips to get you started.
1. Know your audience
A simple, yet effective technique is to create customer personas. What does each segment of your target audience think, feel, do and want to read? Where are they based and what are they doing right now? Create a story for each one and speak directly to them when creating your content. This will help you use the right tone and write in a relatable way.
TIP: Try to make your audience feel understood and included to build trust and brand loyalty.
2. Pick the right platform
The list of platforms is constantly growing, but important ones to consider include Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram (don’t forget about Instagram Stories), IGTV, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter.
Before you dive in and spread yourself too thin, ask yourself two questions: what social media platforms are my customers most likely to use; and what makes sense for my brand? Rather pick one or two and use them well, than a scattergun approach which isn’t likely to have any impact.
For example, if you have a lifestyle brand with a library of beautiful imagery then Instagram and possibly Pinterest should be at the top of your list. If you’re playing in the B2B space, then LinkedIn may be more appropriate.
Facebook and YouTube are relevant to most businesses – Facebook due to the sheer number of people that use it and the option to create really targeted adverts; and YouTube because video is a must-have in 2019. According to a recent article published on social media today, 86% of marketers use video content, and 93% of people say videos will be a priority in 2019.
TIP: Once you’ve decided on a platform or two, brush up on best practice. For example, hashtags shouldn’t be used on Facebook, and there is an optimal image size for each platform.
3. Tell a story
Don’t just talk about products and special offers. Your customers want to know what your brand stands for, what happens behind the scenes and how you can add value to their lives (or solve a problem they may not yet even know exists).
To do this, you need to be clear on what your brand’s voice, tone and story actually is, so take time to map this out as a team.
TIP: Your brand voice is the consistent, overarching message of what is being said and tone is the manner in which you are saying it. Tone is the emotion, attitude or mood that is most appropriate to a specific context and message. It must change to demonstrate empathy.
4. Tag relevant people and brands
This point is short and sweet: if you mention a brand or person, make sure you include their username.
TIP: Identify micro-influencers and thought leaders that you can collaborate with and tag, as this lends credibility to your content and ensures it reaches a wider audience.
5. Include an eye-catching image or GIF
What do you look at first – the image or the copy? My bet is on the image, so make sure yours stands out! Use your own photos where possible, rather than stock images, and try to create a consistent style to suit your brand.
TIP: Include your logo subtly in the corner of any image accompanying a post on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn (but not on Instagram). When it comes to text on an image – use it sparingly, and make sure it doesn’t detract from the image itself.
Getting started is often the hardest part of any task, so my final tip is to get stuck in and learn along the way. There is a plethora of practical advice available online, and you’ll soon figure out what works best for your brand.
With her big picture thinking and ambitious ideas, Emma Donovan of Yellow Door Collective ensures that the business keeps growing without losing sight of their values. She sees to it that every campaign is strategically thought out and executed in the best way possible. Visit: www.yellowdoorcollective.com.