5 quick tips that will improve your social media copywriting

Since the dawn of marketing, entrepreneurs have made it their business to know what language to use to make their offering more enticing to would-be clients. Unfortunately, copywriting is far more complicated than stringing a few sentences together. With social media in the marketing spotlight, effective social media copywriting has become essential to all businesses.

To craft an impactful message, we must first know who we are speaking to. Understanding your ideal customer is the basis to everything else you do in marketing. Even the most beautifully crafted marketing pitch will deliver mediocre results when directed at the wrong audience. Here are 5 quick tips on how to improve your business social media. These tips are also useful for copywriting for websites and other marketing materials.

Tip 1: Your social media copywriting should be aimed at your ideal client.

There are many exercises on the internet that will help you determine your ideal customer. These exercises exist to allow entrepreneurs to tailor their offering and branding towards the needs of their ideal client. However, this is also extremely useful when it comes to copywriting.

Once you know who your ideal client is, you can plan your social media copywriting around the language they already use. For instance, some businesses want to sell to the specialists within their industry (B2B). For those organisations, it may be sensible to use industry specific jargon in their copy. This will speak to the specialists that are being targeted and establish the organisation as an expert in the industry. However, this type of approach won’t work for all businesses. For instance, other business may be looking to connect with someone outside of the industry. In that case the use of trade specific jargon may appear intimidating. Meaning the marketing message will likely be less impactful. Understanding your ideal customer will unlock clues to important elements of copy writing such as vocabulary, tone and style.  

Tip 2: Avoid clichés and overly used phrases on your social media copy.

Avoid overly used phrases – they’ll make your organisation fade into the background. Sometimes making use of a cliché or stereotype can be powerful. However, more often than not, these commonly used phrases are too vague to truly express the message we wish to share. Sometimes these phrases may even have the opposite effect on readers and completely alienate your brand.

A common example is the stereotypical phrase you should avoid is “thinking outside of the box”. Using this phrase will ironically come across as a lack of originality. Another very commonly used example is the word “passionate”. This simple phrase can often be found multiple times on the about page of any average business website. This type of content is nothing more than filler content. And it is typically used by organisations that imagine this is what is readers expect. Using these types of phrases can come across as inauthentic to your readers. Avoid this type of language for social media copywriting and in web copy.

Tip 3: Share an authentic message.

Authentic messaging is key. Avoid blatantly copying other organisations due to a lack of understanding of your own brand. Almost all small businesses go through a phase of self-exploration. During this time the brand, almost like a teenager, tries on different personalities until arriving at something that fits comfortably. Many brands take a long time to develop. Almost all extremely famous brands we know today started out by presenting themselves in a very different way. This sort of evolution is not only natural, but a very necessary part of growing a brand. Unfortunately, small businesses often get stuck presenting themselves as they think others wish them to be. However, they would be better off presenting their own authentic mission.

Too many businesses rely on outdated copy to sell their goods simply because they believe there’s no other way.

Some examples of these outdated phrases include:

  • “going above and beyond”
  • “the customer always comes first”
  • “turnkey solutions”
  • “seamless integrations”
  • “bespoke solutions”
  • “we’re passionate about…(insert anything here – it’s likely untrue anyway)”
  • “trained professional” – We assume if you are a professional you are also trained.

These above mentioned phrases are not strictly incorrect when used in business copy. After all, these elements must certainly apply to some organisations, right? Sure. However, many organisations use these descriptors because they don’t understand how to share their own authentic message.

There are many other phrases to avoid, but instead of dwelling on the details, we’ll just reiterate the importance of expressing an authentic message. Sometimes it is best to simply say what you mean instead of looking for a clever way to phrase it. It has been proven many times over that clients prefer an authentic message over a sales pitch. So, instead of using marketing jargon, just say what you mean.  

Tip 4: Ensure your copy is actionable.

Good copywriting doesn’t leave the reader guessing as to what you would have them do next. Make sure that your copy is directive and actionable. If you want clients to follow you online, tell them. Or if you would like them to visit your website, just say so. If you are selling something and would like them to make a purchase, be direct. The whole point of your business copy is to get clients to engage with your business. Failing to do so shows that your copy is not speaking to your ideal customer.

When it comes to social media copywriting, it is important that readers be prompted to act. This is typically done with a “call to action” phrase such as “double tap if agree”. Others include “leave a comment below” & “save this for later”. Using this type of phasing in social media posts will encourage engagement. Just remember to keep it authentic. Stick to phrases and words that are true to your business brand & image.

Tip 5: Make sure your social media content is interesting.

Although it may seem obvious, there are still many entrepreneurs that fail to hook their customer’s interest. Your copywriting should always be interesting but this is especially true on social media. There are so many other creators online that make great content. If your content is not interesting, you won’t get the engagement you want on social media.

Remember, you can only write for your ideal customer once you know who they are. The same applies to creating interesting content. What is interesting to one viewer may be boring to the next. Use your knowledge of your ideal client to create content that will appeal to them.

Other social media tips:

For more information on how to improve your business social media, check out some of our other educational blog articles. We’ve discussed how to improve the visual elements of your social media, as well as how to develop a strong hashtag strategy.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”

Erik Qualman author of Socialnomics.