Writing for social media is a little different than writing for other channels…at times it calls for approaches that wouldn’t work elsewhere. Giving your brand a voice that works online can be challenging but it’s necessary to stand out from the crowd – and if you’re a franchisee, you need to make sure that your franchise owner understands how necessary this is.
These tips are the building blocks for creating an online identity your clients will love interacting with.
Keep it short and sweet
Social media isn’t the place for lengthy paragraphs and winding stories. As they say, brevity is the soul of wit. This principal heart of any good social media writing – even if you have to break a few punctuation and grammar rules to make it happen.
Especially on Twitter, but also on Facebook and other more casual platforms don’t be afraid to use abbreviations. Use emojis on Instagram and hashtags in place of words on Instagram and Twitter.
Anything to keep it short, sweet and eye-catching
Debatably the optimal word length on Facebook is 40 characters, with some arguing that up to 80 still gets decent traffic. But, make no mistake, the shorter the better!
Keep it casual
Social media is no place for formality either. People are used to interacting with people on social media. Corporate-speak and references to “the company” will turn off readers. Instead, keep it at an informal “we” and “you” level – even if your brand voice doesn’t normally run in that direction.
Use as casual a voice as your brand voice will let you get away with and be sure to adjust it for the specific social media platform you’re on. Your LinkedIn for instance may be a little bit more formal than your Facebook.
Keep it active
All of your social media posts need to end with a call to action. Now that you have the interest you want to convert that interest into action. That action doesn’t always have to be “buy, buy, buy”. It could mean “read, follow, share, like, click attending”.
Keep it conversational
When your friends and followers interact with you on social media, make sure to comment back.
When you do reply, make sure that your comments and tone are in your brand voice for this particular platform.
If you’re normally straight-down-the-line professional but suddenly your voice on social media is a cheeky, playful one, it might not necessarily compute for your customers.
One of the things to check before buying a franchise is how active and effective the social media team of any franchise opportunities you’re considering are at dealing with customer interactions in the social space.
Keep it correct
After all that “break the rules!” and “skip punctuation and grammar!”, this one might surprise you.
But there’s something of an art to deciding where and when you can break the rules for emphasis – while making it clear that you do know precisely what the rules are.
Always perform a spelling and grammar check of your posts before you post them.
Keep it positive
Almost without exception, your social media writing needs to strike a positive tone.
There might be the occasional exception for brands in certain industries where it’s inappropriate. But, in general, even if you’re responding to an incredibly negative comment, you need to be positive and understanding.
Anything negative that you post looks really obvious on social media. Being gloomy will result in a page people don’t want to visit.
Keep it visual
OK, it’s technically not a social media writing tip per se. But you should include an image or a video with any social media post you want anyone to read.
Keep it going
If you’re struggling to see how you’re going to juggle all of these writing for social media “rules” in one post and it’s giving you a little writer’s block, here’s the big secret that’s going to help you:
Just get writing!
Even if what you start with is terrible, the more you write, the more you will have something to work with. Edit and revise until you find the voice that works for you, your brand and of course your customers.