By joanne on January 21, 2016
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As a content marketer, our schedule is mostly occupied by writing blog posts and keep ourselves updated with the current SEO and content marketing trends. There were also times when I was busy planning and writing blog posts that I had no time to update my social media accounts. Have you ever been in the same situation as I did?
Honestly, it’s actually not that hard to stay active on social media.
What’s difficult is actually the things that you’re planning to write on social media. There are more than 1 billion registered accounts on Facebook alone. Can you imagine the total amount of social media users if you are to add it together with other social medias such as Twitter, Instagram, Google +, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat?
So the question is, how should you write on social media for the mass audience? You don’t know if the way you convey a message on social media will be effective or not. This is why you should learn the basics of writing for social media in order to get the results that you have been looking for.
When writing for social media, you have to make sure that your messages are delivered to the right audiences whom you are trying to reach out. By identifying who your followers are, it will be easier for you to decide on how you want to deliver your social message.
It is impossible to please the mass audience as each person has their own preferences. For example, you wouldn’t interact with people on Facebook the same way you would communicate with your audiences on Twitter, right? Because then, your audiences on Facebook will definitely unfriend or unfollow you afterwards.
A good way to know your audiences is to ask a question at the end of your message. Ask for their opinions and then you’ll know what they actually like or dislike. So you should always check for their comments and feedback. If they like what you’re posting, then you are on the right track.
However, if you find that they are leaving negative comments. Then, they might not be your target audiences and you should consider changing the way you convey a message.
Writing on social media is really different from writing for blog posts because you don’t have to write too long in social media. Nobody is going to read long content on social media.
To keep your audiences engaged with your current topic, always have the audiences on mind. You have to know what are the things that they would like to know the most and why do they prefer to read or communicate through social media rather than on blogs or forums.
If you’re posting just for the sake of posting something, which your followers wouldn’t get any benefits from it, they will lose interest and unfollow you sooner or later.
To avoid that from happening, you should always ask yourself before posting, “What message am I trying to send to the audience? Is this valuable to them?” With this, you will be able to write things that are suitable for your targeted audiences.
It’s the best to use friendly and casual tone in social media writing because when you write in a serious tone, nobody will actually stop and read your status or caption. Social media has a fast pace and you wouldn’t want to bore the readers by using the language that your followers will need to stop and think twice about what you just wrote.
The main focus of social media is the communication. It’s all about how you engage with your followers on social media. To keep the conversation going, you can ask questions to get your followers’ thoughts and opinions. For example:
In social media writing, you should write like you’re talking to a friend. Use more of “I“, “me“, and “you” in your status so that your followers will feel closer to you.
It is also acceptable to use an exclamation mark (!) in your status to show some excitement. A few punctuations can help to convey more emotions in your status.
Ask anyone on social media, who likes deep musings and long rants? Well, nobody does.
So if you have a long content that you’d like to share it with your followers, you can just put the link in your status and keep the details short. Long-winded status will chase the audiences away as social media writing is supposed to be short.
While you can post up to 63,206 characters or less on Facebook, Twitter limits it to only 140 characters. But let’s imagine that your friend is posting a status with 60,000 characters on Facebook, will you read it?
When you’re on social media, just keep it simple and short for your followers to understand your message easier. Be straight to the point.
With the limited word count on social media, there’s a possibility that your message isn’t delivered well to the audiences or they might misinterpret it.
This is why you should always make sure that what you’re posting is appropriate to avoid people bashing you for what you have posted. At the very least, have a friend to read your status before posting to make sure that your message is clear.
To make things more specific and clear, I will list out a few more points on how you can write for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Other than what I have mentioned on the above, here’s what you can do specifically for these social media platforms:
Everyone on Facebook wants to know the latest trend. They don’t want to be left out, and that’s when Facebook is helpful.
You can share a story to connect with your followers so that they want more from you. A good example would be everyone’s favorite page, Humans of New York.
Another way to interact with them on Facebook is to ask questions on your status. When you’re asking for feedback, your followers will feel that their opinion is valued. Remember, you should always stay connected with your followers and treat them as your friend.
Using visuals on Facebook can also help to drive more engagement to your page. It’s almost similar to how blog posts work; we need visuals in content to keep us reading. You can add text to your photos, or use your images to tell a story.
You should also make sure that your profile and cover photos are representing your brand and help you stand out because that’s the first thing that people will notice when they first visit your Facebook page.
Other than visuals, videos can help your followers to get more information as well. Now that Facebook has the instant play feature on videos, it will increase the chances of your followers watching it because when the video starts playing, it makes them hard to keep scrolling.
If you’d like to post a long content on Facebook, you can, because Facebook has improved their Facebook Notes feature. Instead of just posting a status on your page, you are now able to write long form content.
This is a really good move made by Facebook because when readers want to read more from you, they can read it on your Facebook instead of going to another link. In addition, you can also get the engagement that you wanted.
It can be harder to get the engagement on Twitter as the timeline is moving fast. Most Twitter users will just scroll by your tweet and forget about it after. A few ways to get them to stop scrolling and get their attention to spending time on your tweet are:
Writing for Twitter can be different from how you write on the other social media accounts. Let’s take LinkedIn for an example. When you write on LinkedIn, you may want to use a more serious tone to talk to your connections.
But when it comes to Twitter, your tone should be more friendly and fun. Use a conversational tone, but not too long. When you keep things conversational on Twitter, it will bring you more engagement because people love it when they have a chance to interact with you on social media.
To compare a social media account that is only writing about himself/herself to a social media account that will share valuable information and ask questions to the followers, which one would you prefer the most?
If you have more to say, you can always add a link to direct your followers to your website. Even if you want them to buy your product, you can put a link on your social media account as a call to action. This is how the famous YouTuber, pewdiepie did it:
When you provide information that your followers found useful, they will retweet your tweet, which helps to gain more exposure for your account. You can also share images on Twitter account as Buffer has found that it can help to increase Twitter retweets by 150%. So if you want to increase your engagement rate with your followers, you should try adding images in your tweets.
Now that GIF is a huge part of the Internet, you can just use that as your Twitter strategy as well. People love it when you can be humorous at times because GIFs are fun. Don’t let your followers feel like you’re all robotic, show them some fun side of you. Just like how Coca-Cola did it:
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) January 19, 2016
Now, the most important part of Twitter is of course – hashtags. Many are using hashtags because it help users to search for the particular topics that they are interested in. It is also a good way to create a conversation with the others with hashtags. However, you should use it sparingly.
When it comes to the usage of hashtags, try not to use more than two hashtags per post, or else it will look like a spam. When you start spamming, your hashtags will be irrelevant as well. You may think that by having a lot of hashtags in your Twitter will help to get more engagement, but honestly, when your followers see that you’re just spamming irrelevant hashtags, you will lose credibility.
Things get trickier when it comes to writing for Instagram. Since the main focus of Instagram is the images, the way you write your caption is very important. Make sure that your caption is related to your images or it wouldn’t make any sense to your followers.
Just like Twitter, hashtags play a big role on Instagram. It helps to get more likes for your images and more followers when you use hashtags on your captions. I’d suggest using less than 10 hashtags in your caption so that it wouldn’t take over the core message.
If you have no idea which hashtags you should use to drive more engagements, you can use the tool like Hashtagify.me to check out which hashtag is currently popular.
For example, I have searched for #instadaily on Instagram, and the amount of people using it is unbelievable.
Since images matter the most on Instagram, you have to always make sure that your images on Instagram are high quality. If they’re not, your followers will just scroll by. By having top notch and visually appealing images, you can get more exposure and in results, gaining more followers.
When posting on Instagram, you don’t just post an image. You can approach your audiences in a creative way. Promote your product or service in a unique way like how @baddiewinkle did:
Remember, when you have excellent shots, it will help to generate likes and comments, which will help to improve engagement.
Instagram is also about the interaction with your followers. No matter which social media platforms you’re on, always ask questions.
Social media writing is fun as it increases the engagement with our followers. Moreover, we can also get instant feedback on social media compared to blog posts because people like reading short content on social media. This is why it is important to use conversational tone on your social media. If you find that you’re having a low engagement rate on social media, I hope these tips can help you out.
Which social media platforms do you use the most and how do you usually write your message on different networks? Let me know in the comments section down below.
Updated: 19 September 2017
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