Strategy

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Our Social Media Writing Guide

Remember those crinkly, one-size-fits-all shirts that were popular in the ’90s? I sure do (thanks, Mom). There’s a good reason that fashion trend bit the dust — one-size-fits-all just doesn’t work for everyone. The same is true for social media writing and  content.

Understanding social media writing

Writing for social media can be tricky but, with so many creative opportunities to connect with your target audiences, it’s worth the extra effort to make each post perfect. Why waste the chance to build your brand by promoting engaging content and offering useful insights that keep people coming back for more?

Like brands, every social media channel has its own personality, and you need to understand each one to tailor your message to different platforms. So what can you do to craft click-worthy social media content that drives results? Here are a few ideas we give our own writers.

Tips for All Channels

  • Have fun with it! Use casual, non-jargon language that people will actually read. And if you’re funny, make ’em laugh.

  • Give readers a little taste of the story. Highlight great quotes, statistics, questions, or one-liners. If all else fails, introduce the idea of the story like you’re talking to a friend.

  • What’s in it for the readers? There’s a ton of junk on their feeds, so give them a good reason to click.

  • Try to avoid starting a sentence with “don’t” and using phrases like “Don’t miss the latest article” or “Think XYZ? Think again.” The goal is to be unique, not cliché.

  • Forego phrases like “Click here to read more.” It’s 2016 — people know how to click a link.

Facebook

  • Mix it up! You can have fun with formatting on Facebook, so try out different styles — lists, multiple sentences, a short sentence, quotes, etc. You can also use a return or two.

  • Say what you need to say. There’s no limit to length on Facebook, but too much text results in a “see more” button that cuts off your post. Keep it under 250 characters or so for maximum engagement.

  • Use images. If you’re including a link, be sure to add the link first, and then attach your image to the link so that anyone who clicks on the image will be taken to the link rather than an enlarged Facebook photo.

Twitter

  • Don’t give the whole story away. Twitter is meant to be quick and digestible.

  • The shorter, the better. Keep tweets around 100 characters, including spaces, to leave room for any links. Twitter recently announced media attachments will no longer be included in the character count, so you won’t have to worry about add-ons taking up extra space.

  • Always include one or two hashtags that people might use to search for content like yours. For example, #BigData makes sense for an article on Big Data, but #Big doesn’t. If you’re unsure, research that hashtag and see what you find (it might bring up some unexpected results).

LinkedIn

  • Don’t use hashtags. They’re not supported on LinkedIn, so they’ll just show up as text instead of links.

  • Write like a boss. It’s a professional-focused network, so write with a more businesslike tone. 

Instagram

  • Pack in those hashtags. If it’s a popular and applicable hashtag, use it.

  • Don’t add links — they aren’t clickable. If you need to link out to something, add #LinkInBio and do just that.

This is only the beginning of our social media expertise, so contact me for more ways to write standout social media content. And obviously check out our own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram channels to see these practices in action.

LET OUR EXPERTS GRADE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING EFFORTS. For a free, personalized content marketing audit straight from us, click here.

@dcustommedia