Up Your Social Game: Copywriting 101

Social media. Does the thought of it make you want to bury your head under the pillow and toss your phone to the side? I’m not going to lie. I’ve let this slide for my own brand this week.  Social media is a necessary evil to support your brand, build loyalty and foster community.  In EVERY industry.

Just planning to post can be a challenge.  If you’re like me, you can sit there tweaking and editing a post for way too long. How do you cut through the clutter and create content that connects you to your audience?  On the fly, on brand, and on trend? Particularly if you don’t have a social media specialist on your team. 

Lucky you. There are simple formulas for that. Several, actually. These tried and true methods are copywriter approved ways to draw audiences in and ensure that you’re not only engaging your community, but you’re doing it in an efficient way.

So how do you craft a captivating, share-worthy story on social media? If constructed correctly, your post can change a thought or persuade an audience. Now that's impact.

Here are our favorite methods to think about when we craft social media copy.

THE 4 C’S

CLEAR I CONCISE I COMPELLING  I CREDIBLE

This top formula serves as a reminder to stay focused on the message you’re trying to send to the reader. Keep the writing clear, concise, find a compelling angle to write from, and instill the trust that what you’re serving is credible. Start with clear. The others will fall into place easier when you have a clear message.  This is a great system to use when someone (a person or another media source) is endorsing your product or program. Or when you are introducing a new idea or offering a service. 

THE 4 U’S

USEFUL I URGENT I UNIQUE I ULTRA-SPECIFIC

While we’re on the topic of things that come in fours—let’s discuss the four U’s. This formula is a little more dramatic than the 4 C’s – it seems like it constructed for social media. The need to be urgent and specific mesh with bite-sized messaging and short attention spans. Be useful to the reader while providing a sense of urgency, point out what sets this idea apart or makes it unique, and be ultra-specific with everything above. It’s the antidote to TLDR.

AIDA

ATTENTION I INTEREST I DESIRE I ACTION

This is a system many use for long and short-form writing. AIDA is a go-to for writers of all skill levels because, well, it works. You grab the reader’s attention, offer up something interesting, create desire, and then, direct them what to do next.

 

WHO-WHY-WHEN-WHAT

Who is this written for? I Why should they care? I When can they expect it? IWhat must they do next?

These are not to be confused with the famous five W’s, but it’s the same concept. These are important questions that need answering. Target a specific segment of your audience, give them a nugget to spark their interest, supply details, and next steps. Pretty simple.

SOCIAL PROOF

It’s trendy to make crazy claims in attention-getting headlines right now.  But they damage your reputation.  By using social proof (tagging someone well-known in your industry or to your audience) you add credibility to your post.

There are plenty of approaches out there that can help guide you on the road to creating compelling content. (My fav 5 don't feel comfortable for you, google around to find more) In the end, to be persuasive and create scroll-stopping content, the most important thing to remember is you must be authentic to your brand voice. Test out different formulas, tweak your approach by tracking engagement to gauge what works for your audience, and refine your copy to really make an impact.

Allison Cohen