As important as photos and videos are on many social platforms, unfortunately, without good texts, you will quickly miss the mark as an entrepreneur.
When you are going to write texts for your posts, it is important that you do not let yourself be fooled by the informal atmosphere of social media. Writing good content for this is a profession. It is not difficult, but you just need to know what to pay attention to and what not to forget.
In this blog, I will share 18 important tips on writing content for your social media.
1. Determine the purpose of your social media posts
Before you start writing, it is smart to make a schedule of what content you will post and when. This gives you structure and ensures the desired variety.
That variety is important. There are different types of posts:
• You want to teach the reader something. What would your ideal customer want to learn from you?
• You want to entertain the reader. What does your ideal customer like? What would entertain him or her?
• You want to help the reader. What would help your ideal customer?
• You want to inspire the reader. Use inspirational quotes that will get them into action, or start the day with a smile.
• You want to inform the reader by, for example, bringing attention to a product or service. This is allowed: but only do it occasionally. Most posts should be about one of the first four types.
In your schedule, you can indicate what type of post you are writing, what the subject is, and which image could go with it.
2. Stay close to yourself
It is important to stay close to yourself when writing for social media. I am sure you have heard it before: the content you post should relate to you and your business and fit you.
So do not get overwhelmed by everything your competitors post. Sometimes that can be paralyzing and that is the last thing you want. Go for your own unique approach and your own content. Just try out different things.
Do not overthink it: a spontaneous message from yourself is often more convincing than a message that you spend hours on.
3. Work from a text structure
Even for short texts like posts for social media, it is important to start from a text structure with headings and then start writing.
For example, take Instagram posts. They can be quite long and you can add a lot of information to them. Very nice, but it has to stay appealing and look clear. In any case, make sure there is enough white space between the paragraphs. It looks more peaceful and attractive.
It works well if you formulate what you want to share under headings, for yourself first. This allows you to focus better on the main thread of your story. After writing, you can remove the headings if you wish.
4. Use an active writing style.
In your messages, avoid passive constructions, always write active and direct. Always address your readers directly. That way your content immediately comes across as more personal. Nowadays, we all write online in an informal style; formal styles are hardly used at all.
Depending on the tone of your target audience, you should address the reader in your sentences with you. Make sure you always stay consistent with this.
Sometimes, writing a post for social media is like a game. The fewer characters you have at your disposal, the more you have to puzzle with your text and the more concise you have to write. In any case, write as much as possible in the present tense and avoid words like ‘will’, ‘may’, and ‘shall’.
5. Put the most important part in the first sentences
Your post is often a conduit to other information: think of a website with your giveaway, a link to your product, or a registration form.
In a social media post, the first sentences are visible and the reader has to click through for the rest of the text. Therefore, make sure that the most important part of your post is in those first sentences. Or make those sentences so stimulating and interesting that everyone just has to read on.
Never start the text with a boring intro or a meaningless sentence, because people will not click further. Think carefully about those first sentences and trigger the reader to read on.
6. Keep it short and sweet
You should always write short, concise, and to the point. On social media, there is no room for long introductions or complicated long-winded formulations. People quickly switch off. Go for short, catchy sentences that immediately get your message across.
Write your message, put the text away for a while and then read it again critically. Everything that does not contribute to the purpose of your message you can delete. The shorter and more concise the better.
Also, your posts should never be too long. 3 – 5 lines are usually enough. When it is longer, you should clearly state in the first 2-3 sentences what your message is about (see the previous tip). Only then, you get people to read on.
7. Keep it lighthearted
Make sure the texts for your social media are easy to contain. Feel free to use a more casual tone than you use on your website: that is no problem.
After all, social media is less formal and more mundane. However, choose a ‘lightheartedness’ that suits you as a person and carry it through in all your posts.
Write as if you were talking to friends. In this way, you can give your texts your own identity and that is what you want.
8. Monitor the maximum number of characters
Each social media platform has its maximum number of characters that can fit in a post. If you have written a text, you should also look at that text again for each platform. Is the essence of your message still correct (with fewer or more characters)?
Pay attention to this and do not blindly re-use a message one by one for all your socials. Always keep a custom touch for each platform.
Make sure your message is always easy to read and avoid abbreviations in your text. Instead, delete some unnecessary adjectives or phrase your message differently.
9. Do not use short links
A long link in your post does not look nice, I agree. Some tools allow you to shorten a link, think of bit.ly or tiny.url. Still, I advise you not to shorten the links in your social media posts. A shortened link looks unreliable to the reader. They do not know where they end up when they click on it. Besides, Facebook in particular does not like those shortened links for the same reason.
10. Write in the language of your target audience
For this, you must know your target audience through and through. So to speak, you create a real version of your ideal customer. Only then can you start writing specifically for this target group, to affect them and address them specifically. When you have managed that, you will be able to get through to them.
Remember, the better you know your ideal customer, the better you can match your messages to them.
11. Keep focus and focus on one subject
In a social media post, you do not have a lot of text at your disposal. You only have a few characters to use. Therefore, do not confuse your reader with different messages, topics, or questions in one post.
Often we want to share a lot of information to inform our readers. It is tempting to name several things in one post: prefer not to. Always write focused on one (sub)topic. The smaller and more concrete, the better. All other knowledge you want to share, you can place in other posts
Do you have a lot to say about a (sub) topic? Then do this in a series of messages that you post one after the other. In this way, you provide targeted, complete and clear information.
12. Excite the reader and make them curious
The purpose of your post is often to get people to click through to a page on your website. So how do you make sure they do? By ‘enticing’ them and enticing them into the text of your post.
Suppose you have a training course about which you want to post something. In your post, you are not going to share boring facts about the content of your training. But you respond to their emotions, wishes, and desires. For example: “Have you always wanted to take more time for yourself, completely guilt-free?” This triggers those to whom this applies and they will probably click through to read more.
The trick is to give just enough information and trigger the reader, without giving everything away or sharing boring content whereby they do not click on the link.
13. Use emotion
To really reach your reader, you need to put emotion into the text. These are some important emotions you can use:
Just look at what people share on social media: what gets commented on, what gets liked, and what goes viral. That always has to do with one of the emotions mentioned above.
Think carefully about what exactly moves your ideal customers, scares them, makes them proud, what they admire and what outrages them. Include that knowledge in the writing of your posts.
14. Make use of storytelling
You can think of storytelling as an inspiring way of communicating that connects people. Besides, it is a way to get your marketing message across.
Storytelling is a concept you can use as a guide in your posts. When you can tell a story well, you allow the reader to take a journey. They get a sense of who you are and why you are good at helping them.
When you tell the story really well, people know what it will be like to work with you. They will get a good feeling about it and will go out and buy your product or service.
Storytelling is interesting because with it you are consciously hooking into the life of your ideal customer. You tell a story by which your ideal customer can identify. This generates trust and connection with you and your business.
15. Make sure your texts are error-free
Mistakes are easily made: especially in posts because we often write them quickly in between. But even for these texts, it is important that they are written without errors.
I will give you some tips:
• Do not edit while you write. Write everything down first and check the texts again later.
• If you can, leave a day between writing and that second round of checking. That will definitely benefit your content.
• Print your text and then correct it. That works much better than on a screen.
• Read your text out loud. This way you will always find surprises in the text because it does not flow well somewhere.
• Is there something wrong? Then rewrite that bit instead of shifting words and sentences back and forth.
The fact is that at some point you become kind of ‘text blind’ when it comes to your own texts. That is why it is smart to have someone else look at it as well. That way, little things can always be ironed out. Because of this extra check, you can always be sure that your texts come across as professional.
16. Provide images that match the content
While this blog is about the text of your social media posts, the images are just as important on some platforms. Think about Instagram or Pinterest.
Canva is a great tool that allows you to create beautiful professional images. The free version already includes countless beautiful templates and useful elements that you can perfectly use for your posts.
When creating your images, you can include the following tips:
• Focus the images on your target audience. Look at what appeals to them.
• Use your own photo material. It is also fun if you are regularly in a picture.
• Use contrasting colors so your image stands out.
• Use your corporate colors in your images for a piece of recognition.
• Like everywhere, less is more.
17. Use hashtags
Hashtags are used on various social media. You can recognize these by the little icon # with a word behind it. If you click on them you will find all kinds of messages on the same subject.
Hashtags can be seen as drawers into which you put content. Each drawer has its own name, for example, ‘health’ or ‘flower arranging’. Throughout the day, people are pulling open those drawers (searching), for information or inspiration.
By placing your posts in relevant drawers (using relevant hashtags), everyone who looks in that drawer will see your content. So with hashtags, your posts are not only seen by your followers, but also by lots of other users. Because of this, hashtags are by far the best way to reach the people who are not following you yet, but who will be interested in your content.
18. Do not forget the call to action
There should be a call to action in every message. Its purpose is to get the reader to take a certain action. It is a link or redirect (for example, to your bio on Instagram). Or it is a question: like this post, tag someone, share this post, or subscribe now.
Make the text of your call to action clear and so enticing that the reader simply cannot avoid it and must click on it. Make sure you only use one call to action per post. If there are several, the reader has to choose and often nothing happens.
Get started with these tips to further optimize your social media texts. This way you work specifically on your visibility. Good luck!