There’s writing and then there’s writing for the internet. There’s a fine balance between the journalistic style of writing and slaying those social media captions. How do you capture the short attention span of users while serving them the information you want them to know? It’s all about finding the right balance.
In Carbon, our Copywriters are experts with balancing. Well, not physically because most of the time they’re at their desk but through experiences, they have learned how to give sufficient information and ensure that the content is still captivating and succinct.
Writing for social media is a unique genre that breaks out of the stringent rules that a journalist typically adheres to. It embraces hashtags and interesting emojis to add flavor to the content.
“Long-form articles make people stop and think. Writing for social media makes people stop and look,” shares Melvin, our Copywriter. Words are usually a complement to eye-catching visuals that entice readers. A good succinct piece of work will capture the attention of the digital natives because you’re able to capture their attention within a quick swipe of their finger.
Articles require more details and tend to be very descriptive. It relies mainly on the words to carry the story. Whereas, social media is consumed on-the-go thus less is more when you write. When information is bite-sized, they can digest what you intend to say quickly.
The good thing is how you can be conversational as a way to encourage engagement on your platforms. When you learn how to write succinctly and yet do not compromise on your content, it can still add value to the lives of readers.
Sue Roe, a Copywriter, thinks of writing for social media as having a conversation with a person for a very limited time. This helps her to keep her content short and sweet.
When we write for brands, you have to take into account the brand personality. The copy should embody the values and character of the brand. This helps to humanize the brand which is critical for social.
Refrain from abstract content for social media and avoid jargons as you don’t have the luxury of time to explain to the readers what you mean. These are some of the learning points Jessie experienced as a Copywriter.
The different social media platforms will alter the way you write as well. You can indulge with a few more words for Facebook, a good guide would be 80 to 120 words. Multiple hashtags are not very popular on this platform but if you’ve 1 powerful campaign hashtag in your copy, it’ll work very well too. This can be a tying factor for your marketing campaign across other platforms.
The big goal is to engage your audience and inspire them to take some form of action. When you write captions, think of how you can value-add. For example, using humour and wit to enhance the visuals. Another way is to include a few appropriate emojis to add personality to the post.
Most importantly, the content you write has to be: Valuable.
There are too many click-baits flooding the timeline of online users. Hence, strive to write in a sincere way and your content could get readers to linger a bit longer. The best captions are usually concise and are insightful or have an entertainment factor.
Don’t forget to include a call-to-action to increase brand engagement with your target audience.
Let us know in the comment section below your best tips when writing for social media. Give yourself some time as you learn how to balance between writing with the rules of copywriting and playing with the potential that social media opens you to!
This article was first published by Isabella Cordelia Chua on 20 June 2018.