Copywriting is the ever-so-essential skill of communicating the written word in the world of marketing. Surprisingly to some, in the visual world that is social media, writing copy has become increasingly significant.
So much attention goes towards design and video content that we often leave copywriting on the table as a non-essential afterthought. Scraps perhaps for a junior intern to pick up.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Copy is the thread that runs through the entire scope of creative campaigns and eye-catching visuals. Because content is there to serve, facilitate, and communicate an idea worth sharing. Not only do graphics themselves contain words and thoughts but when it comes to social media, captions are a massive part of stopping the scroll and grabbing the attention of those in your potential audience. In a world of information overload, consumers are becoming more and more desensitised to beautiful visuals in themselves and words for word’s sake.
The art of writing copy is to become a broker of meaning and to bring new understanding and genuine value to the end-user.
Gone are the days where pretty pictures will entertain. From our own understanding of using Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms, all of us know that we are very quick to lose attention, engaging with the posts that we feel are of only the highest possible quality. When every other brand or business is solely focusing on snazzy visuals, by bringing your copywriting game up to scratch, you’ll soon begin to stand out from the crowd. Here are some quick tips and thoughts for writing copy for social media captions:
1. Lean into the long-form
When it comes to caption lengths, don’t worry about putting out too much. If you’re writing about something truly interesting and engaging then your superfans will love to hear more about it.
For the rest of the world that can’t be bothered to read past the first sentence, perhaps these people aren’t that into you or your brand anyways.
Write to your target audience, serve those who are really interested and don’t worry about pleasing everyone (because it’s a recipe to pleasing no one at all).
2. Fudge up your format
Although it’s helpful to try and find one tone of voice to represent your brand identity well, don’t feel like you have to be stuck in one type of text formatting. Social media provides a fairly limited ability to format your text but it’s important to think about it nonetheless.
ALL CAPS can be a great way to present a headline or leading idea. Multiple paragraphs are key, as is plenty of white space.
Just be aware that the normal rules of traditional writing don’t always apply to social media captions.
For best results in preserving formatting with Instagram, make sure you write your caption in another programme (such as notes on your phone) and copy it in.
3. Try to share one thought
Subpoints can be helpful of course but try to keep one central thread to each post. What is the one story you’re trying to tell or the one lesson you’re trying to teach? By focusing on something specific, you’ll cut through the noise of your competitors.
4. Add some value
This might seem obvious but really take some time to consider what your target audience wants and needs to hear.
If you can solve their problems, then you’re going to have a willing audience.
Think about the brands and the people that you are excited to hear more from on social media. Without question, all of them are adding some sort of value to you. Social is not just about sales pitches (although you can litter them in from time to time). We’ve become the most advertised generation so there is generally a very low tolerance to brash or overt advertising. Play the long game of brand awareness by being helpful rather than the short sell that rarely connects anyways.
5. Get on that emoji game
If appropriate for your brand, then why not jump into all things emojis. It’s a great way to add some flair and visual fun into your captions. It can be done in a way that is tasteful and thought-provoking. This is social media after all so if you can, that sense of playful fun is a great addition.
6. Test your traction
The best way to improve at something is to do it a lot. Writing copy and content creation is exactly the same. The more pieces of content you put out there, the more you are testing its appeal with your target audience.
Don’t worry about getting things perfect straight away but do have a go.
Your stats are crucial so do be checking them. With Instagram, don’t forget to look past the simplicity of likes that don’t always tell the full picture. More important is to also check the number of saves and shares you have. Any Instagram influencer can gather likes quickly (particularly of the model variety) but how many of those liking actually engage in or buy the product they are showcasing? That’s why it’s important to check out the full range of statistics.
7. Read it out loud
Finally, this is such a simple key to perfecting your copy. Just read it out loud and see what it sounds like. Learn to become self-aware and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Keep tweaking until you’re happy.
We hope this blog post has been helpful. We’ve been writing copy and creating a lot of content for a while now which has given us a unique heads up in how to engage with an audience on social media.
Get in contact to find out how we can help you take your brand or business to the next level. Just email [email protected] to reach out.