When writing a post, documentation, marketing content, or training materials, keeping the audience in mind is an important step in producing effective content. With writing engaging posts, you can build trust and brand loyalty. Readers want to be entertained, but they also want to be educated. Statistically people want to benefit from what they do, read and consume. It is important to provide them with content that brings them value! Having a social media strategy and action plan based on your business goals, resources and time, is essential to any business success. You need to create social media posts and content that speak to your target audience and inspire them to take action.
In this article, I’ll share my social media content writing tips for creating posts that will get the attention of your potential clients and inspire more engagement.
1.Do your Research
You need to take the time to truly understand your audience and make your posts highly relevant to your target group. Best place to start is by understanding what needs, obstacles or challenges they have? Pick a need or challenge that might be a high priority for them right now, then develop content and social media posts which provide them with a solution to said issue. Also, it is beneficial to share success stories from your satisfied customers via case studies, interviews or reviews. This will help your target audience to envision their own success as a result of using your product or solution and already put them in a positive mind set about what you offer.
2. Use appropriate lingo
Understand and learn what language your ideal clients use to communicate their needs or challenges. Use this language when writing your posts to ensure your content resonates with your audience. This will help to show them that you truly understand them and their challenges thus you will be able to cater to their needs. For example, a post you write on LinkedIn for senior-level executives will read very different to a post you would write on Facebook for new moms. These two groups of people have different challenges and points of view, also their language. The exact phrasing they use to speak about their needs and challenges, varies significantly also.
3. Get to the point
In short—keep it short! Write your posts in a way that is simple and quick to read. I came across an interesting study about writing at an eight-grade level. What this means is that you should reduce the complexity in your writing as much as possible. Not to worry, you won’t lose credibility by doing so, and your readers will comprehend and retain your ideas more reliably. As a result, you have a higher likelihood of reaching more people. Another great way is to use captions, bullets and lists where possible to make your content easier to take in and try to keep the paragraphs to two or three sentences.
Studies show that you have on average 8 seconds to catch your readers attention. Many people don’t generally read beyond the headlines, so it’s extremely important that your headline draws attention and makes readers want to know more. They should be short and hit the sweet spot with carefully selected wording. To write a clickable headline, try this:
- A/B test your headlines. The value of doing this is that you learn very quickly what headline formats work well for your target audience
- Use numbers. Numbers work, and big obscure numbers work the best. Why? Because it promises more value, and hopefully delivers on that promise. Note that using digits outperforms the use of words. Structure your headline with placing the number at the start
- Create a sense of urgency by adding the word ‘now’ or ‘today’ at the end of your headline. Alternatively, you could increase urgency by implying the effects of ignorance, for example, «10 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make When Writing a Post»
- Use interesting adjectives to add emotions
- Ask a question. Our brains are programmed in a way that we are left unsatisfied when we see a question mark but don’t know the answer. The instinctive reaction to seeing a question mark is to find the answer, this often results with the reader clicking
5. Call to action
At the end of your content, consider encouraging your audience with what action you’d like them to take next by including a call to action (CTA). Without one, most people won’t take any action after reading your content, even if they enjoyed it and gained value from it. CTAs come in different forms and have different purposes, use one that fits your desired results most:
- Send them to a landing page
- Direct them to your website
- Get them to subscribe to your newsletter
- Subscribe to a free trial
- Download content
- Ask them to connect with you on other social media channels
- Ask them to like or share your social media posts
- Ask a question they can answer in the comments
- Direct them to another piece of content
6. Keep it positive
Don’t be afraid to share your opinion or take a stand on something important to you and your brand. But there’s a difference between taking a stand and attacking or criticizing others. Whatever you do, avoid finding fault with anyone or any business publicly. Criticizing others is not only unprofessional but such actions can hurt any trust or credibility you’ve built with your existing followers and will damage your brand reputation.
7. Promote your posts
You can write the most engaging blog post in the world, but it won’t matter if people won’t see it. Try these tactics to reach your audience:
- Most obvious way if you have a strong email and social media following is to share your posts on all your platforms
- Take advantage of, for example: Facebook, Google Plus communities and LinkedIn Groups to promote your posts among your peers. Being active within those groups will help generate activity in your post outreach
- Use web tools to get the word out and increase engagement
- You can also pay to promote a post on Facebook or sponsor a tweet, or a LinkedIn post
8. Write on different topics
You want people to value what you have to offer and trust you as an expert in your field, so writing about your industry is vital, but if you only cover topics related to your products or services, you’ll miss out on opportunities to connect. Share tips that will be useful to your target audience, post about valuable lessons you’ve learned, take advantage of the news of (non-controversial) current events. You can creatively personalize your story, so it loops its way back to your brand or industry.
9. Use images, infographics, or videos
It is a fact that visual content is more engaging, no wonder there’s a saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. An image or video can often stand alone in social media posts while still delivering the full message to your audience. For best results, customize each piece of visual content for the platform you’re posting it on to ensure your message is being shared.
Make every sentence count as you work toward creating flow in your posts. Try to change smoothly from one section to the next, working in crucial keywords and phrases naturally. Best way to test your flow is to read your post aloud when it’s done. If anything feels distracting to you, it probably will be distracting to your readers as well.
The most important piece of advice when it comes to social media is to be authentic. That is the key that will help your content connect with your audience. When in doubt, remember that ‘short and sweet’ tends to perform better than long-form content on most platforms. Experiment with your posts to find what your audience responds to best. Try posting different lengths and forms of content at different times of the day and with persistence and a methodical approach, you’ll find what works the best.