How to write great copy for social media

Macon Richardson
Macon Richardson

Jul 7, 2021

Strong copy on social media can get your content in front of more eyeballs, drive conversions and boost your account’s overall engagement. Crafting the perfect caption can take some time, but the payoff is totally worth it. Read on for Idea Kraft’s 4 key best practices for writing social media copy.

1 – Keep it short and sweet.

The biggest advantage of using succinct language on social is pretty straightforward— the shorter the copy, the higher the likelihood that users will read it in its entirety. That means users are also more likely to reach and click your call-to-action when you keep it short and sweet. Plus, punchy copy guarantees your key message stays front-and-center and doesn’t disappear behind a “see more” link. Need some hard and fast character guidelines? Keep your Facebook copy under 80 characters– this is proven to boost engagement over 80% compared to longer posts. On Instagram, try to stay under 125 characters. This will prevent the end of your caption from disappearing behind ellipsis. Similarly, LinkedIn posts read best around 100 characters— the “see more” link appears at about 140 characters. Twitter allows for 280 characters, but just because you have all that space doesn’t mean you have to use it! Tweets between 70-100 characters perform best.

2 – Hook your reader in the first line.

Attention spans online are short, but a scroll-stopping first line can keep eyeballs on your post. The job of your opening sentence is to persuade users to keep reading and engage with your content by speaking directly to the needs of your target market. Lead with a key value proposition— consumers don’t care about your product per se, they care about how your product will benefit them. Promoting a sale or announcing a new product launch? Let readers know why they should care in the first sentence, and watch engagement stack up. And remember— a good first line draws readers in, while a bad one tells them to keep scrolling.

3 – Sprinkle in some emojis.

Emojis can give your caption that extra little zhoosh it needs to excite, persuade and convert. By adding a touch of color and personality, a well-placed emoji can provide a quick fix to a stiff Tweet or Facebook post. Using emojis in your marketing communications emphasizes your brand personality— which in turn can help consumers feel an authentic connection to your brand. As a form of shorthand communication, emojis can help lower your character count and get your point across fast (hello Tips #1 and #2!). Find yourself overusing the same generic words again and again? Try substituting an emoji to keep your content fresh. Most importantly, emojis can boost your click-through and engagement rates. They’re the ? on top of a thoughtfully written caption. Just be careful not to overuse them— too many emojis can make your caption appear spammy and decrease readability.

4 – Get strategic about hashtags.

Studies show that when it comes to Instagram hashtags, less is more. Posts with six or more hashtags see lower engagement, so use five or fewer. Plus, popular and generic hashtags like #design or #retail won’t get more eyes on your post— these hashtags are flooded by millions of posts from around the world 24/7. Instead, get strategic about your hashtag usage. Only include hashtags that are relevant to the post and your brand voice, and try to incorporate them into the copy instead of dropping them all at the end. Create and own branded hashtags like #brandnamelove or #mybrandname to boost brand awareness, build brand loyalty and easily access user-generated content.

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