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How to write social media posts, without sounding like an idiot

Posted by Stuart Walters on December 13, 2019

As a copywriter, your job is to write something that sells without sounding too sales-y, to write something that’s friendly without being too informal, to write something that’s engaging but not too cheesy. You get my drift. So, how do you do this? Our in-house copywriter has some top tips for you. 


Always think about your target audience first 

It’s so important to think about your target audience, we cannot stress this enough. No bit of copy will ever sell anything if it’s written to the wrong target audience. Think about it, writing with abbreviations and emojis to a target audience of OAPs is just not going to sell. Or, writing about millennials problems to babyboomers – again, not going to sell.  

Before you start creating your content you’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think about what they will respond, which might not necessarily be what you respond to personally. A good copywriter will be able to shut off the side of their brain that tells them what is best for their own target audience and put themselves in the shoes of a completely different audience. Sometimes this requires a lot more research than you might want to do but trust me, it’s worth it. What are your competitors doing? How do your target audience communicate on social media themselves? Is there any linguistic theory you can apply to your copy? 

Linguistics plays such a huge role in marketing and copywriting, and most marketers don’t even realise. Understanding the social implications of certain words, phrases, and even emojis can be key to writing high-quality copy that really sells. When should you use an emoji and how do people respond to this emoji depending on their social background? And how do people communicate with brands on social media, is this different for your industry? All really important questions to explore before you even start writing. 


Draft, redraft, and redraft again 

It’s important to not always go with the first thing that ends up on computer screen. Sometimes, this might be the most amazing, innovative piece of copy in the world. But often, it’s not and you do need to spend a little bit of time editing and redrafting your content. If it’s just a daily Tweet then obviously don’t waste loads of time on it. But, if it’s a really important campaign with a huge budget behind it, we would always recommend taking the time to think of potential options and redraft your existing idea a few times to really perfect the content. 

On this note, it is always a good idea to get somebody else to proofread your content. With social media, people often dismiss the importance of not making mistakes. Obviously, it’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake and there are ways around this. But it’s really important to get somebody else to read through your work to make sure you haven’t done anything completely terrible!  



Do more research 

Good content will always, always have been thoroughly research. When you think you’ve done enough research, do a little bit more. Copywriters often do lots of research for blog posts and other long-form pieces of content but forget about the importance of doing research for social media content. So, to stand out from the crowd it is important to make sure you’re on top of your research game.  

Can you back up your post with some decent statistics? Or, can you find a good quote to supplement your post? What are other people saying about this topic? It’s all important stuff to know about find out before you plan your content. 

If you’re planning content in advance and creating a content schedule with important dates etc. look back at what happened on that date last year. What can you learn from your own socials? And what can you learn from the competitors? Are there templates you can repurpose or should you create something more engaging? Doing your research will only help you to become a better social media copywriter. 


Inject some brand personality into your content 

If you’re a freelance copywriter, an agency, or an in-house copywriter, you always need to get the tone right. The consumer needs to feel like that brand has its own unique voice and not be able to distinguish between different copywriters. This sounds obvious, but it’s particularly relevant for social media content where posts are extremely regular and a consistent tone needs to be carried across multiple platforms. So, some top tips to keep tone consistent: 

  • Establish brand guidelines for things like emojis, slang and other areas of language that may be grey areas for copywriters (if you’re a copywriter, ask for these if it’s not obvious!) 
  • Familiarise yourself with previous content and note any consistencies. This could be things like use of punctuation or use of statistics, what makes this brand unique? 
  • Practice changing your tone on a piece of content that could be used for various brands. Take some quite generic and practice editing it for different, potentially hypothetical brands, to get yourself familiar with the process 

It will really enhance your content to inject the brand’s tone and personality into your posts. It seems like a trivial comment to make for a copywriter, but it often ignored for social media content and not taken as seriously as it is for example, website content. 


Hopefully you are now an even better social media copywriter than you were before!