Dear retailers, having a profile and posting once in a while isn’t enough to get more customers from social media. Your content should be good enough to get your message across and convince people to buy from you.
There’s a lot of business to be made: 82 percent of smartphone owners use their phones to get more info about products online before buying them in-store. Since social media is a popular place for product research, your content should be as engaging and persuasive as possible.
Specifically, you should master writing for two kinds of content: posts and ads. Posts are the biggest and the most time-consuming thing. It’s also a critical one, as many customers view products in posts (the folks at Instagram didn’t create Shoppable Posts for nothing). Next, ads also are an important thing if you decide to spread the news about an upcoming sale or something like that. They’re more targeted and could help with sales and brand/product awareness.
So, learning about social media copywriting – writing posts and ads – is important for retailers because it:
- Makes people like and/or follow your company (makes you look good, popular, and important)
- Convinces people to talk about your brand/product in comments (and hopefully in conversations with friends and family, too)
- Nurtures loyal customers if used to inform how you’re working on achieving your mission etc. (40 percent of customers follow brands to stay updated on their news and projects)
- Encourages to buy both online and in-store by talking to them through a convincing message
In this article, we’re going to review how to write engaging social media posts and ads to help you achieve these goals.
Social Media Copywriting Guide: Posts
First stop, posts. These help with increasing sales, raising awareness of products or your brand, and keeping your followers updated.
1. Solve Problems
Let’s be honest here, our main goal on social media is to sell. However, being direct about it is a bad idea that can make you look like a spammer. To avoid that, you need to write every social media post with the needs of your target consumer in mind.
Simply put, instead of talking about how great your products are, write about the ways how they can help your customers. This will make your posts more interesting and less “salesy.”
One way to think about it is to write about how a product solves a problem your customers have. Here’s an example.
The post says that if the customer has a problem with choosing the right product roadmap for their business, it can help by providing four great ideas.
2. Add Stories to Your Copy
One good way to attract the attention of social media users is to write posts based on a story. For example, this post from Adidas uses a quote by an influencer who helped the brand produce a more environmentally friendly product.
A short story like this appeals to environmentally conscious people living lifestyles that help sustain life.
Here are some ideas for stories for you:
- A story of a customer you helped to achieve a goal
- A story of an influencer or your collaboration with that influencer that could be interesting to your target audience
- User-generated content based on a customer story
Be cautious with storytelling, though: customers can tell if a story is unauthentic or a brand is trying too hard. That’s why many retailers are increasingly turning to professional writers and tools like Grammarly, ClassyEssay, WriteScout, and TopEssayWriting.
It’s also recommended to check out reviews of writing tools from users at sites like WritingJudge to know the top-rated options.
3. Encourage Customers to Engage
Although your followers are happy with receiving information on sales and discounts, your long-term social media game shouldn’t be about just sales.
Another major goal should be connecting with customers through direct messages and comments to increase their loyalty and your brand image. This includes:
- Hiring a social media manager to answer support-related questions sent via direct messages
- Responding to customer comments and posts
Important: Always Use Visuals to Improve Performance of Social Media Copy
Text is important, but social media content is incomplete without visuals. Ensure all posts you share with your followers have at least one image, otherwise, you’ll be missing out on an opportunity to increase engagement by 2.3 times.
Social Media Copywriting Guide: Ads
Next stop, social media ads. They allow promoting products to specific groups of customers in different geolocations, so they’re highly targeted.
1. Offer Something Relevant and Meaningful
If you decide through all the trouble of making social media ads, then you should ensure they have real value for your customers, according to Ann Dwyer, a social media marketing specialist at BeGraded. “Your proposition should be focused on the interest, goal, or issue faced by the target audience, so the copy should support this,” adds Ann.
For example, this post below goes straight to the main benefit for the customer and encourages them to share the video with the user of the product.
The whole message is short, clear, and gives a good idea of the value it offers.
So, if you promote something with ads, make sure it’s relevant and interesting enough for people to engage with. The copy plays a deciding role here, obviously, as it becomes the only weapon to get people to click on it.
2. Keep it on Point
“One of the worst things you could do as a social media copywriter is to write a long copy for an ad,” says Damian Rowe, a copywriter at Studyker. “Think about it: your customers see a bunch of ads in their feed every day, so they won’t stop unless you make it really easy for them to read what you have to offer.”
One way to make them read the whole thing is to make the copy short and to-the-point. It removes anything that doesn’t add immediate value and makes the benefits obvious right away. For example, this ad from Facebook is an excellent illustration of a copy that can be read in a few seconds.
This ad has a higher chance of being read than longer ones, so feel free to experiment with super short copies like this.
3. Use a Question to Grab Attention
A question is a great way to make customers stop for a second and think about the answer. There are two ways to go about it: start your ad copy with a question or make the entire copy question-based.
For example, this ad below shows a good question-based copy.
Another example, below, starts with a question and is accompanied by a second sentence that speaks to the benefit for the customer.
One important thing, though: if you don’t answer your question with your copy, make sure to give hints in the content preview image like on the ad above. The answer, of course, should be the solution, product, or service you sell.
4. Write Calls to Actions (CTA)
If you’d like to lead the user to the product page or another place on the web, you can ask them to do so with short CTA (the second sentence in the ad below).
Always make the CTA the last sentence to make it more memorable.
Social media with its millions of potential shoppers is far too valuable to pass on as a sales opportunity for retailers. To make it work, though, you need to learn the best practices of social media copywriting.
This was an easy introduction to writing copy for social media posts and ads. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to approach this project and take your social media marketing one step further.
Here’s a guide to direct selling on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest if you’re looking for more insights.
About the writer: Bridgette Hernandez is a social media enthusiast and a senior copywriter who works at Subjecto. She enjoys writing about all things tech, but her real passion these days is writing compelling social media ads and in-depth ebooks on social media content marketing. Aside from writing, Bridgette likes to binge-watch Parks and Recreation and Friends.
- 5 Tips to Turn Your Instagram Posts into Purchases Blog
- Reducing Retail Shrink as Easy as 1-2-3 Blog
- When It Comes to Shopper Traffic, Accuracy is Everything Blog
- Ensuring Your Retail Analytics Platform Has the Punch to Move the Needle for Your Business Blog