How to Write Engaging Content for Social Media

Ashley Merscher

Jun 16, 2020

Social media content writing is so important because that’s where the people are. Take Instagram, for example. Instagram is the sixth most visited website on the internet, with over one billion people using the platform every month. And they’re not just there to like pictures; every day, 200 million Instagram users visit a business site, and 130 million of them use the shopping feature. In 2020, 3.81 billion people used social media platforms, nearly half of the world’s population.

Basically, if you don’t market your business, enterprise, or nonprofit using social media, you’re missing out on a huge audience. But with so many users and profiles, how can you compete? At Zeal Marketing Group, we dive deep into the world of social media marketing, but one of the most important aspects is good social media content writing. Yes, photos are important, too, but highly informative and engaging words pull readers in and convert them into customers.

What is Social Media Content?

Content writing can take on many forms, and social media is more nuanced than what meets the eye. It’s not just pretty photos and witty captions; there’s a lot more that goes into a social media content plan. Most importantly, several platforms require different types of content, and therefore, different strategies.

Here are the six most popular platforms (currently) and what type of content works best for each:

  • Instagram: As you may guess, photos are the most important aspect of a good Instagram post. High-quality images or videos perform best, but well-structured captions that are meaningful are nearly just as important.
  • Youtube: You obviously need a dynamic video to stick out on Youtube, but there are some content writing aspects that impact your reach. Your user name, video title, and video description all require strategic wording.
  • Facebook: Users have more wiggle room here, as Facebook posts can be photos, videos, random thoughts, shared articles or products, and more. What you write, however, is what’s most important. It can be short and sweet, long and pensive, or anything in between. It all depends on your target.
  • Twitter: Ah, Twitter. This little beast requires a word wizard to create engaging and shareable material in just 280 characters. You need a good strategy to grow on Twitter.
  • TikTokRising in popularity in 2020, TikTok is on every marketer’s mind. It’s all about short, entertaining videos and strategic captions. It has a huge reach, but it’s not great at conversions, at least not yet.
  • Pinterest: You can use Pinterest to drive traffic to your website, so content writing strategies for this platform are short, concise, and use strategic language.

As you can see from this list, social media content writing varies from short, concise captions using strategic words, phrases, and language to long and personal stories that engage audiences. Different platforms call for different strategies, but in the end, the common goal is to increase conversions. You want your post to do something: generate a “like” or “follow,” get a reader to click on your website, convert a long-time looker into a buyer, or increase subscribers to build more ad revenue.

Social Media Writers

Social media writers combine two things: experienced, savvy, and knowledgeable marketers and excellent writers. You want both of these characteristics because social media content writing is more than just writing — you must also understand the world of social media marketing. For this reason alone, many businesses hire professional writers that provide these skills.

At Zeal Marketing Group, we follow this rule. Although we have general marketing writers that can compose an amazing, high-converting blog article, website page, or press release, we leave the social media content writing to our social experts. They are the writers who understand how to engage and build an audience properly and convert their followers.

Writing for Social Media: 7 Tips and Tools

Our social media writers want to give you a little head start, so they’ve shared their top seven writing for social media tips and tools.

#1 — Engage Your Audience While Sticking to Your Brand

The number one most important social media writing strategy is to engage your audience. What does that mean, exactly? Think of it as shopping for a cake (because we love cake). Would you buy a plain white sheet cake or a colorful layered one with frosted flowers? Your writing should engage the reader, meaning draw them in with some form of strategy (or frosting, if you will). This could be a shocking fact about your industry, an interesting tidbit about your business, or a personal story. Whatever it is, make sure it hooks your readers, so they want more.

One thing to remember about social media is that it’s meant to be more personal than other marketing forms. Don’t be afraid to go behind the scenes and give your followers an inside look — people love this! Or, get personal, so your followers feel more connected to you. But if you get more personal, don’t lose your brand in the process. Whatever your brand voice and tone is — light-hearted, fun and witty, serious and professional — stick to it.

#2 — Know the Rules: Text Length, Hashtags, Image Size, Etc.

The rules of social media seem endless, and they’re always changing. Luckily, most marketers (including ours) find this to be a fun challenge! But to prepare, they always stay on top of the rules of social media. These include things like:

  • Text and character length
  • Image sizes — here’s our complete guide to image sizes across all platforms
  • Hashtag use
  • How many times (and when) to post

When you understand these general rules and guidelines, you can optimize your social media content writing with the right words and phrases that hook your audience quickly and with entertainment.

#3 — Use a Writing Tool

Not everyone is a grammar or writing expert. Luckily, a few writing tools can help you catch mistakes, advise on sentence structure and flow, guide your voice and tone, regulate how readable your writing is to your audience, and keep your thoughts organized. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Grammarly
  • Hemingway
  • Ulysses
  • Evernote
  • Cliché Finder

If you want to know more about our favorite writing, editing, and organizational tools for social media content writing, give us a shout. Or, let us know in the comments if we’re missing one of your favorite writing tools — we love discovering helpful sites and apps!

#4 — Always Include a Call to Action

Do you see what we just did there? Up there, do you see it?

We gave you a Call to Action (CTA) by telling you to contact us with any questions or leave a comment with helpful advice. Every single social media post should include a CTA. If not, then you aren’t giving your followers or readers a way to reach or connect with you. Some might still go to your profile to find links, but that takes time and effort. In the world of social media, most will keep scrolling.

CTAs are easy to implement in social media. Post a link or use the swipe up function (in Instagram for those business profiles with over 10K followers), ask a question, or request a like or a comment. CTAs help you convert viewers, readers, and lurkers into followers, buyers, and supporters.

#5 — Get Help with Writer’s Block

As a social media writer, it can be a challenge to churn out so much content. Some of us fall into — gasp — writer’s block! If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry, it’s natural. Luckily, there are a few ways to get out of the writer’s slump.

  1. Take a Break. A break, I don’t know her? Aside from your physical health (get up and move!), taking a break will do wonders for your head, too. Even a quick stroll around the block can help you relax and free up your mind for some new ideas.
  2. Use a Tool. We love HubSpot’s topic generator tool. It’s meant for blog topics and titles, but you can use it to inspire social media post ideas.
  3. Listen to the Experts. There’s no need always to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at what the social media experts are up to and follow their lead by catering the idea to your brand.
  4. Follow the Trends. Social media trends are popular for a reason, even if they grow old quickly. Jump on board at the start, so your audience is still interested and has fun with it!

#6 — Develop Your Voice Over Time

When you first get started with social media content writing, it can be difficult to feel confident in your voice. Don’t think about it too much! Just write. The more you write, the faster you’ll develop your writing voice. And remember, with social media, it’s all about personal authenticity. Be real!

As you practice, consider your brand and expect things to change over time. Nothing successful will stay stagnant, so go with the flow and watch how you, your social media accounts, and your brand voice evolve.

#7 — Take Risks and Study Analytics

As mentioned above, you should follow trends and mimic the greats. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to take risks and think outside of the box. How did a trend start in the first place? By someone being creative and taking a chance! That can be you.

However, don’t forget about your analytics. This data is priceless and will save you a lot of time and energy. Your analytics summarize what your audience likes, what they react to, and when they’re on social media. It’s like a roadmap telling you when and what to post, taking the guesswork out of the process. Play around, have fun, take risks, but always follow your data, too.

Engage Your Followers with Social Media Content Writing, or Hire a Professional

We hope these tips and tools help you get started with your social media content writing. When in doubt, always follow our number one rule: engage your followers and readers with interesting, entertaining, and/or personal writing. If you feel stuck or don’t have time to focus on social media marketing, hire a professional. We offer content writing and marketing services at Zeal Marketing Group, so please contact us with any questions.

Published On: January 31st, 2021 / Categories: General, Writing / Tags: /

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