Tips for Writing Engaging Social Media Posts
(Disclaimer: Many factors will be important in determining your actual results on social media and no guarantees are made that you will achieve results similar to ours or anybody elses, in fact, no guarantees are made that you will achieve any results from our ideas and techniques.)
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but social media marketing techniques that worked a couple of years ago will no longer work today. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn are no longer focused on business needs because of the recent privacy changes and fake news influences in the media. Instead, these social platforms are returning to their roots of being individual-focused, providing meaningful interactions on the platforms that are relevant, and protecting the private information of the platform users in an effort to apologize and get back in the good graces of their users.
Because of this massive strategy shift, businesses wishing to stay relevant will also need to shift the way they do business on social media. Businesses should no longer view social media platforms as their primary source of leads and prospecting, but use these platforms to build their customer relationships, provide valuable resources, and provide a level of customer service they cannot give anywhere else.
So how can businesses do this? It’s simple: They need to ensure the types of posts they create are engaging and important to their customers, and not too promotional or selling too much. Businesses need to demonstrate that they care about their customers more than the almighty dollar; that they are in business to provide solutions to customer problems. Businesses that can do this will reap huge rewards and be light years ahead of their competitors.
Engagement (the likes/comments/shares on social media posts) shows that the information is relevant and what the individuals want to see. But don’t use engagement-bait tactics like asking for those likes/comments/shares or you will be penalized by the platforms and no one will see your posts.
So how can you write engaging posts to get your users talking, especially if you start to feel “stuck”? Here are a few tips to get the creative juices flowing:
Create Captions with Intention
Don’t put off writing your business social media posts to the last minute or the writing will appear rushed. Think about how you want to connect with your audience – do you want them to take a specific action after reading your post? Or are you simply providing a free resource? Knowing the reason behind creating the post and being able to capture the attention of your audience is the first step in creating an engaging post.
People enjoy giving advice and sharing their opinions. Writing a sentence about lattes, or sharing information won’t cut it – find a way to turn your basic thought into a question where your audience can provide their opinions and you’ll start seeing conversations taking place on your posts. For example, instead of “I love iced lattes”, write, “Iced lattes in the summer are my favorite – what is your go-to summer drink?”
Remember that open-ended questions usually drum up more conversation than general “yes” or “no” questions.
Include a Call-To-Action (Occasionally)
People love to help you out, especially if they like your brand, but sometimes they need a little reminder to do so; asking them to take a specific action like visiting your blog or answer your questions is a great way to get them to engage with your post.
Just remember … not every post should have a call-to-action! Asking for people to do something too often could start to turn people away from your brand – I mean would you like a friend who only asks you to do things for them? The relationship needs to be reciprocal – online relationships are the same as if you interacted with the people in real life!
Add Value to Your Customers and Viewers
The old adage is true for social media: “It’s better to give than receive”. Use your social media posts to share educational or informational articles that your customers will find valuable, or sharing a free resource that will solve their problems, or even sharing relevant and helpful inspiration that shows your brand cares about them. Giving something to your customers will encourage them to give back to you. Your customers will in turn comment to say thank you, or even share your posts to their family & friends.
Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes
This is perhaps the most important tip – thinking as a customer will help you identify challenges, problems, or sales objections that you can help overcome with your social media posts. Think about how you would react and respond to social media posts as your customer. Take a step back and consider the following questions:
- Why would my audience care?
- Would I have something to say if I saw this post in my feed?
- Am I giving my audience something to respond to?
- Would my ideal audience or client find this interesting?
- Does this caption reflect me (or my brand)?
Be Yourself – Don’t Copy What Other Companies Are Doing
If you and your brand are more laid-back, or prefer to add humor to situations, or maybe you are more formal, be true to your brand’s voice. After all, you’re trying to break through the noise & the clutter on social media; you’re trying to be different so you stand out. Remain authentic to your voice in your communications and you will generate more brand equity where people can easily identify posts that are associated to your brand.
Tell a Story
What’s more appealing: a lecture about a something that you know is important, or a creative story about the same subject that keeps your attention and hanging on every word?
Telling your brand’s story in a way that your audience can relate to, that evokes memories of similar situations in a way that shows your brand’s personality is the most effective way to get your message heard. Telling a story can help create moments of real connection between you and your customers, and once they feel that connection, they’re going to tell others about how great your business is – word of mouth experiences is far more valuable than any advertising campaign can give you.
When you’re stuck with writer’s block and feel a lack of creativity, go back to the basics. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, tell a relatable story that evokes a response, and most importantly … don’t talk *at* your customers, create a space that encourages conversation so you’re talking *with* them.