Three Tips to Help Your Writing Not Suck

Social Media Marketing

So you are about to publish your client’s next post on their social media platforms. You skim it one last time, slide the mouse over the longed-for “publish” button, and…click.

It’s away.

Transmitted.

Flying through the internet.

Public. Seen. Exposed.

 

But what happens if you don’t have a basic understanding of composing well written and compelling copy? Failing to proofread your own work can be detrimental to the success of the client you are representing, and the firm you work with. We are professionals here, so the way in which we conduct our work, including our written conduct, should reflect this! But if you do not have a frame of reference and some basic best practices under your belt, and you publish your work…who knows what could happen.

See, if you are in Social Media Marketing, you most likely have to face this obviously large giant, glaring down at you. It’s up to you and up to me to develop our skill set so we can slay that giant, and prosper everyone around us. While it’s true that people make mistakes, as professionals, it is our goal to prosper others, we need to do everything we can to ensure that our work is the best it can be, and there are plenty of smiles not fading under a metaphorical sun.

So how can we better engage with our audience, produce eye-catching content, and keep the smile alive? Below are 3 tips for writing better, stronger content.

  1. Grammarly – This one is basic but absolutely essential. Grammarly is a free extension that you can download (they also have a Pro version that you can pay for) that is essentially spell-checker. As you are creating copy for your clients and you are typing furiously across the keyboard, it will gently point out when you misspell a word. There is nothing worse than composing an email, an important response, or even worse…a social media post, and finding a glaring typo. The dread! Typos create an unprofessional view of not only yourself but also the clients you are representing. This is one problem that can be easily resolved by downloading the Grammarly extension. It’s free and keeps your content looking that much more professional for your client base.
  2. Open Loops – I remember watching The Office a couple of years back. There was an episode where Jim and Pam finally (and quite scandalously if I might add) kiss. It was the long anticipated moment that we all deep down hoped for because they were so obviously into each other, and well…Roy was not the nicest guy. But then the episode cut and  at that point, I thought to myself, “Wait, what? Do they get together? Will they date? Will Roy punch Jim in his face?” So naturally, I binge-watched the next 10 episodes. Why did I do this? This was not an accident. The producers created a psychological effect called an Open Loop which “pulled” me to want to watch the next episode (or 10). The lack of resolution made me continue. Resolution is something we all crave. We can implement this same psychological principle to generate more leads. We need to create Open Loops within our copy that was to pull the audience to “watch 10 more episodes” of whatever “show” you are playing. Create a question or something that draws the reader in to continue reading by dangling something in front of them without giving everything upfront. This is an Open Loop.
  3. Star, Chain, Hook – The Star is you/your business/what you offer. The Chain is the surrounding, supporting evidence that validates the Star. Lastly, the Hook is the call to action. The key ingredient in this writing formula is the chain. The chain is the supporting facts/statistics/analytics/evidence that validates you and what you are offering (the Star). This is the factual and emotional argument that you are right, and your audience needs to join you. These facts form a chain that envelopes you to your future clients. This is where the call to action comes in. So you’ve presented the Star (you as a company or your services) and you have also laid out the Chain (the facts as to why going with you is more advantageous) and now it’s time for the Call to Action. At this point, you want to gently put pressure to encourage your readers to make a decision. Like Voldemort from Harry Potter. Just kidding. But you get the idea. Present who you are. Lay out the chain links of why you are the winner to go with, and then ask them to join your dark army.

Let’s say you are representing a coffee company’s social media campaign. What does this company’s definition of success look like? This is the motivation behind the star you are presenting to the public. This is the question that you are answering for others. Why should they buy their coffee? Figure this out, and present the star proudly and confidently to the general public. After this shiny beautiful star is presented, it’s time to reinforce why it’s the best coffee. It’s time to describe, link by link, evidence by evidence, why their coffee is the best. You could describe the low carbon footprint the company makes, the exquisite attention to detail they pour over every cup of coffee they make, and the social impact they strive to achieve. Lastly, the hook. A hook grabs people. Now we lay before our audience not only the reasons why this coffee is better than all others, but the reason they need it. This coffee is ethically sourced. This coffee supports these farmers. This coffee is the way coffee is supposed to be made. These hooks are nudging people to make a choice. This choice can be blatant: “Come on by today” or it can be not as obvious “We are open all day Saturday”. The choice is yours as you factor in other elements from your campaign.

With these 3 principals, your copywriting skills will hit the stratosphere! There are an endless plethora of social media marketing resources out there that are available. A lot of this content was inspired from content on Buffer’s website which is another great resource for those wanting to learn.

The marketing game is entirely other-centric. Our job is to help you and your job do well. To win. And because when you win, we win. By being proactive, we close the gap in preventing mistakes, creating better content, crushing the competitors, and making the world a better place. Let’s get writing!