Like all good content, the copy needs to be clear, follow a style guide and engage an audience to inspire action. Now, more than ever, it’s important that social media content is relevant, timely and engaging. Consumers are facing a time of uncertainty and organisations are trying to navigate the new norm.

Before we look at social advertising, it’s important to understand your content architecture - what you're trying to say and how are you going to say it. Through understanding this, and nailing your visual representation, you’ll be in the right place to build a solid paid strategy to drive your audience down the funnel. So, let’s get started.

Let’s Talk About Language

As with other communication channels, the brand tone of voice on social needs to speak in the same language as your audience. Especially during times of unrest, we need to make sure that, as a brand, we’re brave with our opinions and inspire action, not contribute to fear and uncertainty. Successfully understanding this will make your copy both engaging and relevant. This is the case for both dark advertisements and in-feed social content.

Some general rules for tone of voice include:

  • Using Active Voice, avoiding Passive Voice.
  • Avoid slang and jargon. Write in plain English.
  • Write positively.

Copy for Social Posts and Advertisements

Often, successful social content (that delivers on KPIs) answers who, what, when, where and why. Answering these questions allows your audience to better engage with content, especially when advertising to a new audience segment. This also creates a better-quality lead when someone clicks through to your website.

Generally, it’s important to think about your target demographics (or persona’s) pain points – and solve a problem for your consumer. Understanding your audience may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a fundamental step that helps grow your audience and drive conversions.

With that being said, if your content is relevant, topical and answers a business need - your community will be active and engaged. 

Continue to Test Copy Length and Inclusions

More often than not, less is more. When talking about social media, ad copy in particular should not be more than three lines on a mobile device. 

So, keep your messaging clear and concise - without substituting your brand or messaging for fewer words. If you can use three words, 125 characters or less, do so.

Facebook Posts with 80 characters or less get 66% higher engagement. Plus, less text allows for greater emphasis on the visual creative that’s accompanying it.

For advertisements, test ad copy and build strategy from there. Using Dynamic Advertising in Ads Manager is a great way to do this. 

For example, for social advertisements that focus on Reach, it’s often best to use less copy and a video for the creative. While, for Link Clicks and Landing Page View optimisations, it’s best to build out content and ideas based on your holistic strategy. This might mean that you have one or two sentences per advertisement and build a range of advertisements that consumers will see at different stages of the funnel.

The general idea is: 

  • Share your value proposition when focusing on Reach.
  • USPs and resources when driving people with Link Clicks (Landing Page View optimisation). NOTE: This will only work if you have an Active Pixel.
  • Then selling directly with your Conversion advertising.

Create a customer journey with fresh social content. From start to finish.

For Instagram posts, while there isn’t a recommended amount of text, it’s cut off after three lines. So, the recommendation again here is to limit captions to that amount. Any hashtags or mentions can go towards the end of the text or, ideally, in the first comment.

On Twitter, it’s not recommended to use more than two hashtags, Instagram advises to use less than eight. According to Hubspot, the sweet spot is seven on Instagram. Generally, while having a hashtag strategy sounds can be a value add. Our recommendation here is to spend more time on what you want to say (copy) and how you want to say it (creative and paid budget).

Make Sure You Have Complimentary Creative

For Advertisements, which can include promoted in-feed posts, copy should lead with the primary call to action, and your visual should complete the journey of sharing your message. For this reason, imagery should always compliment the CTA. Especially as users move to more image led actions – some argue that creative is more important than the copy. The quick rise of Instagram Story advertising definitely lends to that theory.

It goes without saying, but investing in time and skill that can create good creative will achieve even better results. Posts with images perform 2.3x better than posts without.

How are You Targeting Your Audience?

Now you’ve thought about what to say and how you want to say it. How are you making sure your audience hears it?

In general, organic content sometimes reaches around 2% of your audience. So it’s important to make sure your audience targeting is succinct and covers all bases.

Main targeting options include: 

  • Pixel Advertising: Focusing on look-alike audiences.
  • Pixel Advertising: Retargeting your website visitors.
  • Mail list advertising: Targeting precise people from a sales/email list. I would only recommend this as an add on to a wider strategy, not a core element. 
  • Interest targeting: Focusing on targeting people with certain interests. For this - you need to understand your consumer and, ideally, have built out personas.
  • Demographic targeting: Focusing on reaching people of a certain age.

This is only one aspect of paid social strategy. 

This, coupled with understanding what Objectives you want to focus on for each stage of the funnel and what Audience you want to target will ensure that your creative and copy is seen by the right people. That’s how we drive conversions.

What You Say Doesn’t Always Go

It’s important to consistently monitor, remain active, engage and update social ads, when needed. This could be due to an error, or an optimisation that could be made to make the advertisement more effective.

Grammatical and spelling errors, generally, make the brand seem less trustworthy and professional. Error free posts also result in more shares.

Don’t be Afraid to Re-Share or Repurpose Past Content

When new copy isn’t available, there is no harm in re-sharing past messages and posts, with slightly updated copy.

A few other tips:

  • Write about the customer, not the brand.
  • Active verbs often convert better.
  • Don’t forget the CTA.

For more tips or to chat about where to start with your social content strategy, reach out via rochelle.ritchie@hotwireglobal.com.