Confused about social? Seize up in fear every time it’s time to update your Facebook page? Whether you’re writing for yourself or as a brand, social media writing has to be punchy and to the point. Being cheeky is a great strategy, but you don’t want to sound obnoxious either. Want to be really successful? Loosen up and start thinking about how you can start conversations on social, not just share empty broadcasts.

You've got nanoseconds to impress so use words wisely. #social #SMM Click To Tweet

Be found (to have an impact)

Don’t broadcast to an empty room. Tip number one of great social media is to grow your follower count by following others and consistently sharing content. Curate content carefully and focus on quality (as well as quantity). The fun only really starts when you have built up an audience first.

Reach as many people as possible by tagging others in your posts, sharing shout outs, and using hashtags liberally. Social media events and Q&A’s can be a great way to quickly grow your followers; it shows that you’re interested in the wider community, and it will help you discover like-minded individuals.

Hashtags help your content get found, but they can also be used for irony and effect. Here are some hashtag tips:

  • Use hashtagify.me to discover new relevant hashtags (it’s amazing how much this can help when you run out of ideas)
  • Instagram is very hashtag hungry. I’ve heard 11 is a good number to aim for!
  • Search for #’s on Twitter to find out what people are doing in your niche; it’s the perfect way to find great content to share
  • No spelling mistakes in hashtags please, this is such a fail 🙁
  • Get an event hashtag right: always triple check
  • Be careful with sarky hashtag humour, especially on a client’s social media. Rule of thumb: positive humour is better than negative.

Ask questions (to get answers)

Seems simple, right? Asking questions is a natural way to get answers on social and it’s a simple engagement strategy that people often overlook. Questions are great because they are conversational (and they make you look smart).

    • Sharing a post? Try to ask some interesting questions that the post might help people answer. Focus on creating a dynamic dialogue, not parroting what’s already been said
    • By including people in your content production you’ll have a dialogue before you’ve even started. Ask users what they want to read about: opening up the floor to others can be enlightening
    • Questions are a great way to open up the conversation to wider issues at play: what’s at stake with your content?
    • Questions can make something ‘boring’ seem more engaging
    • The best thing? Questions compel people to answer back. #social #SMM Click To Tweet.

Manage social media strategically (to stay inspired)

Be clever and strategic with social in order to combat feeling overwhelmed. Managing social with the help of tools means that you can post loads of insightful content when you’re feeling inspired, rather than be faced by a daily social ‘grind’.

      • Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck are a digital marketer’s godsend. Schedule posts in advance when you’re feeling inspired to get more out of your experience with social (and boost marketing ROI).
      • Being strategic on social won’t ever replace reactive engagement and interacting with people on-the-go. Take time to regularly log in and check in with your followers during the week.
      • Dedicate time to niche research and make a note of any useful blogs, sites and people you discover to share on a rainy day. Keep a list of potential content resources and come back to it when you need new ideas.

Respond to comments (to be helpful)

It can be easy to get hung up on vanity metrics, but responding to comments is a really important part of writing content for social media. If someone has taken the time to talk to you — talk back.

You need to be ready to engage with people if you’re on social media, so dive in!

      • Tone is key when addressing people directly. Approach a new relationship on social with caution, unless you can see a flamboyant track record, in which case it’s probably best to go in with the same attitude
      • If someone is just trolling you, it might be best to leave it. Trying to get some people to ‘see sense’ is sometimes impossible
      • Tag others in posts as much as you can to invite commentary. If you’ve feature someone in a blog, let them know about it. It might be scary to ‘reach out’ to a stranger, but it’s all part of social media success. You have to take some risks in order to succeed.

Convey strong emotions (to get noticed)

Bland content won’t get you noticed. People will probably scroll by, thinking ‘meh’. You have to hit people where it hurts and go for the emotional angle.

      • What’s your purpose right now? Focus on what motivates you to find a more authentic online voice
      • Don’t be afraid of controversial or difficult emotions: they are often what connect us and bring us closer
      •  Many decisions are driven by emotions so if you want people to do something you have to get emotional.

Some social media channels are more visual than others, but all combine an element of text juxtaposed with image. Often your words are only as good as the picture that comes with them.

Words are only as good as the picture that accompanies them. #social #SMM Click To Tweet

Love social media writing? What’s your favourite social media writing tip?