Social media is not a one-size-fits-all format. Each channel has a unique audience and calls for a specific tone for brands to take when interacting with users. 

And when it comes to copywriting, it’s especially important to keep each channel’s purpose in mind. Users for different social media platforms expect different content from brands, and your messaging can’t solely be a hard sell with every post.  

This tunnel-vision selling mentality is a common mistake for brands on social media. Brands need to focus on what each platform truly offers – conversations. Your social profiles aren’t just online billboards for you to post advertisements and call it a job well done. You need to engage with users, and to do so you need to write accordingly.   

Why? Because when you engage with and foster relationships with your followers, you’re encouraging them to talk about – and boost awareness of – your brand. Your social media followers are more than potential customers. They are potential brand ambassadors who can spread awareness about your brand to new audiences with every positive interaction. 

And the key to these conversations is effective, compelling copywriting. No matter which platform you choose, the way you talk to your audience sets the stage for your social media success. 

Here’s the golden rule for crafting compelling copy for the big three social channels – Facebook Instagram, and Twitter. 

Keep Your Facebook Focused on Your Best Assets

With 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform and an essential tool in any social media strategy.  

And Facebook, more than any other social channel, doubles as a brand’s foremost online presence. Think about it – when you Google a brand, your first website visit is probably their website or Facebook. It’s where users expect to find relevant details like hours, contact info, special deals and offers, etc. 

Gearing your copy to highlight these offerings should be the main focus of your Facebook page and posts. Your most important promotions and services need to be front and center, with copy that gets right to the point. 

Highlighting the special offers available for Restaurant Week was a priority for our client Hotel Monteleone. To make sure our post cut through the clutter of users’ Facebook feeds, we streamlined copy to emphasize the key message and relevant details. 

A social media post from Hotel Monteleone, an example of streamlined copy that emphasizes the key message and relevant details.

The only copy kept in the post should be what the users need to see, and what will motivate them to take action.  

Pay Special Attention to the Hook on Instagram 

Everyone knows that Instagram is all about the visuals. But great captions can make or break your posts. Your copy is the bridge between your pictures and your products – it’s your opportunity to guide users in the right direction, whether that’s to shop your site, book online, or order now. 

And with more than 200 million users visiting at least one business profile on Instagram daily, your copy is a crucial tool for brands looking to connect with a vast, engaged audience. 

The key is to work within Instagram’s framework and grab the audience’s attention right from the start.  

Instagram shortens captions after three lines, so the very first sentence is pivotal. Your caption needs a compelling hook to keep your audience reading and to usher them to your CTA.  

So, how do you find a hook that works? Simple: start a conversation. And the best way to do that is to ask questions. 

Asking a question is a tried-and-true way to captivate readers. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book for copywriters, giving the audience a personal stake in your messaging.  

And when you ask questions that pertain to a users’ wants and needs, you establish an engaging dialogue right from the get-go. For this Bienville House Instagram post, we asked our audience a fun, playful question that invites them to share their thoughts on what a real vacation looks like while highlighting one of the hotel’s attractive features. 

A social media post that highlights the importance of asking questions that pertain to a users’ wants and needs.

Once you’ve hooked the reader with an appealing question you can steer them toward the action you need them to take. It’s one of the strongest ways to guide them to your CTA. 

Listen As Much as You Post on Twitter

More than any other platform, Twitter is where audiences are most likely to be having public conversations about your brand. It’s common practice for users to directly tweet at or about brands to share their views and opinions – and with such an empowered audience, it’s important for brands to interact with their followers on a sociable, intimate level. 

Especially since the platform offers one of the most receptive audiences available. Twitter users are 53% more likely to be the first to try new products and services, and 92% of them are open to a brand’s presence on Twitter, making it the most inclusive social media channel (WordStream). 

So how can brands tap into Twitter’s potential? By listening as much as you post. Your copy needs to be reactive, informed and inviting, and that all starts with understanding what your audience wants from your brand. 

Keep up on the trends and big topics affecting your industry. Pay attention to what your users are saying about your brand and how they’re speaking. Listen to your audience when they engage with your brand – whether it’s a comment, a retweet, or mention in a thread – and respond when you have something to contribute to the conversation.   

It’s important to not only respond, but to speak in an authentic voice. Twitter provides a unique opportunity to show off a more personal and playful side of your brand through copy.  

Users expect to be spoken to with a more informal voice and in a conversational tone. It’s a platform that rewards authenticity, so don’t be afraid to be more casual. 

When the “Chicken Sandwich War” went viral in 2020, our client Krispy Krunchy Chicken had a spike in engagement on the topic. We added our own spin on the conversation by focusing on what the brand’s audience talks about the most – their biscuits. 

An example of social media copy that's ideal for Twitter. It’s playful, it writes the brand into the broader conversation, and it’s relatable to the brand’s followers.

While this post isn’t written in a voice and tone suitable for all occasions, the copy is ideal for Twitter – it’s playful, it writes Krispy Krunchy Chicken into the broader conversation, and it’s relatable to the brand’s followers. 

No Matter the Platform, It’s Always a Conversation

Every social media platform calls for a unique approach to copy, but the main focus of every post should always be giving your followers what they expect to get out of your content. 

You can’t always offer a hard sell in every post. You need to talk to users. Good copy starts conversations and tailoring your writing to engage with each platform is the best way to make your brand stand out on social media.