In the fall, I teach a social media writing course. It’s really a blast! Throughout the course the students work on writing 160-character or less social media posts, including hashtags.
What are the tricks?
Here are nine tricks I teach during the class. In addition to these, using active versus passive voice can shorted a post. View this infographic from Your Dictionary to assist.
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Appeal to interests and benefits.
- Leverage headline generators for post creation.
- Use emojis to illustrate your point.
- Be punchy and direct with a CTAs like “Watch Now” or “Read More!”
- Ask a short question or make a statement to pique interest.
- Include data in your post.
- Leverage the power of “you.”
- Use positive words to inspire users to take action.
In addition, using active versus passive language can shorten a post. Also, use these simple call-to-action formulas to drive clicks.
How to Craft the Perfect Post
- Tailor the post to the platform
- Adapt it to the number of characters allowed on each platform. Rule of thumb 120 – 160 chars.
- Image should match platform guidelines (see image cheat sheet)
- Create multiple posts (3-5) for the same piece of content and share them on different days and times.
- Share posts in relevant communities on each platform
- Provide tips, strategies, how-to articles or entertaining content for your specific audience and topic.
- Create multiple visuals for your content
- Use hashtags
- Leverage emojis
Impression Edit offers these beginner templates and examples. How might you write your own post based on these?
Template #1: Problem and Solution
[PROBLEM] + [SOLUTION] + [URL/CTA]
Example: Having trouble growing your email list? Learn how to use Pinterest to get a steady stream of subscribers. Download the free cheat sheet: [link].
Template #2: Problem, Agitation, and Solution
[PROBLEM] + [AGITATION] + [SOLUTION] + [URL/CTA]
Example: Still sharing your Facebook posts manually? That’s a lot of time you could be spending on other things. Take back your day with our social media automation tool: [link].
Template #3: Urgent Problem and Solution
[URGENT PROBLEM] + [SOLUTION] + [URL/CTA]
Example: Uh, oh. Google’s algorithm just changed again. Here’s the most important SEO change you need to make: [link].
Template #4: Before, After, and Bridge
[BEFORE] + [AFTER] + [BRIDGE] + [URL/CTA]
Example: Cooking the perfect steak used to be hard. We’ve made it foolproof. Here’s how we did it: [link].
Template #5: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action
[ATTENTION] + [INTEREST] + [DESIRE] + [URL/CTA]
Example: 89%. That’s the chunk of Tara’s web traffic that comes from Pinterest. Learn how to leverage the power of Pinterest to boost traffic to your site: [link].
Template #6: Features, Advantages, and Benefits
[FEATURES] + [ADVANTAGES] + [BENEFITS] + [URL/CTA]
Example: BOLD has more temperature and power settings than any other hair dryer. Get out the door on time every single morning: [link].
Template #7: The Cliffhanger
[CONTEXT] + [TEASE] + [URL/CTA]
Example: We put 7 social media scheduling tools to the test. Find out which one came out on top: [link].
Activity – Speed Posts
Complete the fill-in-the-blanks to write an effective and engaging social media post.
- [Do something] like [world-class example]
- Little Known Ways to _______
- What Everybody Ought to Know About _______
- How to Survive Your First _______
- The Ultimate Guide to ____
- How to ____ like ____
- Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
Now that you have the tricks, will you revisit how you write your social media posts?