The world of social media is noisy.
On just Facebook alone, 30 billion pieces of content are shared per month and the figure is still rising. If you combine other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Quora to this figure then you’ve got a lot of competition for people’s attention.
In order to cut through the static, you need to produce your content more wisely. That means you need to wield your words in such a way that you stand out from your competitors and speak directly to what your audience wants.
That’s easier said than done.
The key to writing quality content starts with sharp writing skills. And by the time you’re done with this post, you will become a social media copywriting master.
Why is quality writing essential for social media?
Writing a social media post is fairly simple. It doesn’t take much effort to conjure up a quick post, attach a link to your product and service, and call it a day.
On the other hand, crafting a compelling copy that ensures engagement from your subscribers is tough. It takes time, skill, and a degree of thoughtfulness to create strong posts. But when you have tons of posts to create on each platform you’re on, you might be tempted to cut corners.
Don’t give in to that temptation.
If social media is essential to your business, then it will require a certain amount of time and resources to do it right. You’ll notice a massive difference in your results. That’s what you’re after, right?
This article will be about a 5-step system that you can use to write better copy and hence make better posts. This system works even if you are starting from scratch and will help you write copy for your own business or become a copywriter.
Here’s how you do it -
5-step guide for copywriting
Step 1 - Learn to listen
Do you need to turn yourself into a wordsmith?
Not really, no. A few techniques here and there, won’t hurt your sales copy. Apple’s copywriters, for instance, know how to use rhyme and rhythm to create a persuasive copy.
But what you truly need to do is develop the skill to listen to your clients.
When you understand what your clients are struggling with, their problems and fears, and how they goon about solving these issues. Knowing just that will take you halfway to writing good copy.
One way to do this is to mine reviews, blog comments, and forum questions for copywriting inputs. Many amazon sales messages are taken directly from customer reviews, and we all know how successful Amazon is in selling its services.
Another way is to talk to your clients directly. It is a lot easier when you talk to industry experts and learn from in-depth conversations instead of conducting surveys.
Pay attention to your client’s words, their fears, goals, and vision so that you can incorporate them directly in your copy. Make a note of the phrases they use so that your writing reflects their thinking, making them feel understood.
Step 2 - Understand the basic copywriting rules
What is good copy? When does it work and when does it fail to persuade?
It is not important to just listen to your clients. To write good copy you need to be familiar with copywriting rules as well. These rules help you create the right balance of benefits and features.
A good copy has both substance (features) and emotional appeal (benefits), and only then will you be able to persuade your audience to use your services.
Basic copywriting rules include:
- Be specific to boost credibility
- Match benefits and features
- Use proof (reviews, testimonials) to make people believe you
- Nudge people to take action
- Overcome objections
- Be bossy and confident in your call to action
These rules will guide you and help you evaluate your own copy.
Step 3 - Study the experts
Want to understand copy structure?
Studying the experts of this industry will help you understand how all copywriting elements fit together.
For instance, while studying a sales page, you need to pay attention to the following:
- What is the purpose of this page? What action is the reader required to take and if the said action is mentioned clearly?
- What reasons are provided to the readers to take that action?
- Are the benefits and features of the product or service communicated in a clear manner?
- How does the page build trust among its audience? And why do you believe the content?
- How is the information arranged? What comes first, the most important aspects of the product/service or the least important ones?
When you study how experts of the trade communicate with their customers, you will learn to pick up the patterns of persuasive writing, which will undoubtedly help you writing your own copy.
Step 4 - Streamline your writing process
If you want to write persuasive copy fast, then a tried and tested process is a must.
Because without a process, your copy can turn into a mess.
First, you need to collect all your persuasive arguments - list objections and how to counter them, list benefits and features of your product, and proof that will help you establish credibility with your audience.
Second, arrange all your arguments in a logical order. It goes without saying that you need to structure your writing in a way that, you convey the most important arguments first. A reader might simply ignore your message if you start with weak arguments. Once you have created an order, writing the first draft becomes relatively simple.
The final step of the process is to revise and edit your copy. You cant afford flabby phrases and redundant arguments. Make your sentences smooth and optimize your copy for search engines.
The point of having a smooth copywriting process is not only to make it faster but ensure that it is complete and persuasive.
Step 5 - Practice and evaluate
This is probably the trickiest part of the copywriting process, especially if you are doing it by yourself.
The quickest way forward is to work with someone who has a complete understanding of the process and can tell you what you’re doing wrong.
But not all of us have the budget to hire a coach or subscribe to an app. In that case, learning to evaluate your own work will come handy.
To do this, you have to focus on one specific aspect of your writing at a time. For instance, go through all the arguments you have made in one copy, and compare when with another. See, if you have followed the same structure in both copies or if you deviated in some arguments. Also, review how you are establishing credibility with your audience in both the copies and make changes as you see fit.
Practice becomes easier when you focus on one aspect at a time.
You may have heard people saying that writing is a talent, or maybe the opposite that anybody can write.
In the copywriting industry neither of these statements are true.
Copywriters are professionals who practice their craft daily. We are not born with an innate talent for copywriting, but it's definitely a skill that can be acquired through a bit of persistence and practice.
The most important thing you need to do while writing copy is to be yourself. You don’t need to turn into a super sales expert or a professional copywriter. Instead, just listen to your clients.