The way you write on social is a direct reflection of your brand or business. It can affect your authority, engagement, and customer conversion and retention rates.
If your writing is sloppy, your brand will appear sloppy too, and this can seriously undermine success on social. That’s why it’s important to write well — and “well” doesn't just refer to spelling and grammar. You need to be able to communicate something of value to your customers concisely; the fewer the words, the better.
Below I’ve listed some ways in which you can improve your writing for social.
Contractions are your friend
It’s generally considered good practice to use contractions when writing for social media — it can make your brand appear more friendly and conversational. Your writing risks sounding robotic and unnatural otherwise. Example:
- Let’s go grab a beer next time you’re in town.
- Let us go grab a beer next time you are in town.
The second example sounds weird, does it not? Don’t be weird — at least not unintentionally. If you can tell the difference between the two examples and still want to avoid contractions because you feel it better suits your brand, go ahead… But do it in moderation!
Keep it short and simple
Have you ever met a person who likes to tell a story in the most round-about way possible? They either consistently go off on tangents or use complicated terminology for no reason, simply to show off a new word they’ve learned recently in an attempt to make themselves sound more sophisticated. (This, by the way, is called bloviating. Cool, no? I learned it yesterday — wait.)
- Yesterday evening an acquaintance of mine and I went to an establishment for the sale of alcoholic beverages and consumed yeast-fermented malt flavoured with hops. I currently find myself regretting this decision as I have now got a splitting headache as a result.
- Last night my friend and I went to a pub and drank beer. My head hurts. I wish we hadn’t.
Remember: a large portion of users scroll through social on mobile. An unnecessarily large chunk of text popping up on a small screen can be very off-putting, which will inevitably result in bad engagement. Even if a user is mindlessly browsing social on desktop, it’s still unlikely a big block of text will positively attract their attention. You’re writing for Facebook, not a novel. Get to the point!
Active, active, active
- I ate a massive burger last night.
- A massive burger was eaten by me last night.
I’m willing to bet that very little to precisely zero people speak like that naturally. In marketing, using the active voice can build trust between your brand and your customers. An active voice communicates precisely that: activity. You get. things. done.
Passive voice, on the other hand, will make you sound vague and disengaged. Pub-unassociated marketing-related example below.
- We launched a big campaign over the weekend and the results were fantastic!
- A big campaign was launched over the weekend and the results were fantastic!
See what I mean?
Spelling and punctuation
- Hi friend had a awesome time friday nite how is youre weekend going:)
The answer to that is no.
Listen — bad grammar will reflect poorly on your business. I promise. Make sure you spend adequate time proofreading before you post. Don’t be afraid to use full-stops or commas or exclamation points! They’re on your keyboard for a reason.
It’s easy to miss something, especially when you’ve been staring at a screen all day. Spell check is a great tool and will make your life a lot easier! It won’t fix everything for you, but it will still highlight obvious errors your eyes may be blind to after a while.
I hope this read has been useful! If you’d like to talk writing further please send us a message — we'd be happy to chat with you!