Here are the 5 social media channels we will be talking about today:
While many of them share the same features such as the ability to upload videos, images, and text, they are all vastly different in terms of audience, message types, media sizes, and advertising. Let’s quickly discuss the differences in copy writing for these social media channels.
While Facebook may not be the oldest social media site on the web, it certainly seems to be the one with the longest running success. With that longevity comes a finely-aged social media platform with a variety of content types.
Since 2011, Facebook has allowed posts to contain over 60,000 characters. For businesses, it may not quite be the best idea to approach that limit for obvious reasons. However, it should help demonstrate the sharp contrast Facebook has with, say, Twitter’s 140-character limit.
The primary unique benefits of Facebook include:
● Higher text limits
● Linking capabilities
● Larger breadth of audiences
● More options for “following”
When posting to Facebook, we recommend taking advantage of the larger character limits without going overboard, avoid “spamming” your followers’ walls with posts, and supplementing your posts with images or videos; especially videos with captions.
Many Facebook users look at Facebook at work which typically means one thing – no sound. Videos should be entertaining with and without sound. Using graphics in place of talking head shots tend to garner more engagement. Additionally, if you aren’t captioning your videos, you’re missing out on a big copywriting.
The message on Facebook can cover just about everything. Your audience is receptive to all types of posts including giveaways, corporate messages, and industry insights.
We combine Google+ with Youtube because on its own, Google+ isn’t a formidable player despite Google’s insistence on automatic inclusion for its Gmail and Youtube users. Having said that, it’s a largely untapped resource that still gives your business the opportunity to flood the internet with shareable, linkable content.
Youtube, on the other hand, provides a great platform for companies to share relevant content to drive more business (and to provide inbound links to your website).
How is Youtube used for copywriting? Our simple advice for Youtube videos are:
● Be real – make videos that aren’t over-produced. Videos made with smartphones give your business a down-to-earth, approachable vibe.
● Caption your videos when possible, then add them to your website where appropriate
● Make use of the content area below a Youtube video. There is space for 5,000 characters and links that can send traffic and “link-juice” to your website.
● Focus on making a large quantity of videos so that you can leverage Youtube titles and optimizing keywords. Videos don’t have to be 5+ minutes. 30-second videos are long enough to justify uploading to Youtube.
● Link, link, link. Make sure you link back to your site when possible.
Your audience will be receptive to interesting factoid videos. If you can provide robust trainings without giving away your secret sauce, we highly recommend it. Advertisements that are mildly entertaining using humor or education are also well received.
Instagram is a tricky platform for optimization. The first issue is that links are disregarded unless they are in the profile (which is limited to only so many characters). The second is that descriptions are truncated after only a few characters – so you must engage your traffic within the first few words of a post.
The benefit, however, is that you can still easily leverage hashtags and tagging. You can insert your business into many relevant social topics just by adding trending hashtags that make sense for your business.
With Instagram, think of the photo FIRST. Then write your copy. Text turned into images should be used sparingly. Use of filters and effects are welcomed and catch the eye. The text can cover a wide range of topics but try to explain the purpose of the photo within the first 75 characters.
Twitter has received a bad rap from many because the low, 140-character count may compromise coherent, thought out messages. However, we believe it’s one of the most powerful of the social media platforms for a few reasons.
● Users are much more forgiving of a higher frequency of posting
● Smaller character counts give excuses to draw out dense messages over many Tweets
● Twitter is easy to embed on websites. That in combination of the ability to add clickable links gives a huge boost to Tweets that are embedded on a website
● Link, Link, Link!!! Don’t forget to link back to your site. Try to make every Tweet link back to your website.
Try to comment on relevant trending topics where possible. Your voice is your own, but if you can adapt a message surrounding non-sensitive topics that won’t cause PR issues for your business, feel free to leverage the buzz around it. If there aren’t any trending topics, focus on generating traffic to your website by writing a small preview that coerces Twitter followers to click through to your website.
LinkedIn is relatively underutilized when compared to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Of course, B2B companies seem to have the most business posting to LinkedIn. However, eCommerce sites should have a presence on LinkedIn as well.
Your message on LinkedIn should be centered on Industry Insights. People go to LinkedIn with their business hats on. They want to see business-related things. Photos and videos are still perfectly appropriate. You can also link to other articles and add your own commentary on their insights.
Avoid controversial topics like religion, politics, or too much personal information. Also, avoid being too “sales-pitch.” Remember, LinkedIn is like a business meeting. You want to keep your posts from being too casual.