The following is a guest post by Lesley Vos. Lesley is a seasoned web writer specializing in text building and content architecture. Currently blogging for PlagiarismCheck.org website, she is also a contributor to publications on digital marketing, copywriting, and self-development. See more works of hers on @LesleyVos.
Just in case you’ve missed it:
Facebook has more than 2 billion daily active users, and their number is on the rise. So it seems that Twitter (328 million), as well as Instagram (700 million), are no match for this social network. And taking into account the fact one-third of those users engage with brands regularly, your marketing strategy is evident:
You join 60 million of businesses that have a Facebook page and start sharing interesting (well, you think so) posts to engage the audience and turn them into followers for better conversion. You hope for likes, clicks, and shares but don’t you see the problem here?
Hey, 60 million of competitors do the same!
As well as you, they all have content plans for Facebook. As well as you, they share informative, educational, entertaining, and marketing posts in hopes of clicks and sales. But you know what? 68% of users don’t pay attention to brands they like on Facebook, which means you lose 68% of target customers!
To make users see your Facebook post, like and click on it, and encourage them to comment on it for even better engagement rate, you need to write killer texts. For that, consider the following key points your competitors might miss.
1) Focus at the very beginning
Content on social media has some peculiarities:
- It’s nonstatic.
- It struggles with many distractions for people to pay attention to it.
- Users don’t read but scan it.
- Besides letters, symbols like emoticons may represent it.
- It’s a kind of life forms, with own emotions and personal stories.
With that in mind, write Facebook posts that would hook readers at the very beginning and make them want to click and learn more. They scroll news feeds with bored faces, C’mon! The first sentence of your post should be eyebrow-raising: known as a wow-effect, it throws users for a loop.
Image Source: iconiContent’s Facebook page
What can call this effect?
- Weird words or expressions.
- Shocking information.
- Exclusive facts.
- Interesting experiment.
- Extraordinary insights.
Hint: Before publishing a Facebook post, ask yourself, “What will readers remember about it? What’s so eye-catching there?”
2) Create the highest possible reality
Facebook is about personal stories and emotions, and that is why it works for PR, not advertising (surprise-surprise!) When coming online, 9 out of 10 people don’t know what they want to find there, but they will remember the content reflecting their emotions at that time.
As we marketers know, Facebook shapes news feeds according to the emoticons people use. More than that, it recommends friends and pages to follow according to coincident emotions, mood, and comments they share. It’s the trick you can use for influencing a Facebook posts reach:
Add corresponding emoticons to your publications, and more people will see them.
Image: PlagiarismCheck.org’s Facebook page
3) Write as you talk
Reading online is 25% slower than in print. So why make Facebook posts complicated for users, not to speak of liking and clicking them?
Your social media texts need to sound like everyday talk. Who needs professional slang or boring ads when coming online? Who needs USP, academic research, or sale links when scrolling a news feed? Personal experience, stories, and challenges are what people want to read on Facebook: they are engaging, and they make users reflect even if negative.
Image: SJO’s Facebook page
Hint 2: Keep linking from your posts to a minimum: first, people are lazy to click on them; and second, Facebook algorithms take links as advertising and, therefore, limit the reach of such posts. We all saw texts a-la “blah-blah-blah, the link is in the first comment,” and that’s how some marketers try to bypass the problem. But I wouldn’t recommend practicing this trick too often because links in comments frustrate users even more than those in posts.
Hint 3: Write Facebook posts in a way they could trigger comments from users. For that, ask questions (they get 100% more comments than non-question posts), use emoticons (33% more comments) but – again – don’t overplay, and use pictures (104% more comments).
Speaking of pictures, here go several rules to follow:
- use horizontal images as they are easier to read, especially if your audience visit Facebook from mobile devices;
- one post = one picture; if creating collages, user two photos maximum;
- forget about stock and unemotional, boring pictures; your Facebook photos must be natural and of a high-quality.
4) Keep one talking point per post
In today’s fast-moving world, people have no time to read texts about anything and everything online. So when creating a post on social media, follow the rule: “one thesis per post.”
What does it mean?
Neither describe all the news and offers nor share all discounts or whatever your brand prepares in the same publication. It will confuse users: first, they might find it too long and boring to read; and second, they might get lost in details and forget about your information immediately upon reading it.
Image: College Essay Guy’s Facebook page
Hint: Start with a dialogue, short and up to the point for readers to get the thesis and decide on further reading for more information/conclusion.
5) Follow the rules of web writing
Taking into consideration the peculiarities of online content, it has to be 50% shorter than print. Seasoned web authors follow some unspoken rules to craft eye-catching texts, and that’s where you might want to follow their lead and compose writing masterpieces for your Facebook page:
- Use simple words.
- Don’t write long sentences and paragraphs.
- Consider the inverted pyramid style: key points or conclusion first, details afterward.
Don’t forget about the hook for users to click “See More” and, thus, increase your engagement rate.
Image: The Write Practice’s Facebook page
Hint: Write concise texts. Yes, people love long reads, but this is the case of blog posts rather than Facebook news feeds. Short and up to the point notes are what you need for business pages. Long stories work on Facebook for building a personal brand, not a company’s.
6) Tell them a story
Explain what’s the heart of the matter. Your texts are like series, and it’s you who chooses a genre: make it a detective, a rom-com, or even a thriller. Even short, your social media post should be a story: as you know, sometimes six words are enough to tell it.
- Create characters and tell business stories from their mouth. You are welcome to write a series of such posts, and people will read them like a book.
- Stick to your niche.
- Detalize your posts for better visualization.
Whenever appropriate, use images rather than texts to visualize your marketing message and emotions you want to communicate. People are 90% visual beings, so this is the case when a picture is worth a thousand words indeed.
Image: Madlemming’s Facebook page
Hint: Consider storytelling to make readers care. They are drowning in a sea of same-type marketing messages, and storytelling techniques are the only way to make people listen to you.
7) Finish on a positive wave
People come to Facebook for information, relax, and entertainment. But no one wants to read the bad and sad news there, especially such a negative information comes from their favorite brand.
So, even if you write about challenges your business has to meet or problems it has to overcome – make sure you finish this story on a positive wave.
Image: DigitalOlympus.net’s Facebook page
Hint: You are welcome to start a Facebook post with negative to trigger the aforementioned wow-effect. It will hook users and make them want to click on “See More” for details.
Never leave the audience with a bad taste in the mouth after reading you: they will not remember a text but emotions it caused. And you don’t want them to associate your brand with negative feelings, do you?