Bravo Group - 4 Tips for Writing Social Copy - Bravo Group

4 Tips for Writing Social Copy

Sarah Baldauf | Harrisburg | CCG Writing Intern

A skill I have struggled to master in my time as an intern with Bravo Group has been drafting social copy. Social copy refers to the written text on Facebook and Twitter posts. Typically, I’ve been tasked with drafting social copy to accompany graphic copy, which is the text on an image.

One of the projects I consistently work on is supporting one of Bravo’s digital advocacy campaigns: Healthy Me PA. The community’s primary channels are Facebook and Twitter, so as part of my internship, I help feed the platforms with content.

Social and graphic copy, although not the focal point of a piece, help create interest in the piece and engagement with the post through likes, retweets and shares. According to Medium, “Facebook posts with images get 2.3 times more engagement than posts without images.”

It does not seem like it should be difficult for a young student, savvy with social media, to create compelling social copy for people to stop and click while scrolling, but it has proved to be difficult, yet important, for me to master.

Now, whenever I am scrolling through my phone on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I have a new appreciation for social copy that draws me in.

The more social copy I wrote, the more easily it came to me. After receiving edits on my writing and practicing over and over again, here are four tips for writing social copy I learned during my internship:

Make it punchy
The best way to catch people’s attention is to create something punchy that stops them mid-scroll. Whenever I am stumped trying to create social copy, I will look for any existing puns or rhyming words that may relate to my subject.

If not, then I rack my brain for any clever way to incorporate the subject into something everyone knows or a recognizable phrase. The risk with doing that is some people may not get the reference and you lose those people by making an exclusionary reference.

Keep it short
An adult’s average attention span is eight seconds, according to Time Magazine, which is why it is important to keep social copy short. More often than not, shorter is better. There are obvious parameters, like the 190-character limit on Twitter, but that is a good rule of thumb for most social copy.

During my internship, I would frequently draft a few variations of social and graphic copy so I could brainstorm what was most likely to draw in readers. The copy had to be short enough that it would hold their attention but catchy enough to get to the point quickly so readers knew what they were clicking on.

Use hashtags
Hashtags are an easy way to connect-the-dots on a certain topic. When doing a series, or if the content fits into a bigger theme, adding a relevant hashtag in the copy makes it more likely to be found in searches. Hashtags are supposed to make searching for things easier, so it is important to use phrases that may naturally be searched for, according to a blog by Hootsuite.

For example, I wrote social copy for some pieces going out in November, which was National Diabetes Month. All of the social copy for that month on diabetes-related topics used the hashtag #NationalDiabetesMonth. Using that hashtag helps our content get found via search among some of the blogs and fast facts also posting on that topic.

Support the graphic copy
Often times social copy accompanies graphic copy since visuals are likely to draw readers in. The social copy should complement the graphic, but the graphic copy should still be able to make sense on its own if shared without the social post.

For example, if there is a question in the graphic copy, the social copy can be used to answer the question and encourage the reader to learn more by clicking on the link.

There is a lot to know and learn about drafting social copy — much more than I can say in this blog post alone. However, these are good guidelines to build a framework for drafting social copy. As technology evolves, so will the mediums writers need to understand and adapt to.

In the meantime, keep looking for punny opportunities draw readers in.

Bravo Intern