Someone once told me that “online relationships mimic offline ones” and that statement has well and truly stuck with me (..thank you to my boss at Ivy Social for allowing me to interview her for a uni assignment! 🤓).
I’ve been writing content for social media for nearly a year now. I may be starting out as a junior in my field but what I know is this: when you write for social media, write as if you’re talking to your audience face-to-face because, like my boss said, an online relationship is just like an offline one.
Now, this doesn’t always mean long captions. Not at all. If anything, I think it’s great to have a combination of short, medium and long captions for social media. If they’re all long, your audience can eventually ‘not be bothered’ to read it. And if they’re all short? Well, one-liners are great and all but for social media, it’s not going to get you very far (…don’t forget that social media is a consistent and long-term marketing tool).
I mean, think about it. Would a one-liner give you a passing grade at school? Would a one-liner win you that job you’ve been longing for? Would a one-liner get you a long-term relationship? Probably not.
Because one-liners aren’t how we communicate with one another and to be quite frank, how boring would that world be? We create relationships with other people by talking to each other and consistently building on that.
By working in a social media agency, I liaise with clients from various industries so when it comes to content writing week, I’m often putting my ‘client thinking cap’ on two or three times a day (…it was up to four times when I was working from home). When I say ‘client thinking cap’, I literally mean I step into their minds, their brand, their business.
My client pool has covered hospitality, premium cars, wedding planning and sports technology to name a few. Who would’ve thought I’d see the day where I work with a sports technology company? 😂
Tip #1: Know your client
With that said, it’s important for me to know my client – especially when I’m smashing out multiple batches of content in a day. It might be pretty obvious but you need to know that you’re not managing a brand’s channels just to be able to write for yourself. I was once told that I had a style with how I managed Public’s platforms and I couldn’t really understand that because I was running the business’ socials, not mine.
In order to know your client, you need to take the time to get to know what they do, the kind of business they have, the industry they’re in and more importantly, who their audience is. This is what makes up your ‘client thinking cap’ or whatever you’d like to call it.
When I was told that I’d take the lead on the sports tech company, I was super nervous about it. I know nothing about fitness, let alone the type of training that their product is targeted towards. I won’t lie to you: I worked really hard getting to know about this client. My boss and I spent two hours with them for a workshop and from then, I dedicated about 90% of one week reading the materials they sent us, reading their website and product reviews, researching hashtags, seeing what other people wrote about this type of training – the whole lot.
And for someone who has next to no interest in sports and technology combined? It was worth every second because now, it allows me to write their organic content without wasting time each month thinking about what to write next. ⚡️
Tip #2: Speak to your audience
Like I said earlier, write as if you’re talking to someone face-to-face and more importantly, in a way that resonates with them. Let’s work with an example:
Caption A: “Mondays are for two-for-one pizzas.”
Caption B: “We think Mondays are always the hardest… but not if you leave the cooking to us! Enjoy our two-for-one pizza deal while you sit back and ease into your busy week.”
Can you see the difference? Caption A is a one-liner. It’s direct, straight to the point but also very boring (..especially if it’s a recurring special). When you read Caption B, it taps into a regular human thought of “Mondays suck, I can’t be bothered cooking tonight”.
You could even spin it away from a negative connotation (e.g. “Mondays are always the hardest”) and turn it into Caption C: “Mondays are always a good time with our two-for-one pizza deal. Why? Because you leave the cooking to us while you enjoy your favourite glass of wine.”
Boom. Now I feel like pizza. 🍕
Tip #3: Just write
Starting is always the hardest part.
Whether it’s an assignment or the first batch of content for a new client, I always struggle to start – it’s almost as if I psych myself out. Truth be told, if you know what you’re writing about then it’s actually not that difficult and it gets easier the more you do it. One of my clients actually told me that he barely made any changes to the July content because I just got it. It took me months to get to this point and that’s not to say that he’ll never need to make edits. It’s more that I finally got to this point because I just started and I just keep going.
The more you write, the better you get. ✔️