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“Listening is one of the most important things a brand can do online. If your brand is just broadcasting its own agenda, it isn’t truly engaging in a conversation.”
― Jeremy Goldman, Going Social: Excite Customers, Generate Buzz, and Energize Your Brand with the Power of Social Media
We are often at a loss for words when a brands social media campaign doesn’t answer any of the questions we ask – like why do we need this brand? Or how will this change the way we do things? This is when we move onto the next brand. Copywriting for social media has become an art form, and when done correctly, grabs the attention of the consumer.
It pains us to go onto Facebook or Instagram and to see a brand fail. Their product might be good and deliver on its promise, but if they do not promote it properly the brand will never win! And this is where the problem comes in. As a consumer, you want to know the product you buy will work. And besides the obvious imagery, words play a big part in getting this message across.
What is Social Media?
According to Oxford Online Dictionaries, social media is defined as: Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
To put it bluntly, social media is used to promote a brand and to sell their product and this is done with words!
Besides a website, social media is probably one of the best (if not the best) way to promote your brand and to engage with your target audience. Perhaps more critical than the platform is the content that goes onto the site. It is important to have skilled copywriters who exhibit good copywriting for social media skills.
- Understand your audience. Know what they do and why.
- Always include a call to action. Your audience needs to know why you are promoting your brand or product.
- Never lie. Your audience will see right through it. A good copywriter will know how to turn an out-of-luck brand into a star, without bending the truth.
Inside the Mind of a Copywriting Expert: Mishqa Rossier, CityVarsity Online, OCL
One person who knows all about copywriting for social media, is Mishqa Rossier, CityVarsity Online’s Introduction to Copywriting short course Online Course Lecturer. Mishqa is a qualified copywriter who graduated with a BA in Branding and Communications, specialising in Copywriting from Vega, The Brand Communications School. After cutting her teeth in advertising agencies, she used her skills at Associated Media Publishing, e-commerce group buying site, Groupon, digital ad agency, World Wide Creative and is currently working in corporate communications for Mediclinic. She has a total of 9 years’ experience in the industry but would like to focus her skills in a digital environment in the near future.
We asked her a few questions about her experience with copywriting for social media.
What is the importance of copywriting in social media?
Mishqa: Social media can be made more effective with a good copywriter crafting impactful posts and conceptualising catchy and successful content for social media campaigns and roll-outs.
How would you use copywriting to promote a brand?
Mishqa: The copywriter would craft specialised copy for web banners, social media, print ads, posters or any other collateral, etc. to help promote a brand.
What makes a good social media account and can you highlight specific points which brands are getting right?
Mishqa: A good social media account manager understands and engages regularly with their audience. They are authentic and ethical in all that they do, on top of trends and current affairs and replies and remedies any complaints sent their way. Some brands who have great social media presence include:
- Netflix – really understands their audience and what they want
- Castle Lite – knows their audience very well
- GoPro – they are big on user-generated content which makes consumers feel involved
- Always – great awareness campaigns and highlighting of social issues
Besides the obvious research, how does one go about identifying a brands Unique Selling Points (USP)?
Mishqa: I like to do a mind-map or association game and think of every unique selling point a brand could have and then write it down. Other than that and online research, etc. asking people who interact with the brand about their lived experience is also always very beneficial.
Why is imagery as important as the text you use?
Mishqa: In today’s world we as consumers are constantly bombarded with information and brands so there is a very short attention-span or window of opportunity for you to hook a consumer. For this reason, images are definitely as important as text because they often grab attention much more effectively than a bold headline. Your text and imagery should ideally work in cohesion but it also depends on which brand it is for.
After a brief has been sent to a copywriter, and they miss the USP, how can the copywriter go about fixing it?
- Go back to the drawing board: research more and try other avenues
- Ask people who have contact with the brand about their own experiences
- Brainstorm other or more USPs
- Try to engage with the brand or product yourself – your own experience will surely highlight a USP
- Strip the brand/product down; what really makes it tick? how does it change or affect consumer’s daily lives
If you want to learn how to write great copy, then enrol in the Introduction to Copywriting course at CityVarsity Online.