1. Define Your Voice
Writing for social media is its own discipline and different from traditional writing: it is more like writing a story, a story that you want people to share with their friends and so on and so on. Defining your voice is the combination of knowing what you want to say and how you want to say it. Your knowledge, interests, and personality will only add value to the story. Plus, telling a story in your own way is what will create a unique and authentic connection with readers. One way to define your voice is to stop writing the way you think you should–you know, the way your English teacher told you to write–and start writing the way you think and speak. The words should fit you and be easy to read aloud.
2. Hook Your Audience from the Start
In addition to easy to read aloud, social media writing should be tighter and simpler than traditional writing: the beginning of your story should hook readers fast and hard, the way a song’s hook does. Whether you love or hate Queen, you know what comes after “we are the champions” (at least if you’re older than 25). That’s right, “no time for losers.” In essence, a hook is a memorable phrase that summarizes what a song is about. Think of a title and an opening line as your story’s hook. And don’t worry that you’re giving away the best part. Knowing what to expect won’t ruin your story for readers. It will prime them for what’s next and introduce your main point.
3. Construct Clear, Compelling Copy
Speaking of your main point, get to it quickly and clearly. While using a string of straightforward, declarative sentences is too abrupt for traditional writing, it is perfect for social media. Because unlike traditional writing, readers won’t go back to re-read or stop to think about difficult sections. Your writing has to be clear and direct the first time around: don’t be coy and promise to get to the interesting stuff later. Think of your story as a first date: put on your fancy pants and put forward your most compelling, date-worthy self. It’ll make your readers want to read your story and get to know you better. At the very least, it won’t make them regret saying yes.