Writing for Social Media: 15 Tips to Increase Engagement

Writing for Social Media: 15 Tips to Increase Engagement

While social media was once a groundbreaking frontier, it has become so thoroughly entrenched in how we go about our personal and professional lives, that it can be difficult to be heard above the noise. This is especially true for business accounts on social media platforms; with numerous other companies and brands creating visual content designed to draw in a target audience and keep them coming back, every social media post counts. With these tips, you can take strong steps toward that goal and increase engagement on your posts. 

5 Social Media Writing Infrastructure Tips

Before we take a deep dive into the ways you can drive engagement as part of your social media strategy, there are several housekeeping matters you need to make sure you have in place. These will make up the infrastructure of your social media presence, and will help you create consistency in your posts. To truly make the most of the remaining tips, make sure you have these squared away across your social networks. 

1. Have a clear purpose 

Have a clear purpose

Be clear as to what your objective and way of measuring success is. This is essential, as it will determine not only how you post, but how you engage with your audience, and how you set up your marketing campaigns. If your purpose is to inform your audience, for instance, you will want to focus on creating blog posts that can be linked to, and there will be a strong education tilt across your social media accounts. 

2. Develop your brand voice

Your brand voice is the general tone or personality of your brand. Your voice will determine the way you engage with your audience, what you say in the captions of your social posts, and will even determine the length and tone of your social media content writing (think captions, profile descriptions, blog posts, and landing pages). 

Further Reading: Brand Voice: 9 Tips on How to Create Your Own (with 7 Examples)

3. Do your research

What works on one social network will not work on another, and your social media content needs to be on top of trends and meet (and exceed) audience expectations. To achieve this, you must research your social posts prior to posting. Look at trending posts intently to identify their content, visuals, hashtags, and more to understand the direction your social posts should go in, including the ideal character limit to adhere to. 

4. Look at your competition

Your social media content writing is not being sent into a vacuum; instead, it is being sent into a wide world of competitors and peers. To make sure your posts are up to the task of capturing your audience, take a look at your competition and how they speak to their audience in their social posts. Doing so can help you develop your own social media content writing practices, and can help you better understand how a typical audience in your niche responds to social strategies. 

5. Create content that matters

Social content is a dime a dozen these days, and engaging content on social platforms is not unheard of. Rather than merely focusing on making engaging content, focus on making content that matters. From raising awareness to causes near and dear to you, to delivering education to inform and assist your audience, make sure your social channels are being used by active users in a way that is educational and useful. 

Increase Social Media Engagement with These 10 Writing Tips

Laying the groundwork is one of the most important ways to make sure that your Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter account, and other social media platforms are being engaged with. Once the groundwork has been laid, you can provide a complete story with your brand’s background, social messaging, and why people should take a look at your socials and engage with your company. Now that you’ve gotten the infrastructure down, here are 10 additional tips to help improve your social media writing skills. 

6. Proofread meticulously

Social media posts may not be published articles, but they still represent your brand. Don’t let your social media marketers become a #fail on your social channels by making an embarrassing grammatical error. While you don’t have to look like a social media expert to make sure that active users are interested in your content, it is important to make sure that your average target audience member can look to you as a reliable source of information–correct grammar included. 

7. Be positive

Be positive

Social platforms are, in large part, for escape and inspiration, so try to focus on the positive in your social media presence. While you may need to focus on more than the positive to tackle your business goals, your social media networks are not the place for that. Instead, make sure you focus on the positives, on educating, and on highlighting features of your products and services while maintaining a friendly, welcoming, and professional tone. 

8. Evoke emotion in your copywriting

From indie authors to big businesses, most social media managers recognize the value of emotional connections from a business standpoint. To trigger those connections with social media users, use your writing to elicit an emotional response. This can be accomplished through tapping into nostalgia, by sharing your own emotional experiences to connect with your audience, or even touching on current events. To evoke emotion, your team does not have to delve into your personal life, but can focus on sharing posts with heart and care behind them. 

Further Reading: How To Grab Attention with Your Social Media Updates

9. Vigorous writing is concise (keep it simple)

Simple is best. If you can write it in fewer words, do so.

10. Speak their language

Speak their language

Corporate lingo can feel alienating and intimidating–especially if it is found in an entire post. Unless you are working in a highly specialized field that requires more technical language, speak in the natural tone of your target audience. Social media managers, to be effective in their work, have to be able to speak fluidly in both corporate-based language and the casual tone expected of social networks.

Further Reading: Social Media Demographics: What Marketers Need to Know in 2024 

11. Write from the readers’ perspective

When creating social posts, whether it is for Instagram, Twitter, a Facebook group, or something else entirely, always keep WIIFM in mind: What’s In It For Me? Remembering this will help keep your social platform focused on your target audience and their wants and needs rather than focusing entirely on your own. 

Further Reading: 7 Tips and Tools to Create Perfect Social Media Posts

12. Add calls to action

Calls to action are the lifeblood of any type of marketing, and social media management is no different. The exact manner in which you include a call to action will vary from brand to brand and industry to industry, but if you want your audience to do something, you have to tell them! Don’t assume they already know; they likely don’t! While the entire article should not be a sales pitch, a call to action at the end of the article, character description, or caption will tell your audience what their next move ought to be. 

13. Customize content for each social media site

Customize content for each social media site

If carousel images do better on Facebook but Reels do better on Instagram, customize content for each of the social media channels you use to engage. A Facebook group is not going to require the same type of post as a Twitter post. Identify the best-performing format on each platform and customize each piece of content for that platform. 

14. Use images and videos

Images and videos are best for all types of posts. Including plenty of images and videos into even long-form content will help your audience feel more engaged and interested than writing alone. Make images and videos a default setting for your social media strategy, even if that means giving a quick rundown along with an image, or offering a sneak peak of your content superimposed over an image. Images and videos capture audiences and encourage sharing posts, so make sure they are a part of your strategy. 

Further Reading: 7 Tips on How to Develop Your Own Unique Social Media Aesthetic

15. Maintain consistency across content

Consistency is vital where branding is concerned. Maintaining consistency across socials can be difficult, but do your best to do so wherever you publish text or visual content. Awesome content cannot gain traction if brands are not consistent; after all, sharing content from the same account grows difficult if stories, posts, and messages are all over the place. Conversations with people often start with consistent, on-brand sharing. 


It can be tempting for business owners to constantly drive sales, and deliver overly sales-driven messaging. To ensure optimal engagement and sharing, however, there needs to be more than just sales pitches. By sharing real-world stories, educational content, and consistent posts, brands can demonstrate to their audiences that they are around for the long haul, and that their social messages are not an endless stream of sales messages. From making a technical topic more accessible to tackling a trendy, awesome topic that has been splashed all over social platforms, it is important to use positive language and maintain consistency in tone. Using the tips identified above, you can move one step closer to making sure that your professional services or products are driving engagement. 

Photo by Vaishnav Vharkat on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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  1. Hi Courtney, great post…and thanks for using mine in your case study! Like most of us, I get lazy at times so this is a wonderful reminder to make the time to target for my audiences on each social network.

  2. I tried sending the same text and customizing the text. Then I got lazy and decided to just be myself. Trueness out some people like me

    • Thanks for the comment Warren! I find being myself and taking note of the friends/associates I have on each platform and what they’d be interested in is a great combination.

  3. Very insightful. I have been concerned with posting the same blog update across multiple LinkedIn discussion groups, as it can certainly look like spamming even if the posts are useful.  Do you have a suggested pace for posting on LinkedIn within the same group?

  4. I totally agree with what’s this article says – the example is a great way of getting the point over.

    Does anyone know of a good article on the most time efficient procedure for using Buffer and Hootsuite to do what this article recommends – I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel when not necessary?
    Tony (Coffeemate49)

  5. It’s why I am scared to use LinkedIn, I have an arts & craft business and many of my followers do to but I don’t want to be spamming them with my personal blog etc… I’ve done it a couple of times for exciting news but felt funny about it. Do people on LinkedIn really want to know about the craft shows I am going to? Thank you for the tips.

    • Hi Megan. 

      I would think that if most of your LinkedIn followers were also in the arts and crafts niche that they would be very interested in any craft shows you were attending, especially if you “crafted” the post as an FYI or other helpful tip or thought.

      • I agree with KGB Diva, Megan. If your followers on your LinkedIn profile are in your niche, why not share which shows you’re attending? This way they can meet up with you if they happen to be there. If you’re nervous about posting from your personal blog, you could try creating a crafts business only blog – I’m sure your fellow crafts business owners would love to hear your tips for making the most of a show.

  6. Hi Courtney, you are correct. I used Hootsuite to post a same message across all platforms. But after realized that the conversion rate is very low, I changed my way to develop message. As you said, I customize (the right human tone) to different platforms. 

  7. This is a good post, Courtney.

    Syndicating the same status updates across all social networks is definitely not the way to go unless you have too little time and you see social media as a not-so-important marketing channel.

    Just to add on to your tips on Facebook status updates, it is important to note that since many Facebook users are now browsing the platform via their mobile phone, we should consider to limit our updates to less than 160 characters so that they don’t get cut off behind a Read more… link.

    Read more: http://allfacebook.com/optimize-facebook-mobile_b97000


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