Length Does Matter -- and Other Social Media Marketing Tips

By: Corien de Jong

Social media marketing has transformed the ways brands connect with their audience, giving them more tools and platforms. With those new avenues now open, there are also some roadblocks – and more ways to fail. Here are a few of social media marketing tips for brand copywriters in 2018. 

Evoke emotion and avoid jargon: People want to connect with brands on social media the same way they connect with people in real life. Brands need to sound like human beings. Words like “conversions” or “scalable” or “best-in-class” dehumanize a brand’s message and will likely fall flat.

In 2018, it’s more important than ever for brands to connect with their audience on an emotional level. Whether through laughter or tears, there’s simply too much content out there to deny the power of human feelings on marketing.

GE tapped into this with their “Balance the Equation” campaign, vowing to increase women in tech roles at a time when sexism in the workplace (and elsewhere) had serious emotions running high. On the flip side, Chiquita ran a cheeky, amusing campaign – an eclipse that went “full banana” – that capitalized on the popularity of the 2017 solar eclipse, but in a way that made people laugh. 

Understand your platforms, the changing rules on them and how things appear on social. When Twitter expanded their character count from 140 to 280, digital marketers thought it would transform the way they should use the platform. But a closer look showed that users still preferred the shorter length and were more likely to engage and retweet if the content was shorter. Here’s a handy guide of suggested lengths for all platforms in 2018.   

Develop a serious sophisticated search engine optimization machine, and use hashtags and emojis like you enjoy having fun. Your content will not be seen unless you are paying attention to SEO every single day.

Hashtags are one of the most effective ways for brands to be found online and a critical way to get involved in conversations. Entire campaigns and contests are designed around custom hashtags now. But they are not without risk and can fail spectacularly. Hashtags that feel forced, are too long, or are hard to understand are the most common hashtag fails. Worse? When hashtags accidentally bring to mind unrelated tragedies or X-rated content.  

Know your audience and treat them with understanding. “Good writing” on social can be completely subjective, and brands should be willing to experiment and push the envelope. They must remember that copywriting for social media marketing is no different than writing anywhere else – they need to know and understand their audience in order to make a real connection. An example: “Tag five friends” will resonate with a small sample of social media users, but will be a turnoff for most others. Being genuine with your brand’s voice and understanding your fans and how they actually use social remains the best digital marketing tip.


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