7 social media copywriting tips (to generate sales leads)

By Jeff Molander

social media copywriting tips

Time to read: 5 minutes. Proven, effective, repeatable social media copywriting tips. They’re hard to find. Most of what passes as good advice actually prevents converting readers into leads. Get trusted, be passionate, tell stories, show your human side.

But how do we connect these ideas to a sales-focused writing process?

Here are 7 social media copywriting tips that will improve your ability to generate leads.

7 tips (you’ve probably not heard before)

Here they are in summary. I’ll dive in deep on each below this list. Ready?

Or join me next week for this free, online Social Media Copywriting course.

1) Re-think the role of your blog
It’s the dirty little truth many marketers ignore: Fake or “un-attended” email addresses. Everyone has one. Including you. We use that “special” email address for one reason only — to access “gated” content.Thus, landing pages are becoming LESS effective at generating good leads.Thus, exchanging buyers’ REAL contact information for your advice is becoming LESS effective. Instead, try driving buyers to a blog first using social media copywriting on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, etc. Use blog articles to …

a) prove yourself worthy of the buyer’s contact information and

b) create irresistible curiosity in your lead generation offer. This primes customers for your call-to-action. This way you’ll earn more leads, more often.

Thus, your blog is a social media lead generation HUB. Use copywriting on social platforms to feed it with visitors.

2) Follow a proven, “old school” copywriting process  
Don’t get caught up in the “show you’re human” and “tell a good story” nonsense. Having personality and being interesting is the entry fee. It’s essential. The force multiplier is an effective social media copywriting process. In summary:

a) Get to the point immediately,
b) have something new (and useful) to say and
c) don’t say too much too fast. Be a little mysterious.You’ll have an easier time provoking response, leads!

3) Get back to basics
We are in the business of helping customers:- believe there is a better way- realize they just found it and
– ACTING—taking a step toward what they want (giving you a lead).It really is that simple. Our job is to show customers there’s a better way. Then, take them on a journey to prove it. Along the way they decide what comes next—buying or not.

4) Tell prospects “it’s your choice” (to increase leads)
The Web is filled with sellers saying, “click here and read some of my advice.” But buyers just don’t care. However, when you structure the appeal differently leads are generated more often.Consider: “I’ll offer you some of my best advice here. I’m confident it will help you but the choice is yours.”Decades of neuro-linguistics research proves: Affirming buyers’ right to choose emotionally and intellectually disarms them from “being pitched something” they don’t want. It opens them up to acting. I’ll explain more below… in more detail.

5) Focus everything you’ve got on headlines
The world has been reduced to headlines. Period. Effective headlines get right to the point—appeal to emotional and tangible desires of prospects in ways they cannot resist acting on.Read below and I’ll give you my best short-cut to getting the job done.

6) Help readers to crave more content
Effective content makes buyers hungry for more content. Every piece of content you write should make readers crave more.Take each social media tidbit, article, blog post, update and ask yourself, “did what I just say make the reader want to hear more?” This is one of my best social media copywriting tips.

7) Avoid descriptors (adjectives, adverbs)
Want to write copy that GRABS and rivets customers to the screen? Write differently than 95% of everyone else online. The fastest way to do this is stripping out words like:

– valuable
– important
– ground-breaking
– impressive
– real-time
– superior

These are just a few examples. See below for examples using sentences that illustrate the power of letting customers decide for themselves how to describe your offering.

#1 Re-think the role of your blog

Is your blog giving customers temporary satisfaction …  and causing more questions (that you can answer) to pop into their heads?

This one is strategic. Keep with me. The other tips won’t help unless you get this right.

Social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+) are about attention spans. These platforms demand pithy catch-em-when-you-can communications. Strong headlines are a must. Bottom line: Social media are great for grabbing customers’ attention and directing them at something “meaty.” (using effective copywriting)

Here’s the rub: When writing on social media platforms you’re probably promoting content. Content on your blog.

You should be driving prospects to your blog—now more than ever before.

Because landing pages are becoming less-and-less effective. Buyers are demanding more answers, more insights, more advice about their purchase—up front.

If you don’t give it to them on your blog (early in the decision-making process) someone else will. If you don’t use your blog to give customers temporary satisfaction (and hunger for more) you’re wasting precious time.

Be warned: Don’t under-value your blog’s ability to seal the deal—to help you move from social media to lead faster, more effectively and with less effort.

Make sure your blog contains meaty content that primes customers to take action—become a lead.

#2 Follow a process, not just passion

Yes, we need to write blog articles frequently and drive traffic to them. But the pressure to crank-out TONS of blog posts causes problems. We start telling stories that don’t serve a purpose—or serve a goal that does not help us generate a lead!

We forget to give away our very best advice AND spark readers’ curiosity about the details.

Remember to:

  1. start with customers pains, goals, fears, ambitions or cravings in mind … and …
  2. structure blog posts to teach, guide or answer in ways that …
  3. create hunger for more of what we have to offer (a lead generation offer).

Focus on following this structure. Form the habit. Need some help? We will be learning more in the upcoming (FREE) Social Media Copywriting course. Join us and learn step-by-step how to make this process your habit.

Until then, here are my best social media copywriting tips. These will help you create hunger for more details in potential buyers.

Start here. Write a solution (answer) to a problem (question) your target market needs solved on your blog. Follow these guidelines to make sure your words get acted on—prospects see your call-to-action and ACT on it.

1) Get right to-the-point
When you write be like a laser. Don’t make readers wait for the solution. Hit ‘em with it in the first paragraph. Give them everything up front at a high level. Then, in the body of your article …

2) Reveal slowly
When it comes to all the juicy details of your remedy take it slow. Slow enough to encourage more questions—to create curiosity in the total solution. When you do this, make sure you …

3) Provoke response by leveraging the curiosity you just created.
Yes, be action-oriented and specific. But avoid being so complete in your blog, LinkedIn or Google+ post that readers become totally satisfied with your words.

#3 Get back to basics

There is 1 copywriting tip (habit) that consistently brings new business using social media—in my own work and research. It’s an old direct response marketing rule.

It doesn’t involve trust.

It doesn’t involve passion or authenticity.

(these ideas are the cost of entry)

It means ALWAYS giving customers a clear, compelling reason to ACT immediately—resolve, experience or improve something important to them. This is why your blog is so critical.

Customers need help:

  • believing there is a better way
  • realizing they just found it (on your blog) and
  • ACTING—taking a first step toward what they want (giving you a lead)

Blog or video content that makes customers respond does one thing really well:

Answers questions in ways that makes potential buyers think, “Yes, yes, YES … I can take action on that. That will probably create results for me. Now, how can I get my hands on more of those kinds of insights/tips?”

This is the key to using a blog to sell. This simple idea is the difference between blogging for sales and starving! Make it your goal.

Once you take this simple idea and turn it into a habit you will start generating more leads. Ask yourself, today, “am I giving the reader/viewer enough reason to click on my Google+ update?”

#4 Tell prospects it’s their choice

Want immediate access to the true potential of closing any given prospect? Want the best lead you can get using social media? Invite the prospect to say “yes” or “no.” Tell them, “the choice is yours” when making a lead generation call-to-action.

One day I tried this on a whim. It works.

Why and how can you do this? Well, hardly anyone does it. High performing sales people know: saying, “I know I’m interrupting you” or “I know you’ve got options here that don’t include me” to prospects gets an immediate, honest response.

Quick example. Think about how you use email—how you respond most often to short, compelling messages that ask you to. Others? Delete key!

That’s why it works.

Here’s how you can apply it using social media. Think about WHEN you choose to click links—anywhere on the Web. When someone tells you, “click here and read some of my advice” do you click? Heh. Not much.

But if the writer words it differently … as “I’ll offer you some of my best advice here. I’m confident it will help you but the choice is yours” would you click? More likely, yes.

Decades of psychological research proves: Affirming buyers’ right to choose gives them freedom. It emotionally and intellectually disarms them from “being pitched something” they don’t want. So make your calls-to-action in a way that re-affirms your prospects’ freedom to choose.

Doing this indirectly signals to prospects,  “I am not threatening your right to say no. You have free choice.”

#5 Focus like crazy on headlines

There are two kinds of headlines: Attention grabbers that generate sign-ups and those that fail. Effective headlines get right to the point. The trick to writing magnetic title is to appeal to emotional and tangible desires of prospects in ways they cannot resist acting on.

Do you have a relatively boring product or service? Get that thought out of your head! Replace it with this one:

Scratch an itch for your customer. Everyone has a pain, a fear or a goal. Your content is the pain-remover for them (and a bridge to what you sell for you).

Jot down answers to these questions on a piece of paper:

  • What keeps my prospects up at night?
  • What has them excited?
  • What goals or aspirations do customers have?
  • Are there myths they believe in that block buyers from getting what they need?

Focus your headlines on your remedy. Keep in mind:

  1. what matters (most) to customers … then …
  2. structure your title to clearly communicate “I will now give you what you need/crave.”

Here’s my best short-cut to getting the job done.

Follow the 4 U’s. Print these off and hang them on your wall. Make sure your headline is:

  • Useful (Is the promised knowledge valuable to the reader?)
  • Urgent (Does the message make them want to act immediately?)
  • Unique (Is the promised message remarkable?)
  • Ultra-Specific (How relevant is the knowledge or message?)

This formula will help you write headlines prospects cannot resist clicking on. Thanks to Mark Ford of American Writers and Artists Inc. for inventing them!

#6 Write to make readers crave more content

Effective content makes buyers hungry for more content. Every piece of content you write should make readers crave more. So … does it? Seriously, ask yourself. This is one of my best social media copywriting tips. It’s not just a tip. It’s THE habit to form.

Copywriting that creates leads makes prospects think, “gosh, I wonder what else the author of this article knows that I need to know!” or “wow, I see the opportunity more clearly now; how can I get access to more of this kind of thinking?”

This is how to use social media to drive leads and sales.

When writing remember this: Writing that converts eyeballs to leads leverages prospects’ desire to be more confident in themselves.

Get in the habit of asking yourself:

  1. Does what we publish solve a problem for the prospect or help them achieve a goal faster?
  2. Does our blog answer questions in ways that creates a little bit of confidence in readers—and hunger for more content?  
  3. Do our blog posts or social media blurbs give prospects a place to direct their curiosity? (in ways that generates leads)

#3 above is the biggie. This is where the call-to-action comes into play. Knowing how to make an effective call to action is vital to success.

 #7 Strengthen copy by avoiding descriptors

Most social media copy is under-performing because it’s built to fail. It’s weak, not strong. It contains words that work against the goal—provoking a behavior. One of the biggest “old school” copywriting techniques to strengthen words involves avoiding words that sound powerful but create unwanted results.

Are you an expert? Then be an expert. Avoid being a “internationally recognized expert.”

Is your product a revolutionary innovation? Make it an innovation.

You get the picture. You may occasionally want to use a descriptor but be careful. Use them sparingly. Strengthen your writing.

For example, I could have said “it’s a super-effective copywriting trick.” I could tell you how I really feel—passionately. But when I say “it’s a super effective copywriting trick” I’m trying to convince you. This works against me because I’m not stating fact. Instead, I’m working to convince you.

And that’s weak.

“It’s an effective copywriting trick.” Boom. Fact. No room for doubt.

See the difference? It may seem subtle but subconsciously we are programmed to pick up on people who are trying to influence us.

Make it a HABIT to avoid using adverbs and adjectives. It can make the difference between sounding authoritative and sounding like everyone else.

Start with a new POV on blogs

Getting prospects to stop reading on social media—and start DOing—means giving them a damn good reason to do so. Today, you cannot merely be relevant. You’ve got to be needed … truly essential to the success of your buyers. But even more important you’ve got to master effective social media copywriting.

Becoming a better copywriter starts with the right strategy.

Remember, information-rich content has never been more in-demand. Having it (at all) will drive your success at getting leads—even when using the best social media copywriting techniques.

“Gating” your best knowledge and tips is less-and-less effective each year. We cannot keep forcing readers to give up their contact information (and then some) in exchange for our download/white paper/checklist/tip sheet.

According to sources like InfusionSoft (and regrettably, my own experience!) buyers are registering less-and-less—as competitors increasingly give-away their best knowledge. Where?

On blogs!

Getting readers to convert to leads today demands not only the BEST copywriting on social platforms. It means effectively written, long-form content that helps customers achieve a desired goal, avoid a risk or solve a problem. This is where your blog comes into play.

Blogs are being under-valued by marketers and sales reps—in a time where they cannot afford to be.

Whether you’re selling business-to-business or to consumers your blog is THE content marketing hub. Your blog is where everything leads. Facebook and Google+ updates. LinkedIn group discussions, status updates, company page posts, your LinkedIn profile call to action.

Good luck!

Photo credit: MacBook writing (Håkan Dahlström) / CC BY 2.0

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About your coach

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.