5 tips for attention-grabbing social copy – Formative Content

5 tips for attention-grabbing social copy

Hello, proof that the advice in this blog works. We’ve got you here thanks to our headline and social copy, so it only seems fair that you read on. Here are 5 tips to help you write attention-grabbing copy of your own.

1. Don’t waffle

This might seem obvious, but too often on social media you see paragraphs of copy. Who has time for that? We’ve all got hectic lives and people don’t have the attention span for a novel. Lengthy copy will put people off as they scroll through their feeds. Get to the point, or you’ll put people off. On that note, I’ll leave tip 1 here.

2. Work with the image and headline

Your social copy doesn’t exist in isolation. You’ve got a headline and image, graphic or, if you’re dead flash, a video to work with. Your audience will see all of them. Exploit this, have them interplay, each giving away part of the story, without revealing the whole. At Formative HQ we have ongoing arguments about whether people look at the social copy, headline or image first (yes, we’re cool) – and we’re yet to decide. The lesson? Different people focus on different aspects first, and indeed, as you’re scrolling it’s probably an instant combination of all three. So, whatever you do, don’t forget about the headline and image when you’re writing your copy.

3. Be clever, be smart and make people smile

Let’s face it, the world can be depressing place – and social media can feel like the epitome of that. There’s value in giving people a smile as they scroll through their feeds – nothing quite like a grin get people to stop on your post. Remember your audience are people – treat to them like that, interact with them, and appeal to their intelligence and sense of fun.

4. It’s not just about the words

You’ve got space to work with. Don’t just write on one line, or multiple lines (see tip 1 for more on this), but think about how you can use the layout to grab people’s attention. Why not do two short lines, with a break in between? Or use … to pause the reader. Then of course there’s the emoji. If it’s right for your brand, and if you use them correctly, they can be a great way to grab people’s attention – and do no harm with tip 3. Otherwise your copy might just be ?

5. Give people a reason to engage

Once you’ve successfully grabbed your distracted social media user’s attention, you’ve got to convert that into engagement. Make them watch the video, read your post, comment, like and share. There’s no magic formula for this, unfortunately, but it’s about giving away enough, without giving it all away. Make it interesting, make them curious, but don’t be mysterious or seemingly irrelevant. This relies on you understanding your audience – what are their interests, what don’t they know, and what might they like to know?

To sum it up

It’s all about ‘arresting the scroll’. If we had an ‘arrest-the-scroll’ swear jar here at Formative, we’d all be much poorer – in other words, we’re obsessed. Social media is nothing but people vying for other people’s attention. It’s a tough gig, and the battle is getting people to stop on your post. Social copy is one of your biggest weapons to do this, so use it wisely – and don’t use up all your inspiration writing the blog, filming the video or making the graphic. Save enough to write great, attention-grabbing, scroll-arresting copy.

Joe Myers - Head of Operations, Formative Content
Author:Joe Myers - Head of Operations, Formative Content