Escape the Trolls by Writing Better Social Media Content
“Writing for social media will be so easy,” they said. “If you know how to write, then you’ll know how to write content,” they said. “Don’t read the comments section,” they said.
The world of social media has become a way of life. It’s a quick and easy way to interact with the world around you, including the brands, people and causes you love. And, just like the real world, it includes a whole host of trolls looking to yuck your yum with criticism and judgment.
While their impact can be damaging and disheartening, there is a bright side: for every hater lurking online, there are many more users looking for inspiration, connection, and something they can engage with. And that’s where brands have the opportunity to really shine – they just have to know how to do it.
Here are the three most helpful things I’ve learned about creating social content that connects (without feeding the trolls):
I cannot emphasize this enough. Before you even start writing you need to establish the brand voice. What would this brand sound like if it were a person? How would they talk? Who would they be? You need to really understand the brand you’re working with so you can accurately portray them online. People are smart and will immediately call BS if you hop online and start trying to sell things like it’s a print ad. Forget the headlines, forget the taglines, and aim to start a genuine conversation with your audience. If you’re not trying too hard to be cool or sell-y, people will be much more receptive.
Write for your audience.
This piggybacks off the previous notion of authenticity. But once you establish the brand voice, it’s really important to know who you’re talking to. There have been way too many times that I’ve seen a brand try to be cool and hip because that’s what they think Instagram is. But that doesn’t work if your audience is a bunch of middle-aged moms just trying find the best brand of paint for their kids’ college apartments. If you don’t speak to your audience in their own language, you won’t have an audience at all.
Write for the platform.
It’s always a good idea to tailor the writing for each specific platform. For example, you may get more eyes on Twitter if you use (not overuse) proper hashtags, and include images with your post. Or if you’re posting a link on Facebook, maybe you want to edit the image and link description that’s automatically supplied. This is an easy way to customize your post that a lot of people don’t think about.
There will always be people who use the anonymity of the Internet to throw daggers at your hard work, but that shouldn’t discourage you from engaging with people who buy, use, and appreciate your efforts. It all comes down to spending time with your brand, getting to know your audience, and becoming familiar with each platform you’re using. And remember that it takes time for people to catch on to the changes you’ve made. Just be patient, persistent, and aware – oh, and don’t let the trolls and haters get you too down.