6 mistakes to avoid when writing social media posts
Even the best Community Managers have trouble writing a 10/10 social media plan. Take a look at some of the most common issues and how to tackle them.
One of my responsibilities as a copywriter is working with Community Managers and helping them prep their social media plans. I’ve been doing this for a while now and noticed a few issues almost every Community Manager has come across in creating their social media posts.
We figured the best way to solve these issues is to address them so we talked about the best ways of eliminating them and created a helpful checklist Community Managers can turn to before and after writing their posts.
So, if you’re starting out as a Community Manager, here are a few most common mistakes (in my experience) and how to avoid them.
Creating a fresh and inspired social media plan every month can sometimes get tiring, especially if you have several clients. It’s easy to spot those posts that just scream “no inspiration”.
The most efficient way to avoid this situation is to start making a plan immediately after you’ve finished the previous one. Now, I know that constant workload doesn’t make this easy and most people get to their tasks sometime before the deadline, BUT — a short deadline can either be a great motivator or give you a serious case of writer’s block, so it’s best to avoid this situation by continuously working on your next social media plan.
I don’t mean you should push yourself to pop out a post a day, but to keep your brand in the back of your mind, draw inspiration from everyday situations and write down rough ideas you’ll polish later.
Underestimating the power of an image
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is not just a phrase. Sometimes you come up with the copy and are just looking for an image to complement that copy, but fail to revisit the post as a whole and end up disregarding all the information an image carries.
For example, let’s imagine you’re writing a copy about amazing sunsets at a beachside resort. You don’t have to describe all the colors of the sunset, the image will do it for you. Take advantage of the space you have to make your point, not duplicate information.
Complicating, and then some
Having a lot of ideas is not a bad thing, but the true skill is knowing how to edit yourself. If you overload a post with information, questions or ask more than one action from the audience you’re talking to, your fans are a) going to give up and scroll on or b) end up confused and probably won’t react the way you intended them to.
Try focusing on one message, idea or action, and make it clear. You can also always run your post by a colleague to be sure your intention is successful.
Character space abuse
If you’re prone to complicating (see above), you probably have trouble with long-ass posts. Unfortunately, nobody’s going to read that. People are bombarded with content on their feed, they’re busy looking at videos of cats and cute babies, ads and wedding pics of their high school nemesis. If you want to reach them, you have to cut through the noise and make your message clear and concise. Every time you finish a post, go over it and see what you can say in fewer words.
This is a really obvious one, but always important to stress. Everybody makes mistakes and that’s ok, the problem is when you don’t proofread your posts for whatever reason.
Go over your post a couple of times, use a spelling tool or have somebody take a second look. This is also why it’s good to have a plan ready before a deadline, there’s plenty of time to check and re-check everything.
Forgetting who your brand is
Yes, who, not what. Brands are no longer one-dimensional but have likes, dislikes, personality traits, beliefs and areas of interest. And they’re talking with their audiences, not at them.
What I mean when I say someone has forgotten the brand is a post that has no character, attitude or opinion. To figure out if you have a bland post, the best question you can ask yourself is — can this post be the post of another brand? If the answer is yes, you need to rethink it.
If you’re having trouble connecting with your brand or switching between brands in your daily work, have detailed notes describing a brand as a person and the manner of speech it uses.
The Before and After checklists
Now that we’ve gone through the most common issues, here are two checklists that will hopefully help you with creating your social media posts.
Before writing a post:
- Choose the goal of your post (web clicks, comments, shares)
- Decide on the one idea or message to convey
- Remind yourself about the spirit and personality of your brand
- Know who you are writing to
- Think about which image would best complement your copy and vice-versa
After finishing a post:
- Is the post in sync with the brand’s personality and language?
- Is the post talking about a subject the brand would be likely to talk about?
- Is the end message clear?
- Is the grammar ok?
- If there’s an action the post is encouraging, is it only one clear action?
- Are the image and copy telling a story, are they a coherent unit?
- Can I send the same message in fewer characters?
I hope this post was helpful and good luck to you in your own Community Managing career. If you have any tips from personal experience on how you anticipate social media post issues, tell us about it. 🙂