Whether you are a blog, a business, or an individual – gaining traction on social media can be challenging. Thankfully, copywriters have been specializing in ways to get attention from people long before social media came along and a few of their methods can be especially useful for helping to drive traffic on social media.
There is an old copywriting formula known as AIDA. The reason why it’s still around today is that it works. You can adapt this formula for virtually any purpose — from ads to social updates to promoting blog posts and other content.
This is always the beginning of your copy. Because the most important ingredient in getting attention from an audience is to first get them to notice you, this step will often be the job of the headline. If the social platform you are using doesn’t allow for a headline in addition to the body of the message, you can incorporate attention into the message itself.
An example of this would be Twitter. In most cases on Twitter, you want to make the message itself compelling enough to grab attention. You might be able to add a photo to your update, which will give you a little extra real estate to work with.
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In order to get attention, you want your headline to give people the sense that this is the exact information they’ve been searching for. Plant the idea that what they are about to read is going to be useful. But don’t give away the farm. Being too obvious or direct can make people feel there is no need to read any further. A far better technique is to pique the reader’s curiosity. Give them just enough in the headline to make them feel they have to read further to discover the “meat” of the message.
Here is where you reward your readers by giving them a few more details. Interest is all about setting the hook so your readers will stick with you a little further. You want to make it clear to them they are in the right place. In essence, you are making a promise… a promise that if the reader sticks with you, you’ll help them solve a problem, or provide them with some other benefit they are interested in.
Copywriters know that in order to get people to take action like buying, reading, following, etc. you have to engage their emotions. In other words, you have to make people feel something. This is why approaches that are bland and blatant tell the reader a few bare facts that fail to drive traffic.
This is why personality and humor can make social media stand out of brands. Absolutely no one spends time on social media in order to be bored, right? Everyone on social media is looking to be entertained. Even if you use a platform primarily for business, you still have to be interesting in order to gain a following or maintain people’s interest.
The first commandment of copywriting is to drive action. No matter what, you want to get your readers to do something. This can be as obvious as asking them to purchase something, but on social media, the more likely action you’ll want people to take is to click on a link, make a comment, or ‘like’ and share your content.
You can come right out and tell people to “Click like” or “Follow the link to read the post” — that’s perfectly acceptable. But a more interesting thing to do is to give them a reason to do something. Make them WANT to click a link or share your content by making it interesting, fun, or valuable. If you make it seem like they’ll be missing out on all the fun, you won’t be able to keep them from clicking your links.