Copywriting & Social Media Engagement

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Copywriting & Social Media Engagement

Social media copywriters offer numerous benefits to companies seeking to improve their social media presence. These specialized copywriters understand how to optimally employ content marketing techniques on social media, understand the nuances of individual social media channels, can employ copywriting techniques and formulas in the context of social media marketing, and can ensure not only that time is spent developing the company's social media presence, but that it is time well spent.

effectively employ content marketing on social media

  • Content marketing is "a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience," rather than advertising products or services in a traditional manner.
  • As SocialBee's social media copywriting manual explains, copywriting and content marketing are different, but "copywriting involves content writing." It simply employs content in a focused way in an attempt to lead the viewer to action.
  • As the Content Marketing Institute found in a 2017 study, "91% of top [marketing firms] are extremely or very committed to content marketing, compared to 63% of the overall sample and 35% of the bottom performers."
  • Their focus on content marketing reflects data showing increased effectiveness and ROI of content marketing versus traditional advertising. A recent Neil Patel study found that content marketing/SEO generated the highest return on marketing spend of any marketing segment reviewed.
  • While traditional copywriting may not include the range of content present on social media, effective social media copywriters will know how and when to employ a form of content marketing that SocialBee calls "visual social media marketing," which is a "process that includes the use of video, images and other visual content — such as infographics — to help your copy (your message) stand out from the crowd and to more efficiently reach your target audience."
  • Visual marketing of this sort is increasingly recognized as vital to digital marketing success. In fact, a recent study by Malaysian researchers found "positive significant (0.01) high correlation of .709 for customer engagement and .711 were obtained for visual presentation," indicating that visual presentation leads to higher engagement.

specialized knowledge and techniques

  • Copywriters are educated in writing copy in ways designed to engage audiences using specialized knowledge and techniques. This is perhaps most true in the realm of social media, where specialized approaches are needed for each individual social media channel, as SocialBee describes in its social media copywriting manual.
  • Copywriters have knowledge of, and practice with, various formulas to write effective copy. For example, the copywriting formula AIDA describes how effective copy draws attention, creates interest, creates desire, and inspires viewers to Action.
  • Good copywriters are not only familiar with formulas like this, they have experience employing them in their areas of expertise.
  • This sort of expertise may explain why the aforementioned Malaysian study found "a positive significant (0.01) modest correlation of .653" between copywriting and purchases, indicating, as the authors describe, that copywriting "performs an important role of convincing people about a product by transforming product features into benefits to convince readers into making a purchase."
  • Employing these tools of the trade can help draw social media users in to the content produced on a company's social media feed, and increases the likelihood that viewers have a positive interaction with the company's social media. This is extremely beneficial to the company, as "71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others."
  • Similarly, "96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles," meaning that social media copywriters adept at creating attention-capturing content can overcome a lack of owned profile followers to create widely-shared content.
  • Social media copywriters may also bring a skill in SEO optimization to the table, increasing the likelihood that social media content appears on search engines.

creating attractive social media profiles

  • As digital marketing firm Copyblogger has remarked, "even if you love writing, there’s a limit to how many words you can consistently get onto the page or screen every day." This is where a specialized copywriter can be a valuable addition to a company's marketing efforts.
  • Of course, hiring a copywriter requires that a company have a dedicated marketing budget, and be willing to make room in that budget to make the addition. However, if these criteria are met, hiring a specialized copywriter can ensure that social media marketing efforts are more focused and effective than they otherwise would be.
  • Social media copywriters not only "understands the nuances of writing for various social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others," but also often has "strategic chops, which can be helpful when it comes to developing content series, contests, partnerships, and more."
  • This means that hiring a specialized copywriter to lead social media efforts will ensure that an individual is investing sufficient time in the company's social media, but also that this time is well-spent, leveraging knowledge of the medium to achieve optimal results.
  • In today's media landscape, this is increasingly important, given that "a third of all internet users research products and brands through social media."
  • The first impression that some consumers have with a company's brand involve its social media pages, and if the person managing these pages does not know how to do so effectively, or is not putting enough time into doing so, this can lead to a bad first impression.

research strategy

To find insights regarding the value (or lack thereof) associated with hiring specialized copywriters for social media efforts, we first conducted a search of research organizations and organizations within the marketing and social media spaces. Our goal with this approach was to find data supporting or disproving the value that social media copywriters bring to bear with regard to corporate social media management, particularly with regard to engagement or a similar success metric. However, through this method little was found directly linking engagement to the presence of a social media copywriter, either positively or negatively.

As a second approach, we conducted a search of scholarly databases, hoping to find academic studies regarding the efficacy of copywriting on social media. Like the last approach, we hoped that this approach would yield case studies, surveys, or other quantitative examinations of the value that social media copywriters offer, particularly with regard to engagement. However, again limited information was found using this approach. We found one relevant study utilizing Malaysian data, and while the scope of this research is limited to the US, we included the data in this study due to a lack of US-focused data, though we clearly denoted that the data is from a Malaysian source.

Our third approach consisted of a wide-ranging press search, seeking media reports exploring the efficacy of copywriting on social media. Here, we hoped to find media reports directly providing relevant data, or reports discussing studies that could then be explored further. As in the previous approaches, little of value was yielded from this search. General information about, and qualitative support for, social media copywriters was found, but we found no data directly linking the presence of these individuals with any engagement trends (positive or negative) or any other success metrics.

Through these three approaches, we found several sources discussing social media copywriting, but these generally did not contain data directly supporting or refuting its use, particularly with regard to engagement. However, we found studies and reports providing data obliquely related to social media copywriting (for instance, data showing the efficacy of content marketing). We used these data in conjunction with material discussing the nature and qualitative benefits of social media copywriting to attempt to provide a quantitative look at the benefits that can be reaped by employing a specialized social media copywriter.
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