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How to Write Killer Social Media Copy that don't sound "salesy"

Credit: Little Drill

Credit: Little Drill


Here’s something I see people and my clients ask:

“AHHHHHHH!!! I’m running out of captions to write… and I don’t want to sound pitchy!!11one!!!”


Firstly. That’s fantastic that you know that social media isn’t a place where you do the hard sell 24/7.

Because personally? I feel like sometimes, there is a blurr for us who have businesses and are on social media. Be it Facebook or Instagram.

We are lost for words… because

... we know we shouldn’t be seeing social media as an e-commerce store or a pitch forum (because it’s not.) It’s a connection goldmine.

So know your audience (by this - I mean you know them so well that you know the questions they want to ask - but haven’t asked yet, you know what frustrates them, and you know how to help them recognise what they might need help with… because half the time? They don’t even know whether they need your service or product, and how it could change their day-to-day), nail your tone of voice (more on this soon), make sure its consistent and when you run out of things to write?

Remember these five (5) tips (and bookmark this email for later if you like):

1. Get Personal

As humans, we crave connection. It’s how we are all inherently wired. To create a relationship, you have to get under the skin of what’s behind your brand and business. Write something personal about you, and write something that’s honest.

My favourite phrase? “No fluff. Just real stuff.”

While it’s not for everyone - when you do share something personal about you? That’s when you cut through the social media noise and become personal, human to human, and real with your audience.

Ignite that feeling, build that connection.

Here are some ideas to get personal:

  • A win

  • A thought

  • A struggle

  • Feelings about a certain subject matter

  • Things not many people know about you/the brand

  • Testimonials from Clients

  • Specific things about you/the brand:

    • E.g. What does the team at <your brand> do when you’re not pedaling?

    • E.g. Day in the life of <X>

    • E.g. Individual Team Profiles - let’s get to know them!

Instead of sharing only your work, share bits and pieces about you, your story, the brand’s story so they can feel more connected to your work.


2. Learn the Art of Storytelling

Let’s play a little game shall we? What resonates more?

A list of ingredients to an ice cream that’s paired with an image of such ice cream? Or… a story of how a father took his little girl to the ice cream van to get her favourite ice cream?


Yep. That’s what I thought. So find that perfect balance between visual, verbal and emotional and bring it all in together and paint that image in your reader’s mind. This has in fact been scientifically proven to be an effective way to get a message across and having it resonate.

Oh and lastly? Remember to try not to simply story tell from just your perspective.

For example. If you’re a photographer in the wedding industry, don’t write a blog about how happy you are to have been part of the day, or the wedding venue, or you being part of something so special. That’s beautiful, but to go that extra mile?

Consider storytelling from the other way around. Tell their story.

How did the groom feel when his other half was walking down the aisle? How were the parents? Why was their wedding so special and why did they choose certain elements of their day?


3. Get to know your audience

You have to know your audience, but no one said you have to be a complete mind reader. Get to know what your audience needs - by literally - asking them.

When you create value, and content based on what your audience needs? This not only boosts the likelihood of people engaging, sharing, liking and following you - but you’re inherently saying… “Hey! I hear you!”. People want to feel heard.

With everything becoming automated and digitalised - bring the old-fashioned back by honing into forming real relationships beyond the mere “insert emoji” or double tap.

Ask your audience what they want to know. And go and create it.

Whether it’s a blog, a video, a new feature to your product or service because that’s what your audience has asked for. Ask and repurpose, so they can see you’ve paid attention.

If you have a Facebook Group, run a live poll and write a blog/e-lesson on the topic that gets the most votes. (This was exactly what we did with our group)


4. Remember your Difference

The fundamental thing that underpins a brand? It is its difference. And we're not talking about just your logo or just your colour palettes, or your content - it’s your belief. Your why. And you need to be able to convey that. #CheersSimonSinek

Don’t just talk about work work work, or life life life.

Mix it up and humanise your brand. Remember what makes you different. Convey that through the communique that you accentuate out into the social media world.


5. Give, give, give

This is particularly important in Social Media. No one likes the hard sell. You don’t. I don’t.

Show them why you’re different through real value and your own insights. NOT what everyone else in the industry is talking about… simply regurgitated. Come on. That’s not original. If they are all talking about what the latest trend is for 2018… you can talk about what’s NOT a trend.

Give your followers and readers something they cannot find anywhere else.


NOT Google. Not your competitors.

Again, this has been proven by a number of studies (but here is one). 

So there you have it guys. 

Majority of the time, we're on social media to find inspiration, brands we love to see more of and to connect. Not so much be sold to on the face. So keep the golden nuggets above in mind next time you struggle to find your words on socials. 

PS. If you're still skeptical, we've pulled together pretty much your next 55 captions on our Word-Shop Caption Starters.