Remember when Facebook decided to update its newsfeed algorithm so you pretty much had to pay any time you wanted to show up in your fans’ newsfeeds?
Sucked, didn’t it?
So now you’re faced with keeping a social media advertising budget, but making sure you get the absolute most out of the money you spend can be hard.
A major way to stand out, though, is to tweak the copywriting you’re using in your posts to say something different than what every other one of your competitors is saying.
It’s a lot easier than it sounds, and no intensive copywriting tutorials will be involved, I promise. In fact, I've got three copywriting hacks for your social media posts that you can test today. Let me show you how.
1. Say what your competitors aren’t (and maybe even what they’re afraid to)
It might sound a bit mystical at first, to figure out the things your competitors aren’t saying... but it’s actually pretty easy to figure this one out.
The thing is, as business owners (and especially as women, if I can say that), we tend to under-value what we do and the products and services we have for sale.
Denise Duffield-Thomas illustrates it perfectly in this video:
But the thing is, men and women both have the tendency to do this from time to time, which likely means that your competition probably isn’t tooting their own horn as loudly as they (or you) should be.
Because within every single industry, the vast majority of business owners and marketers unknowingly fall into saying exactly what everyone else is saying. They sell the same products, offer the same services, and say the same things about them.
This might make it “easy” when deciding what to write in your social media posts, because you can just check out what everyone else is writing. But when you sound no different from your competition, your prospective fans and customers aren’t going to notice or appreciate your differences, and it’s those differences that make you and your business worth their time and attention.
“Forge your own path and leave your own mark,” said Drew Eric Whitman in Cashvertising. “You don’t need permission from anybody to do things your way. You be the leader. You be the one people copy because what you’re doing is so unique. Shake people up in your industry. Why be just another person in your industry who does nothing new, nothing worth noting, nothing that gets people talking and buying?” (emphasis mine)
This guy, for example. Not to hate on him, but he’s trying to use every emotional-ridden jargon word for his industry, and it’s killing him. Not to mention that pose. So cliche. And the screaming caps. Just no.
Or this post. It’s way less painful to read and doesn’t make you cringe, but he could definitely be getting more (& better) attention, increasing his click throughs and leads.
But by breaking out of the industry norms and saying things in a way that shamelessly help the people behind these ads toot their own horns (in a non-douchey way, of course), we can really help these ads stand out.
I can’t edit the bottom half, but look at the new top half I’ve written. I’ve taken out most of the jargon, spoken to pain points without using all caps, and make a promise I can deliver on if you click through.
I open this ad with a hook that’s focused on a pain point so many aspiring travel writers feel threatened by. Then I “buddy up” to the reader to show that I share in their annoyance. Finally, I make a promise to let them see how people who have their dream job did it, so they can do it to. And suddenly, you’re clicking on it, aren’t you?
2. Ask only for the next step - not the main goal
Social media is social media.
It’s not a product shopping cart.
It can be tempting, though, to use the time and effort you spend on social media to go ahead and ask for the sale. After all, you don’t want to waste your time pansy-footing around when you’ve got a business to run and money to make, do you?
But that’s not what social media is for.
Getting people to click through to your site from social media is much less about getting the sale right away and much more about building up their momentum to keep clicking and subconsciously saying “Yes!” to you.
“You’re helping them focus on the benefit they want from the product rather than their hesitation to make the investment to own it,” said Tom Hopkins on Entrepreneur.
So by only asking for the next step (which might be to read a blog post or get a free ebook), you’ll generate more clicks and get more traffic to the pages you want people on.
Become an owner of an Allstate agency before I’m ever even a customer or in their professional HR pipeline in any way? Don’t think this ad is going to work on me, sorry.
On the flip side, though, even though I am in this guy’s ad network because I’ve visited his site, he isn’t asking me for much—just for an email subscription in exchange for his advice (which he knows I’ve already seen). It’s a much more likely step, isn’t it?
What’s more, when you do get people to your site, you’ll be able to pixel more visitors for your custom advertising audience even if you don’t ask for any kind of conversion or sale the first time they’re on your site, so you can continue to reach out to them via retargeting. (More on that from Facebook, here.)
This is particularly helpful for those of us who sell higher-priced items that usually aren’t purchased in a split decision after clicking through on an ad.
By exposing people to who you are, your expertise, and your offering over time, you build their trust instead of putting them off by asking for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars right away.
Max Chierruzi, CEO of AdEspresso, a Facebook advertising agency, said that when they started focusing on the next step instead of the major goal, their cost per click went down from $0.10 to $0.03 or $0.05.
They did this by targeting ads towards people who hadn’t visited their site to simply visit and receive value. Then, after they visited and were pixeled, they ran ads to get them to sign up for a lead magnet.
3. Use testimonials & customer photos as your ad content
Now this is something which is very much worth testing.
Social media is one of the best ways to advertise to your target demographics, especially when Facebook has so many pieces of demographic information you can sort through and target based on.
By using a testimonial from a person that most closely matches the target demographic you’re going after for a particular campaign, you immediately increase your relevance and credibility with those who see the ad.
“We’re comfortable with what we know, and what we know best is our own face,” said Kate Hakala.
Extending beyond just our face though, we also know our life situation, job, industry, and region better than others, so we tend to have higher trust towards things that seem to be affiliated with those things.
If you’re showing an ad on LinkedIn, for example, you can focus the testimonial text you use around the numbers you know your target audience there would be most concerned about during the workday, when they’re most likely to be on the site.
In an article about how to hire more women, LinkedIn suggests placing images of women in the recruitment ads.
It's time to start hacking your social media posts
So now you’ve got three things to try to get more attention to your brand’s social media posts:
- Use different language than your competitors.
- Ask for only the next step, not the sale.
- Use testimonials and ideal customer’s faces in your ads.
All three of these copywriting hacks for social media posts are fairly easy updates, and worth testing to improve your attention and ROI. Then, you can sit back and let those social media platforms work their magic.