Some days it feels like social media is slowly taking over the world. From Facebook to Snapchat, to Twitter and Instagram, social media is becoming an increasingly important part of marketing. According to World Wide Worx, this year social media will be an indispensable tool not only for South African marketers but politicians, artists, and activists etc. as well. With this growth in social media’s significance, it’s important to acknowledge that with content-driven platforms, copywriting is still (and always will be) a core element, even if it is in small doses on platforms such as Twitter.
Here are a few common copywriting mistakes that occur frequently on social media, and that brands should avoid at all costs:
1. Brand tone and language inconsistencies
It happens quite often that the brand language and the way the brand is structured is inconsistent with what is seen on their social media platforms. The most common reason for this is that companies undervalue the power of social media because they aren’t paid-for platforms. With this mind-set, there is a lack of investment in terms of resources, time, and skill. Immediately, paid-for advertising campaigns and executions have a higher standard than social media posts and campaigns. Social media activity is left to junior employees that have little or no guidance.
If your brand is all about being formal and professional, but your social media posts are very casual with slang, it will create confusion. It will become even more of a problem because it confuses the reader and detracts from the brand that you’ve worked so hard to build. When it comes to social media, consistency is key. Don’t constantly change your approach to social media, shifting from formal to casual within a few days. Make sure to keep representing the brand throughout all the platforms to avoid confusing your readers.
Having a comprehensive brand book, which clearly stipulates how social media should be approached and executed, will also ensure that consistency will remain despite different copywriters managing the platforms.
Whether you are a ‘hashtag-novice’ or a ‘hashtag-pro’, it is quite easy for brands to misuse ‘hashtagging’. Hashtags are a wonderful tool if you know how to utilise them correctly. It is a way to increase engagement and link your content to relevant information.
But, if they are not used correctly they can lead to a decrease in engagement, a confusing post or a nonsensical post or even something that comes across as spam. For instance, on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, less is more when it comes to hashtags. Only use one or two hashtags to avoid your content looking unprofessional or overwhelming.
With some platforms, you can bend this rule a bit. Instagram, for instance, allows for more hashtags, so you can go let loose a little more. The key is to always keep it relevant.
3. Same content, different platform
Copying, pasting, posting.
This formula is a common mistake that many brands still make today: using the same content for different social media platforms. People use different social media platforms for different reasons; having the same content for all of them doesn’t make sense.
It is important to acknowledge what makes a platform unique and to create content that matches the platform. Apart from this, many brands forget that people might be following them on more than one of their social media platforms. With a copy-and-paste mentality, users will pick this up very quickly.
4. Shoddy copywriting
Even though social media can be a more informal way of communicating with your potential customers, it’s no excuse for poor grammar or spelling. Poor copywriting reflects badly on the brand and can do more harm than good.
A simple spelling mistake can lead to an unprofessional-looking brand and might be the difference between a consumer choosing you or a competitor. Bland copy is also an issue; it definitely won’t inspire your reader to find out more about your offering. Make sure to craft copy that will stand out and entice your reader to find out more or click on the link to the article or website.
5. Not proofreading your posts
We understand that this task is tedious at times. You just want to upload the posts or are under a tight deadline, but make sure to check spelling and grammar. If you don’t have a proofreader on hand, there are very nifty tools that will be able to help with your spelling and grammar (although a human eye is always best).
The business-side of socialising
When it comes to social media, being reckless is not an option you can afford as a business. Remember, social media never forgets. Many politicians and comedians have forgotten this to their own detriment.
A professional copywriter that understands online marketing will always be a good investment for your brand and its story, especially for social media. On the flipside – if your business is losing out on the impact, insight, and advantages social media has to offer – you can only blame yourself.