Writing for social media: Creating copy that works

creating social media copy

Writing for social media. Maybe it’s second nature to you at this point. Sometimes it can get stale. Or perhaps you’ve never really been able to figure out where to start, and you’ve become overwhelmed and resorted to using the same few setups over and over again.

If you’re looking to break out of your rut (or you’re just not even sure where to start), here are some great ways to figure out how to set up your post.

Creating social post copy is as important as writing your headline – sometimes even more critical.

You heard that right. Social post copy is where you grab interest, insert your voice, and set up the story. The story setup doesn’t stop at the headline anymore.

Your social post copy is your sales pitch – combined with your headline. You’re creating a marketing pitch for your social followings. Taking the time to consider how you want to sell your story is always worthwhile. The most important things to consider (in no particular order) are as follows:

  • Tone: Consider the type of content you are pitching. Choose your setup appropriately. If it’s a lighthearted piece, don’t be afraid to have fun. If it’s a heavy piece, prepare your audience accordingly.
  • Content: Do not oversell your content – that is clickbait. Conversely, do not do yourself a disservice by underselling it, either. If it’s a powerful story, it deserves a powerful setup.
  • Voice: Always consider who you are as a publisher and the audience that is reading it.

Consider your platform

The platform matters a lot. Each platform has a different set of parameters for post setup, with different character requirements, image aspect ratios, audience demographics, and more.

You cannot just share the same post to all of your major platforms and hope for the best. To be effective you need to tailor each post for the audience. Your Facebook audience is likely not the same as your Twitter audience.

It’s worth the effort to know what works where. Here are some brief tips for each platform. For more in depth looks, click here.


  • Format properly. No hashtags, @symbols, etc. Tag natively and keep your copy clean.
  • Don’t post extra long content. Facebook’s character limit is high, but that doesn’t mean people read it.
  • Personalize, personalize, personalize. Know exactly who you’re talking to and what will make them stop scrolling. This is key: People expect a personal experience on social media. Give them what they’re interested in.


  • “Above the fold” real estate is important. This means that the handful of characters before the “see more” click is critical. The longer the content, the more people are going to check out. Hashtags, etc need to go at the end. Hook them in the first few words.
  • Post videos. Reels are performing far and above static images. This doesn’t mean you should eliminate them entirely, but you’re missing an opportunity if you refuse to post video content.
  • Hashtags do matter. And you can use a bunch. Stick to 5-15ish. You’ll hear people throw around a bunch of “ideal” numbers, but the point is that you don’t have to limit yourself to 2, like Twitter.


  • Limit your hashtags. Seriously, it’s annoying. 1-2 is all you need. You don’t have a lot of real estate.
  • Conversational voice is your friend. If you read like a news ticker, you’re going to be ignored. Use humor, personality, and wit.
  • Be concise. You don’t need filler words or fluff. Say what you mean in as few words as possible. Relatedly, Threads are awesome, but make sure you’re telling a story. Don’t ramble.

Choose your voice

The content’s “voice” is maybe the most important thing to ask yourself. Every page needs a voice. Is it run by an anchor or other personality? Make sure you’re using a consistent voice from that person’s perspective. If it’s a station page, decide on your station’s voice. Do you speak in the first or 3rd person? Are there recurring themes that you want to tackle? Here are some questions to ask:

  • Who is your audience? Think about your demographics and your geographic location. What colloquialisms and local jargon makes sense to include?
  • Decide on your level of formality. Some stations prefer to maintain a high level of professionalism. Some stations prefer to have more fun on social media. Every DMA and station is different, so discuss your approach and stay consistent.
  • Have you created personas? Personas can help you visualize your audience and create content that speaks directly to them. Knowing that you’re talking to a 37-year-old married male named Brandon interested in football, local businesses, and travel can help you select content and sell it with appropriate social post copy.

Ultimately, remember that social media is social. Approach people conversationally, and they will respond in kind.

Deciding on a social setup

This part can trip many people up. It’s easy to fall into a social post copy rut with one word takes and copy/pasted snippets from a story. While sometimes those are appropriate, they can get stale.

Here are some ideas:

  • Pull a snippet from the story. Please don’t overdo it, but this is a tried and true method. Length doesn’t matter that much. Pull something compelling, and don’t worry too much about giving the story away. It doesn’t matter as much as you think. But if you’ve got a crazy crime story, don’t hesitate to pull the most bizarre details. It’s going to play well on social.
  • Use emojisSome relevant emoji placement goes a long way. We are working in social media – you’re not creating white papers. Have fun, use emojis to invoke a particular emotion, convey humor, and have some fun. Choose them carefully – you don’t want a laughing face on a story where somebody got hurt – but when used correctly, they can be great thumb-stopping setups.
  • Ask a question. People want to talk. Give them a chance to tell you what they think! Use discretion – there are times where you don’t want to open that can of worms – but here are some ideas:
  • Did a local landmark close? Ask people to share memories.
  • National pet day? Ask people to share photos of their animals.
  • Running a weekly event calendar story? Ask people about their weekend plans.
  • Sometimes, less is more. Yes, occasionally, one-word setups are the best. “Tragic.” or “Heartbreaking.” can go a long way, but make sure that the story is powerful enough to delive

And that’s it! Don’t overthink your social post copy, but it deserves your attention. Once you’ve got your copy down, True Anthem can help you take your posting to the next level. Happy posting! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date on social media news.

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