How to Create the Best Social Media Content: Say Less

Jul 2012

By now, you know that creating good social media content for your business is all about telling your story. And you know that good content is essential for lead generation. (If you need a refresher course on content, look here.) But after you’ve grasped the concept of telling your story, you face the next hurdle. When you sit down in front of your computer, how do you actually write that content. I mean, physically, literally, what do you write?

Here are the three rules of content for social media:

Clarity, Brevity, Simplicity.

Stick to one thought per post. Write less, not more. Put the important stuff first. When writing content for social media, how you say it is just as important as what you say. Much of your audience probably has full time jobs that do not involve being on Facebook all day, so don’t give them long, confusing posts that require lots of time and concentration. Give them scan-able posts that they can learn something from, and get back to work!


Lead with what’s most important. I’m sure you’re a great writer. And your posts – I am certain – are fascinating. But very few people are going to read them. They are going to glance at the first few words, and move down the newsfeed. So start with the thing you absolutely want them to know. Then you can add a few details. Start with an attention-grabbing fact or stat. Be funny. But don’t beat around the bush. And if you are attaching an article or a video (which is a great idea!) don’t leave the ‘post’ part blank. There’s no guarantee they will click the link – so give them the info up front. 


Less is more. Seriously. Scientists who analyze this kind of stuff say Facebook posts get the most engagement when they are 52 characters or less. That’s about half as long as a Tweet! This sentence right here in bold is 52 characters!!! It’s not much time to get someone’s attention. So once you know what you want to say, don’t start typing right away. Think about how to say it. It’s the same concept as hitting on someone in a bar – you’ve only got one shot to get his or her attention, so start with something smart.


Write great headlines. Let’s be honest. If you are a business on Facebook, it’s a privilege to appear in someone’s newsfeed. You have somehow made it into a stream of information that mostly consists of updates from their friends and family. It’s a fact – your audience likes their friends and family better than they like your business. So, if you are going to take their attention away from the best friend’s vacation photos, or an update on the cousin’s new baby, your content had better be good. That first sentence must be so engaging, that your reader will literally stop scrolling to read it.

[You can also make your links more engaging by changing the titles & descriptions.]


Consider your audience. You’ve heard that saying: you can’t please all of the people all of the time? It’s true. The same content will not appeal to all of your fans. There is no way to write that perfect post that will engage everyone who sees it. So you’ve got to prioritize. And that means you have got to know whom the most important readers are to engage. Your target audience. Your ideal client. The person most likely to buy from you. Write for them!

The better you are at creating content that speaks directly to that ideal reader, the more likely it is that you will attract that type of person to your page. So tell your story for them. Consistently.


Like any new skill, writing for social media takes practice. The key is to be consistent and keep working at it. It will pay off when the ‘likes’ and comments come rolling in!





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