Writing copy for social media: What does really count?

Writing copy for social media

Regular posts on social media are must-haves in marketing. Everyone is participating – and that’s why it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. At the same time, one must be present on social media platforms to avoid being forgotten. How do you write posts for X, Facebook & Co. that are not only attention-grabbing but also achieve the desired goal? Here are 8 tips for good texts in social media forums.

Table of Contents


What is the Goal of the Post?

What do you want to achieve with your post? This is the first question you should ask yourself. Because the purpose makes the difference and the goal determines the strategy. What’s it about?

  • Attention for a product or brand?
  • A click on a link?
  • Or gathering likes or comments?

Being clear about the goal of the text provides a solid foundation for creating the post. Content, word choice, and tone should all align with this goal.

1. Keep it Short!

Why is X (formerly Twitter) so successful? A simple answer: Because the number of characters per tweet is limited. Today’s internet user has no time. They want information quickly and concisely. Twitter capitalized on this fact by making brevity its program. Today, X is a high-profile global brand.

Long texts are not read. Short, accurate posts reach the audience. Therefore, it’s important to convey a message to the reader in a few words. Even though other social media platforms allow more, the limit of 280 characters per post should also be the “mental scissors” for Facebook, Instagram & Co.

How do you shorten a text? These five tips are helpful:

  • Let the draft sit for a few hours. Afterwards, you can often see at first glance which parts are unnecessary.
  • Stay on topic. Delete everything that is irrelevant.
  • No repetitions!
  • Avoid long words, adjectives, filler words, and the subjunctive. Articles (the, a, an, etc.) are often superfluous too.
  • Choose active over passive formulations.

2. The Channel Determines the Choice of Words

What you write about and how you write it depends crucially on the channel. Because depending on the social media platform, the target audiences are different.

  • Facebook is known for its casual language and humorous posts.
  • On LinkedIn, authors succeed with serious texts.
  • Instagram focuses on images. The text complements the picture.
  • On X, it’s clearly about texts: 280 characters for a concise message. That has to suffice.

The tone makes the music. Each internet platform has its own rules – starting with addressing the customer: informal or formal? If you’re not careful, you can easily miss the mark.

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3. Write the Right Thing – and Write it Correctly

The eye reads along. So, it’s not just about attracting readers with interesting content. It’s also important that no spelling mistakes creep into the text. Because incorrect spelling appears incompetent. This incompetence is then immediately associated with the person or company behind it. This is bad for the image – and for sales.

Texts with spelling errors are distracting and detract from the content. Therefore, every text must undergo a spell check – and be proofread by a person at least once. The most common spelling mistakes (which even correction programs struggle with) are:

  • Confusing that and which
  • Incorrectly placed or missing commas
  • Confusing than and as
  • Capitalization or lowercase after a colon
  • Individual misspellings like rough, seriousness, repair, hobbies, that.

4. Old Formulas Work Wonders

AIDA – this formula is known to anyone who has ever taken a crash course in advertising. The fact that this formula has already gathered some patina does not change its effectiveness. As inspiration, the acronym still serves well:

  • A for Attention: Create attention.
  • I for Interest: Generate interest.
  • D for Desire: Awaken desire.
  • A for Action: Evoke an action.

The time span between Attention and Action is short. The model primarily works with a psychological trick: It is effective because the addressed person thinks little, but is convinced in the simplest and shortest way. This makes AIDA ideal for social media posts.

5. What’s Next? The Call-to-Action

Every post pursues a specific goal. Therefore, it should be immediately clear what the user should do next in each post. Most often, it is a link – for example, to a product page in an online shop.

The Call to Action itself (usually the anchor text) is brief, clear, and unambiguous. It should also pique curiosity. Most calls to action are not very original and tend to repeat. Nevertheless, they are still effective:

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6. Using AI Properly

Out of ideas for short texts? No problem. A suitable prompt is enough, and ChatGPT, Bard & Co. immediately have a solution ready. Artificial intelligence is getting better. AI texts are hardly distinguishable from human contributions at first glance. They are also almost always free from spelling errors.

However, the biggest problem with AI texts is their lack of originality. Texts from ChatGPT, Neuroflash, or Bard are error-free and well-formulated – but never really new.

Unexamined adoption of AI texts also carries a high risk. When it comes to facts, ChatGPT and other tools still have issues. Every piece of information needs to be double-checked. Otherwise, these programs can be useful as a source of ideas, for spell checking, or as a formulation aid.

Often, AI templates are a good starting point for self-written texts with additional, new ideas and authentic formulations. However, if you want to write an original and attention-grabbing post, you should never rely 100% on ChatGPT.

7. Write Yourself or Outsource Writing?

Being good at sales doesn’t necessarily make you a gifted writer. And being able to calculate doesn’t automatically mean mastering all spelling rules. Therefore, it’s even more important for a text to signal quality.

This is especially true for short texts in Social Media. These are read more often than longer articles. And the shorter the text, the more each word counts. Then professional help is required. For formulating a good idea, it’s easy to find a good writer who can shape the message appropriately.

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The competition is fierce. Therefore, it is not so easy to create attention on X, Facebook, and other social media platforms. With some practice or professional help, however, your own posts can stand out from the crowd – and thus become an indispensable part of online marketing.


Jan Knupper