Catching text for social networks: rules, principles, approaches

7 min read
30 March 2022

There are many aspects of working with content — if it is storytelling, sharing emotions in the text, or anything else. But before proceeding to complex techniques, it is essential to master the basic principles of the catchy text first. Without following these principles, you will not be able to use storytelling tools, and your posts will not hit the tops. Moreover, these principles are also valid for Reels, TikTok, stories, live, YouTube videos, and many other formats.

Cut off when you write

Always write more than you plan to publish. This works both with text formats (for example, Instagram posts) and video formats. Today’s audience attention is scattered, and it is difficult for a follower to consume large amounts of information. Therefore, try to write short, cutting off everything that can be missed out. When you shorten the text – at least by 20-30% - it makes the output easy to read. Unnecessary turns, unnecessary branches, unnecessary examples disappear. And the text is exactly what it should be.

Avoid cliches

There is the term — copywriting cliches or just cliches. These are phrases with no meaning at all. For example, ‘a cosy spot at the center of St. Petersburg,’ ‘a mutually beneficial relationship,’ or ‘much practical experience”, etc. Many phrases are so banal a person even does not perceive them — they make a text look messy. It is vital to avoid them. Cliches do not provide any additional information and decrease the quality of the text.

Do not use bureaucratic vocabulary

Do not write the way bureaucrats talk — avoid the style of complex official documents. Use clear, simple, high-quality, and vibrant language. It is vital to speak your customer’s language. That means it is crucial to avoid formal style.

Always show the author’s position clearly

For example, you describe your impression of the performance. Immediately state whether you liked it or not. There is no need to use vague wording like ‘it is possible to take different points of view’, ‘there are pros and cons,’ ‘it is difficult to talk about value,’ or ‘everything is not that clear,’ etc. The audience does not like it! Do not be afraid to express your opinion. Of course, it is not just about performances. It may concern both the product you are talking about and something you describe.

Do not put pressure on the client

There is a concept of a selling text. Many people think that it is a text that spurs to buy your product many times. This opinion is wrong. A selling text is a text that provides a sufficient reasoned basis to make a purchase decision. So, the selling text is when you communicate with the audience, show how your product solves human problems.

What do we mean by saying ‘put pressure on the client?’ It means making your text full of advertising slogans like ‘buy today and save your money,’ get a discount,’ etc. Or when you mention the price several times, encourage and push like ‘Follow the link and buy.’

Your text must focus on the reader

What does it mean? The most common mistake is when a copywriter (author of texts, blogger, etc.) writes a text about the product. It should be mentioned, but the reader should play a crucial role. The readers have no desire to come and read reviews of products and their qualities. They need to read a text relating to such products — that explains how the product will solve issues and problems and makes their dreams come true. Therefore, always build upon the needs of your client, your reader, or the viewer.

One text — one message

In most cases, you have to think about what you want to deliver by the text in advance. It is advisable to stick to the one text — one message concept. Then you can add important, interesting additional mechanics. Further, you can explain the idea. Why is this rule vital? How can it be violated? Writers often brake it when they make texts or videos by talking about everything at once. It is better to make several posts, videos, or stories. In this case, the memorability is much higher. Remember, one text — one message. There are exceptions, for example — digests. A news digest gives you a summary of all the catchy events of the week. But format-related exceptions are rare.

Maintain the emotionality level

It is a crucial factor of modern SMM. Your posts, videos, texts should be emotional. We live in the era of the economy of impression, and simply giving rational arguments to a person is not enough. You have to light up a person, convey some energy (not in the esoteric sense, but also mood, message, etc.). The text indeed causes this emotion very well. It, among other things, translates communication from an abstract level to an interpersonal one. The reader or viewer immediately sees another person behind the text and picture, shares their feelings.

Become a writer or an artist

Modern people think visually — use imagination. The text is vital, but it should also evoke a visual image. Therefore, it is advisable to use as many specific adjectives and verbs as possible — ‘smell,’ look”, ‘hear’ in your writings, etc. Mention colors, textures, smells. Each word brings the reader to an association and an emotion. Before you start writing, take two minutes and look at different objects around you: here is a wall, it is rough — if you touch it, you feel it is cold. Imagine how it feels. This way, you tune in to the textural mood.

Tell stories

Storytelling is the most vital factor in working with social networks. People perceive bare facts to a lesser extent. People are interested in stories.

There are three factors of how to work with storytelling in texts and videos:

  1. Global story. You tell a big story and conclude it. It can be a case, the history of formation, the company or the product story, the history of the conflict, etc.
  2. You embed mini-cases in the text as examples. You share your principles of working with clients and insert half a paragraph: ‘Once we had a case when a client …’ And then there is a small but complete story.
  3. You do not tell any stories — you build the text itself according to a three-element structure. There does not have to be a story in storytelling. You can describe — provide something using storytelling tools.
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How to find ideas for new content

Where to get ideas for new content? You need to identify tasks your audience is trying to solve, their pain points, address their concerns and objections.

Be as specific as possible

The video and text should be as specific as possible. It is difficult for people to perceive abstract things. They need examples, figures. If you can digitize your business or product — you need to do it. Add amazing facts — this is something people will easily remember and tell others.

Use the TV series model

People need to track the lives of other people over a long period. However, it is not necessarily only about people’s lives. It can be both a product and a story. If you make a series of posts or stories and link them correctly, such steps will highly increase communication effectiveness. People remember they get into it — it does not just stay in the short-term but is put into the long-term memory. Thus, the person eventually follows you much more and interacts more actively.

*Деятельность организации запрещена в Российской Федерации