With social media, it’s all about kick starting the conversation. Engagement is the name of the game — whether you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. While conversation may flow naturally in real life, out in the digital realm, it takes a little bit more know-how.

Social media as an advertising channel sparked 25% YoY growth, exceeding $137 billion, so it’s safe to say that the importance of those apps on our phones isn’t going anywhere. Now more than ever, marketers need to nail down their social media copy best practices in order to see optimal success.

And the key to success on social media? Engagement.

So settle in, and let’s discuss all the ways to spark conversation on social media.

Social Media In Numbers

Before we dive into how to get the likes and comments flowing, let’s first talk about how consumers use social media and why it’s so important in the first place. To do this, we’ve gathered a few important data points:

As of January 2022, there were 3.96 billion total social media users — across all platforms.

Consumers are six times more likely to purchase something from a product page that includes an image from social media.

Facebook now has approximately 10 million active users. 

Instagram is the prime platform for engagement — marking 81% engagement versus Facebook’s 8%.

Social media just continues to grow and expand, so let’s dive into ten ways to really stand out among the sea of tweets, Instagram posts, and TikToks.

10 Ways To Spark Conversation on Social Media

Use Shareable Hashtags

If you want your post to be seen by as many people as possible, then you need to use shareable hashtags. But what makes a hashtag shareable? A couple of different things. First, hashtags that are unique and catchy make for memorable campaigns. There’s a reason wedding hashtags became a trend, right? Create better brand awareness by crafting a branded hashtag, either for your business as a whole or a specific use case.

For example, Calvin Klein famously uses the #MyCalvins campaign across the brand’s social channels — a tagline it has used for decades but more recently made it relevant for today’s digital age. 

And when we look at brands using specialized hashtags for specific campaigns, we come to Ben and Jerry’s. To celebrate World Trade Day, the ice cream brand created the #FairTweets campaign, which included a microsite that allowed people to write a tweet and Ben and Jerry’s would “recycle” any unused tweet characters by replacing them with a message about World Trade Day and a link to an article about fair trade (and of course, the hashtag #FairTweets).

The best part about branded hashtags? They have no competition. They are uniquely yours and help tell your brand story in a more authentic way.

While customized hashtags are great for specific campaigns or purposes, it’s also important to think about the more general (but extremely successful) hashtags on social media. These cast a broader net, bringing in a wider range of potential customers.

Most popular marketing hashtags on Twitter:

  • #DigitalMarketing 
  • #SEO  
  • #marketing
  • #business
  • #entrepreneur

Top Instagram hashtags:

  • #love (1.835B posts)
  • #instagood (1.150B)
  • #fashion (812.7M)
  • #photooftheday (797.3M)
  • #beautiful (661.0M)

And how should you be using hashtags in your social copy? One factor to consider is how many followers you have on a specific platform. For example on Instagram, for hashtags placed in the caption, profiles with under 5K followers received an average of nearly 37% more reach rate per post. Profiles with 5-10K followers brought in roughly 20% more, and profiles with 10-100K followers received roughly 21% across the board.

Keep Your Language Casual

With social media, it’s important to “speak with” rather than “talk at,” so ditch the jargon and write like you would speak to a friend. We have to remember that people first used social media as a way to connect with friends and family — not necessarily brands and businesses. Because of this, social copy that feels out of place, no matter the platform, typically sticks out in a negative way because it does not fit the casual tone of the space.

So don’t shy away from slang (as long as it’s appropriate) and everyday vernacular. When in doubt, ask yourself if your social copy would make sense to your closest friend on the first read. If there’s any doubt, it might be time for a revision.

Another great thing to keep in mind is positivity. As marketers and copywriters, our job is to solve any problem that our customer might have. Present solutions in fun, exciting, and engaging ways.

Try Different Copy Lengths

Shorter doesn’t always mean better. Yes, even for social media. It depends on the platform and the types of content you’re promoting, but there’s a case to be made for slightly longer captions or copy on social media. Twitter caps us off at 140 characters, but what about Instagram? Or Facebook? Ideal copy length varies there.

Longer captions get more engagement on Instagram, and the average engagement rate for all post types is 0.83%. But on Facebook, it’s a slightly different story. In a test run by Anyword’s creative team, we found that for celebrity content, very short ads (about one to two words) had a 36% higher CTR than the average for celebrity content as a whole.

And when looking at financial or business content, we saw a similar trend with one exception — there was a slight uptick in CTR when ad copy reached 20-23 words. The general rule of thumb we can infer from our findings? The more in-depth and complex your content, the more willing your audience will be to engage with longer ad copy. 

Benefits of Short Copy

  • Skimmable and brief for your audience.
  • Allows you to show off your brand’s tone in a short amount of time.
  • Breaks up the feed, especially on Facebook.
  • Works really well for promotions and sales.

Benefits of Long Copy

  • Answers more questions and allows you to give context.
  • Works well for more complex topics or products/services.
  • Allows you to use quotes or testimonials.

Mix Up Your Approach

Nowadays, brands have mere seconds to catch the attention of users and potential customers. That being said, it’s important to make every word count in your social copy. And if people keep seeing the same type of content coming from your business, it’s more likely that they’ll stop paying attention altogether. How do we combat this social fatigue? By mixing up what you’re posting.

Create posts encouraging people to make a purchase and balance it out with more educational or giveaway content. It’s all about finding a happy medium between salesy content and content that’s purely for your audience’s entertainment or enjoyment.

Never Forget Your CTA

A call-to-action is an essential part of any social media post. It’s what tells your audience what you want them to do next. Whether you’re looking for likes, comments, shares, or clicks, your CTA should be clear and concise. 

In analyzing our wide dataset of ads, we found that, in some cases, the presence of a CTA can result in a 4X boost in click-through-rate.

Some good examples of classic CTAs? 

  • Sign Up
  • Shop Now
  • Learn More
  • Book Now
  • Download
  • Start Now
  • Continue

Use The Active Voice

And what’s the one essential part of a good call-to-action? A strong action verb. In one case, using the active language of a CTA button resulted in a 37% decrease in CPC, as we’ll see in our findings below.

But the active voice shouldn’t stop with CTAs. In order to inspire action in our customers or audience, we must use active copy that reflects this. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to incorporate as much of the active voice in your copy as possible. This means captions, headlines, and CTAs (of course).

Let’s take a look at some strong examples of using the active voice across social media platforms.

Instagram: Food and Wine Magazine

Facebook: Girlfriend Collective

Twitter: Amazon

Always Lead With Value

You only have a few seconds to make a good impression on social media. Because our feeds are likely over-saturated with content, it’s important to always lead with value. 

What exactly does this mean?

Having one clear objective for each post helps focus your copy, it’s less likely that you’ll be posting fluffy or irrelevant content for your audience. Don’t make your audience have to search or think about what your post is focusing on – let them know right away. In practice, this looks like putting the most important message or piece of information about your post in the first few words or sentences. Don’t bury the lead, as they say. 

Cater to the Platform

While each platform has its own unique user base and culture, there are some general copywriting tips that will help your posts stand out no matter where you’re posting. But that will only get you so far.

Before diving head first into writing social copy, it’s important to understand why people use different platforms, and how they interact with content on each. For example, Instagram has 58% more engagement per follower than Facebook. So if engagement and encouraging your followers to start a conversation are the main goals for you, maybe give more time and energy to Instagram over Facebook. And cater your copy accordingly. 

Don’t Shy Away From (Smartly) Using Emojis

Emojis and social media pretty much go hand-in-hand, right? 92% of the online population uses emojis in some form, so it’s safe to say that they’ve been a common part of our daily communications. While casual users can use emojis freely and frequently, when it comes to brands and business, caution must be taken.

Emojis help you speak the language of your audience and maintain some level of relatability. But it is possible to overdo it. Here are some solid guidelines on using emojis in your social copy:

  • Double check that the emoji makes sense.
  • And know what that specific emoji means (no embarrassing emoji mishaps!). 
  • When in doubt, don’t force it.
  • Less is more — generally stick to no more than three emojis for one post.
  • Always stay aligned with your brand’s tone and style.

That being said, when used correctly, emojis can have quite the impact on your content’s performance. By analyzing our wide dataset of ads, we found that, in some cases, CTR jumped by 2X just by using emojis.

Have A Consistent Brand Voice

Now, this tip goes for all of your content or marketing materials, but it’s especially important for social media. Audiences connect with brands that have a clear personality and mission in the first place, and when that carries over across social platforms, a strong, more loyal followership is built. 

When posting anything on social media, remember to always make sure the content aligns with your brand’s core values and voice. Why? 45% of consumers say they unfollow brands on social media because of irrelevant content. 

Cover All of the (Social) Bases with Anyword

Ready to put these tips to the test? Even with all of these recommendations in mind, when it comes to putting pen to paper, the most seasoned copywriting professionals can struggle sometimes. To lend a helping hand, Anyword’s AI Copywriting Platform hosts a number of different tools to guide and fine-tune your social media copy. Need a stellar Facebook post? Or a catchy Instagram caption? Turn to Anyword.

Plus, it’s one thing to create the social copy in the first place — it’s another to know that it’s going to perform well. That’s where Anyword’s Predictive Performance Score steps in.

Either use our free Social Post Generator to create Facebook posts, Instagram captions, Tweets, or LinkedIn posts. And to gain access to even more social generation tools and other features, check out our perfectly tailored plans here.