Putting the customer into social media
Find out more about the importance of using conversational copy in social media posts.

Putting the customer into social media

I’ve been chatting to Amanda Bate from Redwood Copy to find out more about the importance of using conversational copy in social media posts. This is the ultimate way of getting your ideal customers to stop and listen to you. By mirroring their internal monologue, you will undoubtedly stop them from scrolling.

Psychology and neuroscience

Amanda is a self-confessed boffin when it comes to her love of researching how our brains respond to certain situations including responses to marketing messaging. Did you know that the more pushy, aggressive sales posts actually trigger the same part of the brain that goes on high alert when we see a dangerous animal? Clearly, we’re instinctively programmed to stay clear of things like that. It’s a sign that we should be wary.

So, Amanda’s advice is to step away from pushy sales messages as far as possible. To do, this, introduce conversational copy to instil trust.

A brief history of marketing

Back in the day, the only way brands could advertise their products or services to their customers was to broadcast to them in a one-way fashion. Television adverts would talk AT the customer, as would adverts in magazines and the like.

But then came along social media, a multi way interactive medium and the world of marketing entered a new phase – one that brought opportunities for brands to talk ‘to’ and ‘with’ their audience. 

woman with books

Unfortunately, not every brand got their social media marketing strategy right:

  • We continue to see brands talking AT their audience. This is really off-putting, and they don’t get results.
  • Then brands turned to the ‘get quick results’ methods by using posts stating ‘sale ends at midnight’ – you know the ones; we’ve all seen lots like this. Again, we don’t fall for this tactic.
  • Chatty social media posts started to appear, these often start with a cheery message, something like ‘hey guys ….’ When chatty isn’t done well, it comes across as disingenuous and somewhat cheesy!
  • But, hurrah, we started to see conversational copy where brands actually talk to and with their customers, talking in their language, talking about their needs and interacting.

Help! Why aren’t my social media posts performing well?

Amanda told me that she’s been asked to support several brands that could not understand why their social media posts weren’t attracting the attention they deserved. They were well written and had great imagery and spoke directly to the customer – or so they thought.

One example is where she helped a company that sold men’s shirts. It was discovered that it was predominantly women, girlfriends and partners who were buying these colourful and fun shirts as gifts. So, while the company knew everything about the person who would be wearing their product, they knew nothing about the people ordering from them. It was back to the drawing board for them!

FIRST TIP: Every quarter, check who is spending their money with you. Trends, fashions and demands do change which can alter your customer base. And as you grow and adapt you may be attracting a different type of customers, so always do your research.

What is conversational copy

For anyone who’s ever been an employee for a company, you’ll understand this analogy. Imagine you’re in a meeting and the speaker is one of the most experienced and highly qualified people who work there – on paper they are the go-to expert in their field.

But, they speak in jargon and throw acronyms around the room meaning you’re not grasping what they’re talking about. Instead of listening, you start to daydream about what you’re having for dinner that night. This is the equivalent of ‘scrolling on by’.

A colleague, without the same amount of experience or qualifications comes up to you after the meeting and offers to explain everything to you. They do this in a way you understand, they talk at your level and speak in a friendly and supportive way. This is conversational!

And this will be the person you continue to turn to. It no longer matters that they are not the most experienced or qualified as you trust and like them.

People buy off people they trust. Fact.

2 people talking

How to nail conversational copy

This is really easy. When you’ve written a post, say it out loud and pretend your customer is sitting opposite you.

It’s wrong if you feel awkward or embarrassed.

It’s right if you feel confident that this is how you would talk to a customer.

SECOND TIP: Listen to your customers

The best way to influence a positive response from a customer is to say something that resonates with them. To do this, you must talk in their language and get across that you have the solution to their problem.

By using this writing technique, the customer will understand that you ‘get them’ and this will strengthen your bond.

Social media provides us with a wealth of research. What words do your customers use when they comment on one of your posts? What words do they use on their own social media posts? What words do they use in their reviews?

From ‘listening’ you will be able to discover:

  • What challenges they face.
  • What frustrates them.
  • What they want.
  • What their aims are.
  • What delights them.

This is really powerful and will help you shape future social media posts!

THIRD TIP: Mirror your customers

Once you do this research, the creation of posts should be easier and quicker. Instead of mulling over how to phrase a social media headline cleverly, simply repeat something a customer has said. For example, if a client has written a review saying something like, ‘Thanks for your support, before I went on your training course, I was rubbish at attracting the type of client that I wanted.’

woman reading reviews

With gems of information like this, you can turn their words into a headline. You could say, ‘Are you rubbish at attracting the type of client that you want?’ And voila you’ve perfectly mirrored your customers’ internal monologue, and this will stop them from scrolling past.

How to create social media posts that work: The Brand Triangle

Still stuck for ideas on what to post or do you still ponder over what is acceptable or not? Why not put this to test.

  • Draw a triangle
  • Down one side write, ‘What it is you do’. Then write about your product or service. What exactly is it? This represents the factual side of your business.
  • Down another side write, ‘Why you do this.’ Then explore the benefits of what it is you do.
  • That leaves one side, along this write, ‘Values’. Write down how you want people to see you and what is it about your brand that makes it special.

Now, try and create posts that talk about the facts, the benefits and in a way that reflects your personal brand.

Doncaster Council have nailed this marketing strategy in their Twitter posts. They always talk to and with their readers. They bring them into conversations and adapt images and writing styles to mirror the person they are talking to. Take a look and you’ll notice that when they are talking to their younger audience, they have a particular style and when they speak to an older audience they speak appropriately. This is clever conversational copy.

Want to get better at Twitter?

If the posts of Doncaster Council have inspired you to get more creative with your Twitter posts, why not book a place on my next workshop.

My Twitter Online Workshop starts on Tuesday 28th September. Over the course of four days, for just an hour a day, we’ll cover how to:

  • navigate and use Twitter
  • create a standout bio, profile picture and banner
  • identify what you want to achieve on Twitter and how to do it
  • find your target audience and engaging with them
  • use the settings to optimise your Twitter account
  • create and structure a great Tweet
  • identify best hashtags and discuss why they are incredibly beneficial to gain a great reach and grow your account
  • build a strong following
  • generate lists to save you time and streamline your Twitter newsfeed
  • link analytics to your profile and understanding how to interpret them to improve your performance

So, start thinking about your goals over the summer and let’s get you the business you deserve!

Click on the button below to save your place.

Bye for now,

Becs

Becs Bate
Social Media Consultant, Social Media Executive

#GetSocial

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