3 min read
min read
March 19, 2024

Social Media Copywriting: The Best Practices to Increase Engagement

Social Media Copywriting: The Best Practices to Increase Engagement

Table of contents

Effective social media copywriting requires understanding your audience, the demographics of each social media platform, and how to craft persuasive copy that resonates with them.

Compared to other marketing platforms, social media has lots of distractions. Anyone can easily scroll past your posts, so your copy has to quickly catch people's attention and stand out from the crowd. 

As a social media manager, I've helped many brands — including those in fashion, lifestyle, and business consultation — to increase followers, likes, and shares.

In this article, I'll show you how to write social media copy to boost engagement, with real-life examples. We'll also look at how AI tools can give you an edge over your competitors. 

Key Takeaways

  • Using the right tone of voice makes social media copy feel more engaging and helps it to connect with your target audience
  • Keep up to date with trends and platform updates, tweaking the style of your copywriting to stay relevant 
  • Essential social media copywriting skills include developing a strong brand voice, editing sentences for clarity, and thinking creatively

How is social media copywriting different from regular copywriting?

Social media is fast-paced — copywriters need to be aware of app updates and keep on top of the latest trends to create relevant content. As a result, social media copywriting practices need to be constantly adjusted.

TikTok Shop lets creators and brands sell and advertise products directly from the app.
TikTok Shop lets creators and brands sell and advertise products directly from the app.

App updates

Changing features and constant app updates mean your social media copywriting needs shift regularly. For example, TikTok just launched its shop feature where brands can work with creators to sell products on the app. This means copywriting needs for TikTok now include creating calls to action (CTAs) for those wanting to make the most of the new feature. 

Tip: Stay up to date with app updates by subscribing to social media platform blogs and newsletters.

Character limits

Social media platforms all have character limits that impact copywriting — and even these change all the time! X (formerly Twitter) has now extended post lengths for Premium users, but non-paying users can only write 280 characters per post. YouTube allows 1,000, while Instagram's limit is 2,200. This limited space means it’s important to get your message across concisely. 

Tip: Use Wordtune’s Shorten feature to help you create posts that meet character limits.

Attention spans

Keep in mind users’ attention spans, too: research shows that people consume Facebook’s news feed on their phones in about 1.7 seconds. So, social media copy needs to be short and direct to attract and engage readers.

Tone of voice

Tone of voice makes a big difference on social media. Platforms like LinkedIn benefit from a more professional, formal tone, whereas Instagram and TikTok posts perform best if the language is conversational. Using the right tone of voice helps you connect with your target audience and build rapport.

Tip: Use Wordtune when adapting your copy to seamlessly switch between formal and casual tones of voice.

Social Media Copywriting Best Practices

Here are the best practices that have enabled me to increase engagement and reach marketing goals as a social media manager — and which will help you get the most out of your copy.

Data analysis

Data-driven insights are vital for understanding your audience. Copywriters need to look at data regularly to spot patterns, trends, and behaviors to develop strategies that cater to their followers.

Use Google Analytics and social media insights to understand which content resonates most with your audience. Look at which posts receive the highest levels of engagement and identify follower patterns — what increases and decreases followers? Adjust your content accordingly.

You can also use AI tools to quickly and accurately identify audience insights and conduct competitor research. 

Maintaining a consistent voice

As mentioned earlier, a strong, distinctive voice helps your brand stand out and feel familiar to your audience. While you might want to adapt your tone slightly for different platforms, maintaining a strong brand voice keeps your message clear and recognizable across all social channels. Consider if you want to sound authoritative, friendly, or helpful — let this guide your voice.

The best way to maintain your brand voice is to create a style guide. You can then refer to this to ensure consistency across different posts and platforms.

Rewriting sentences

You only have a small window to grab people’s attention, so editing your sentences to make them more engaging is key. 

Here are some tips to use while editing:

  • Switch from active to passive voice: Active voice is more direct and easier to understand. For example, "Click here to shop our latest collection" rather than "Shop our latest collection by clicking here."
  • Remove fluff: Redundant words, complex sentence structures, and unnecessary adverbs can make your message unclear.
  • Use synonyms: Repetition makes copy dull, so switch things up by using alternative words.

Pro tip: Use Wordtune’s Rewrite function to get suggestions on simplifying and re-energizing your sentences. Plus, learn more about rewriting sentences with our helpful guide.

Being creative and thinking outside the box

With billions of social media users, marketers and businesses must think outside the box to stand out from the crowd. 

To brainstorm ideas, use this table below — I’ve filled in an example of a luxury spa hotel to demonstrate.

Tip: You can also repurpose content across your social media channels. For example, you can take snippets from a blog and use them in social posts with tools like Lately.

How AI can make your copywriting more engaging

37% of companies are developing AI strategies to help them meet their goals. To stay ahead of the curve and speed up social media content creation, use AI tools. Let’s take a look at some examples. 

Use Wordtune Prompts for content ideas

Wordtune’s Prompts feature can help you brainstorm content ideas. In the Editor, click Create, type in your prompt, then click the purple arrow. 

Tip: The more information you provide in your prompt, the more accurate Wordtune’s generated text will be.

In the example below, Wordtune generated content ideas for a vintage clothing business based on this prompt: 

AI prompt: Content ideas for social media for a brand that sells vintage clothing.
Wordtune Editor’s Create tool can generate text based on user-written prompts.
Wordtune Editor’s Create tool can generate text based on user-written prompts. 

Create multiple versions of the same post

Wordtune’s Continue Writing tool can help with campaign planning by creating multiple versions of the same post with slightly different content.

In the example below, I typed my text (in bold) and clicked Continue Writing to generate new text. I did this twice to create different copy. 

The first example features urgent CTAs — “Stock up now” and “Hurry and place your order now!” — while the second focuses on describing available products and how they suit a wide audience.

Using this copy, I can experiment with different campaigns to see which CTAs and content resonate best with my readers.

Wordtune’s Continue Writing feature can generate text for social media campaign planning.
Wordtune’s Continue Writing feature can generate text for social media campaign planning.

Adjusting style and improving clarity

As mentioned, Wordtune’s Rewrite feature can simplify sentences and make them more engaging. In addition, the Casual and Formal buttons can adjust your copy’s tone to suit your audience.

Wordtune Editor’s Rewrite feature generates alternative sentences for social media posts.
Wordtune Editor’s Rewrite feature generates alternative sentences for social media posts.

In this example, I clicked the Rewrite button to generate alternative sentences that are more direct and succinct. Concise sentences improve clarity and keep your copy on message, while adjusting your tone will help you connect with your target audience. 

5 Examples of Effective Social Media Copywriting

To understand the best social media copywriting practices to boost engagement, let’s look at five examples from brands and businesses.

Glossier: Interacting with users

Glossier asks users on X to share a selfie using their slogan “You Look Good”.
Glossier asks users on X to share a selfie using their slogan “You Look Good”.

To encourage social media engagement, beauty brand Glossier asked people on X to share selfies featuring their famous motto, “You Look Good.” This type of post encourages valuable user-generated content (UGC) that your brand can interact with. It also boosts engagement, as users share your tag across the platform. 

How to create:

  • Brainstorm ideas for user engagement: Get your team together to think of fun ways you can reach out to your target audience. You can use mind mapping, free writing, and storyboarding. Consider your audience’s pain points and research trending hashtags, audios, and challenges to come up with ideas. By working as a team, you can come up with and workshop lots of ideas together. 
  • Consider your audience: Glossier uses words like “pics” and "selfies" to resonate with young followers. Use what you learned in your brainstorming and research phase to make sure your ideas will resonate. Consider also what value you can provide: can you make some of your content a competition or include a giveaway? Anything that adds perceived value will encourage participation and engagement. 
  • Track and monitor: Once you start interacting with your users, be receptive to feedback through comments, mentions, etc. This will tell you what’s working and what’s not — letting you adjust and learn what appeals to your audience. Use this information to make decisions about your copy going forward.

Pro tip: Use AI to brainstorm and create your ideal customer profile (ICP). This will help you narrow down who to target with your content.

Nike: Boosting professional voices and conveying values

Athletic footwear and apparel brand, Nike, regularly features athletes on their social media to boost their reach, convey their values, and demonstrate trustworthiness. 

Nike’s Instagram shares a quote by Rayssa Leal, about being motivated by another athlete.
Nike’s Instagram shares a quote by Rayssa Leal, about being motivated by another athlete.

The Instagram post above features a quote from skating athlete Rayssa Leal, talking about finding inspiration from another pro skater. This motivates users to follow their own dreams, conveying the brand’s values and evoking an emotional response

How to create: 

  • Look for creators and professionals to collaborate with, or find quotes from people who represent your values and vision. Quotes are often short and direct — ideal for sharing your message concisely.

Tony Robbins: Promoting long-form content (newsletters)

Facebook post from coach Tony Robbins, encouraging people to read his newsletter.
Facebook post from coach Tony Robbins, encouraging people to read his newsletter.

In this example, life coach Tony Robbins promotes his latest LinkedIn newsletter via Facebook. He addresses his target audience’s pain point (getting out of their comfort zone) to persuade them to click on his CTA (signing up for his LinkedIn newsletter).

This is a great example of social media copywriting that starts with a compelling introduction, including a "hook" and addressing the reader's pain points. 

How to create:

  • Identify your readers’ pain points: Conduct surveys with control groups or via social media (use features like Instagram story polls to gain feedback). You can also look at what competitors are discussing. Then, consider how your content can provide a solution.
  • Use plain English to boost readability. Sentences should be easy to scan, while a conversational tone will help you connect with readers.
  • Include “you” and “your” to speak directly to your audience and make your writing feel personal.

Levi’s: Creating Reels and captions

Fashion brand Levi’s Instagram Reel introduces their new range of jeans by showing a woman finding her “right fit.”

The post works because it explains what the product is — without fluff. The caption also identifies customer concerns (“Not too low, not too high”) and explains how their jeans address them. Note the playful, conversational tone: “these hit juuust right.” This helps Levi’s to connect with their audience.

How to create:

  • Show your personality! Play with words by exaggerating them, or use slang to make your message stand out. Don't be afraid to use humor or witty language where appropriate.
  • Stick to the point. Although Levi’s mentions the jeans are versatile, wearable, and stylish, its key message focuses on how the jeans are a perfect fit. 
  • Adjust your CTA’s tone: To match the caption’s casual tone, Levi’s uses a casual, friendly CTA. Rather than the urgent "Shop now," Levi’s suggests you "Shop and get to know" which feels more relaxed.

Moz: Offering value up front

In this LinkedIn post, SEO company Moz offers immediate value to readers by telling them the benefits of refreshing content.

It uses emojis as bullet points to share the key benefits — making them scannable — before revealing how their full blog post can help readers leverage this marketing strategy. 

How to create:

  • Offer immediate value: Explain key benefits or provide actionable tips up front to encourage users to click through to your long-form content. 
  • Use emojis instead of bullet points to liven up your copy.
  • Create a clear CTA: Moz tells readers exactly what they will learn from its blog and encourages them to click on it. The post also mentions this guide is “free” to further entice people. 


Social media is constantly updating and evolving, so marketers and copywriters must stay on their toes. By keeping on top of trends, maintaining a consistent brand voice, routinely brainstorming ideas, and analyzing data to understand your audience, you can produce relevant and engaging copy that will resonate with your followers and boost engagement.

For more insight into social media copywriting, read our guide ‘How to Write Better Content for Social Media.’ 


How can you measure your social media copy's success?

Monitor metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, reach, engagement, and social shares. AI tools can help you track these metrics on different social platforms, so you can see how your content performs. 

How long should social media copy be?

The ideal length varies depending on the platform you’re using. X, for instance, has shorter character limits than Facebook and Instagram. What's key is that your copy is concise and to the point — reread your text before you publish to remove unnecessary words and complex vocabulary.

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