The Best Social Media Copywriting Formulas to Start Using Today

by Sarah Hayes on February 02, 2017

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A copywriting formula is a basic acrostic to help people create specific pieces of content. We love them, especially when it comes to social media copywriting formulas: It's a great way to implement social post improvements and train less experienced members of the team. Plus, they look great when posted in the office. The trick is finding which social copywriting formulas work best for your aims. Here are several of our favorites!

1. AIDA: Attention/Interest/Desire/Action

This is a great social media copywriting formula for general social media posts or slightly longer ads, no matter what you're talking about. The Attention part should be short and include at least a little shock value so people stop scrolling and start paying attention. Interest should expound on Attention's point with information on just why this is so cool – it engages the mind. Desire does the same, but focuses on engaging the emotions, making people say, "Yes, that is what I want to happen!" Finally, Action actually converts the reader. This is a great place to start if you want to concentrate on CTAs or sales. The result could look something like:

  • Attention: Cut Installation Time in Half!
  • Interest: Our new product is designed with a revolutionary pick-and-stick method that allows you to go from unboxing to placement in seconds.
  • Desire: A single order provides you with a batch – customizable for all regulation sizes – that will make your training a breeze and turn your work site into an efficient powerhouse.
  • Action: Click the link to go to our ordering page!

2. IDCA: Interest/Desire/Conviction/Action

IDCA is similar to AIDA, but it's a bit more tailored to the B2B world. It skips the Attention step, which is useful if people already know what you offering and aren't impressed by grandiose announcements – people who want to get down to business. Then it inserts the Conviction phase. This is the place where you put in testimonials, statistics, a promise of a demo, a warranty, or whatever else will make the reader feel more comfortable about buying: It's essentially some extra risk management for those still on the fence.

3. 4C's: Clear/Concise/Compelling/Credible

If you aren't as focused on conversions, and need to create posts with more general engagement and education, the 4Cs are a great place to start. All four are largely self-explanatory, but it's useful to go through them after you craft a post. Is it clear and concise, as it should be for social media? Is it compelling enough to demand attention, or is it too boring? Does it sound credible, or insincere and "selly"? Asking these questions can improve almost any post.

4. 4U's: Useful/Urgent/Unique/Ultra-Specific

The 4 U's, on the other hand, are particularly useful for very short posts on Twitter and similar channels where you only have a couple sentences to get your meaning across. Keep in mind that these U's don't have to be in order to work. Something like, "Only 2 days left to see our showroom demo! Visit at 4PM tomorrow, and fill out this form to learn more!" accomplishes the U's in satisfactory fashion, and you can see how the formula can be applied to many different events.

5. FAB: Features/Advantages/Benefits

This formula is well suited to Facebook and other places where you can insert a middle-sized post that nonetheless gets to the point quickly. Features focuses on your value offering, Advantages explains what that value offering will change, and Benefits is a more emotional appeal about how that reader, in particular, will benefit. It looks something like this:

  • Features: Our device can track every product in your warehouse.
  • Advantages: Never lose track of an order or an update ever again!
  • Benefits: Isn't it time your inventory system enters the 21st century?

6. BAB: Before/After/Bridge

This is an alternative format for FAB-like posts. We like it because it provides a different way to advertise a product or service that may work better for your particular offering.

  • Before: Traditional cement can take days to dry properly
  • After: Think what it would be like to have perfectly cured cement in hours.
  • Bridge: Our fast-dry cement mix can help you get there!

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Sarah Hayes

Project Manager at 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. A self described life long learner that thrives on detail, I love bringing these skills to the table to help others succeed.

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