Social media ads have taken over the world. Facebook now has 2.45 billion monthly active users. The entire population of the world is 7.8 billion people, meaning Facebook has 31.5% of the world using it.
That’s just one social media network. As you know, there are many others with hundreds of millions of active users.
Knowing how to write compelling social media ads is incredibly important. Organic content is a good way to bring traffic to your business page or eCommerce store, but paid social media ads are much more effective.
I’m going to break down how to write better social media ads using simple tips that have been proven to increase conversions.
I’m going to focus on social media ad copy, as the title of this article suggests. Pretty much any ad will contain copy - it’s the most effective way of communicating ideas.
How to write better social media ads
All social media platforms are not created equal. As a result, you need to create content tailored for each one. Facebook is great for blog content, Instagram prefers photos, TikTok and YouTube are all about video content.
Each one is different, but when it comes to advertising, there are some similarities.
- Most social media ads contain social media ads copy
- There are ways to write better social media ad copy regardless of which platform you’re using.
- Writing is the best way to communicate your ideas.
Let’s get right into it.
Simple is the best
I remember my friends making fun of The Sun newspaper when I was in school because it was well known that the paper had a reading age of just 12-years-old. In school, we thought a newspaper should use complex language that a child wouldn’t be able to understand.
Now I realize the genius behind the editors of that paper. If a 12-year-old can understand it, then so can any adult, regardless of their IQ, reading ability, or wider understanding of the issues being discussed.
The same applies to social media ad copies.
The whole point of writing is to communicate ideas. Therefore, you fail as a copywriter if your reader can’t understand your ideas.
This is all the more true in social media ad copies. People should instantly get your point when they read your ad. Even when aiming at a very specific audience, you still want newcomers to the niche to get what you’re talking about.
Keep your social media ad copy simple and direct. Cut out any ‘fluff’ or complex words - these only make your writing sound more amateur.
Write in a tone your audience resonates with
You’re targeting a certain type of person with social media ads. Make sure that you’re using a tone and personality they’ll resonate with.
Social media ads promoting bespoke tailors will use a different tone to those promoting a heavy metal music festival.
It’s important to sound human in your copy. No one is going to be convinced if they hear the voice of a group of middle-aged men in a boardroom when they read your social media ad copy. You need to make it resonate with your audience.
US-based men’s grooming brand Dollar Shave Club is a great example. Their competitors use slogans like ‘The best a man can get’, but the US newcomer chose a more provocative tone in their promotional video that resonates with their young male audience.
The video, which states “OUR RAZORS ARE F**KING GREAT”, has since been viewed more than 27 million times.
Of course, not all brands can get away with this kind of tone. Still, it’s a great example of how you can use data on your customer demographics to build a voice that works for your brand.
Use analytics to measure your audience
Knowing your audience allows you to write in a tone that resonates with them. Tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, and others show you the demographics, location, and behavior of your audience.
This information allows you to tweak your social media ad copies to be more targeted.
Built-in social media analytics
The first tools to use are those built into social media platforms themselves. These are easy to use and show you your reach, engagement, shares, and some demographics regarding your audience. Some key ones to use are:
- Facebook Insights
- Instagram Insights
- Twitter Analytics
- YouTube Analytics
- TikTok Data Insight
As you can see, every platform has its own analytics program to show you who is seeing and engaging with your content, and who is following you as a result of this.
Facebook is one of the key platforms for advertising. You need to install a Facebook Pixel on your website to measure who is coming to your online store as a result of Facebook ads.
A Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you copy from the social media platform into the backend of your Shopify store, WordPress blog, or another website.
You can measure Google ads, YouTube ads, and the source of your website traffic by using Google Analytics. This powerful tool gives you great insight into who your audience is, which allows you to create better social media ads.
Clearly show benefits
Your social media ads need to hang a carrot in front of the person reading them. Consider a user’s scrolling experience on Facebook: they scroll through the newsfeed and see something that makes them stop and look further.
They won’t bother looking deeper if you don’t give them a good reason to.
A brand selling designer boots might consider promoting a sale item or a discount code to encourage more people to click through.
Deliver on your CTA
Make sure you clearly divert attention to your call to action (CTA) and also ensure that your landing page actually delivers on the promise. In short, do not post click-bait social media ads.
For example, if you’re promoting a seasonal sale, then make sure it’s still running for the duration of the social media ad campaign.
Use powerful words
Don’t be dull and generic, use powerful words to evoke an emotional response in your audience. It’s unfortunate that so many copywriters ignore this crucial step in creating engaging social media ad copy.
Replace unconvincing words with more powerful alternatives.
- Good = awesome
- Enjoy = indulge
- Elegant = discerning
- Cool = trend-setting
- Bad = abhorrent
- Comfortable = hygge
Use a synonym generator to find alternative words, but make sure you don’t sacrifice simplicity and clarity in the process. Your social media ad copies should be powerful, but it should still be simple and direct.
Consider your intention
Is your social media ad there to drive sales? Or is this a campaign to raise brand awareness? Tailor your social media ad copy to meet the aspirations of your campaign.
You might choose to evoke a sense of wonder when raising brand awareness, or thrill people with interesting stories about your brand. Alternatively, you could use powerful and evocative words to make your products appeal to people’s basic instincts.
Appeal to basic wants and needs
Consider the fundamental wants and needs of your audience before writing your social media ads. Consider this interesting exercise:
- Write down your target customer profiles
- List their wants and needs
- Ask why they want or need these things
- Take this answer and ask why they want or need that
- Repeat this at least three times
- You’re left with a primal need like to feel secure, to feel loved, or to attract a mate
Use this to guide your social media ad copy. For example, why are you selling running shoes? Because people want to run and look stylish while doing so.
- Why do people want to run? Because it keeps them in shape and it’s fun.
- Why do people want to keep in shape? Because they want to live a long and healthy life and they want to have a good physique.
- Why do people want to look good? To attract a mate, to impress colleagues and friends, and to feel confident about themselves.
- Why do people want to attract a mate? To feel loved and to complete basic biological and evolutionary practices like continuing the human species.
- Thus, we can conclude that people buy running shoes to ensure the continuation of the human race (sort of).
Take this with a pinch of salt (please!), but also do consider the wider context in which people desire consumer products to ensure your social media ad copy doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
Test your social media ad copies in organic posts
Try out your social media ad copy in organic posts to gauge the reaction it receives from people who already follow your brand on social media. Doing this allows you to measure insights on these posts and ensure that your social media ad copy resonates with your target audience (assuming they’re the same as your current audience).
- Measure impressions, engagement, and social signals
- Compare to previous posts
- Test across different platforms and see which one performs best
- Measure percentages, not just numbers
Your followers are useful to test subjects, but just remember not to bombard them.
Consider the platform you’re using
Different platforms work in different ways, so you’ll need to consider how to write social media ads on different networks.
- Longer content is better suited to Facebook and LinkedIn
- Short, snappy content works on Twitter
- People won’t read long social media ads on Instagram - focus on the photo
Consider the fundamentals of the social network you’re advertising on and tailor your social media ad copies accordingly.
Writing social media ads is a skill that takes a long time to master. By keeping your copy short and simple, as well as using powerful words, you’ll be able to create more compelling social media ads that will drive up your click-through rate (CTR).
Furthermore, use analytics to track and measure your audience and your social media ad reach and engagement. See what works, and tweak what doesn’t.