parallax background

19 Best Copywriting Formulas for Social Media Posts

This awesome guest post is written by Helen Nesterenko, she is content strategist at Writtent.com

Do you think it’s difficult to attract hundreds, or even thousands, of likes and shares on social media if your post is, let’s say, only 160 characters long?

Well, it all depends on how you present it.

If you nail the most effective copywriting formulas that fit your marketing strategy, people will be impatiently waiting for every next post from you—and may even become your newest customers.

So how do you do it?

It’s easy!

And no there’s need to write anything from scratch.

Just use some tried-and-true copywriting tips that have already proven their effectiveness, and watch your posts get more clicks and engagement.

Oh, one more thing to bear in mind:

You’re free to apply these unique formulas to whatever type of content you’re writing: blog posts, emails, landing or sales pages, ads, and more!

So, here we go!

Basic elements for your posts to gain more customers

1, AIDA: Attention – Interest – Desire – Action

Attention – Grab the readers’ attention.

Interest – Offer your readers content that really interests them.

Desire – Explain the benefits of your product/service and make your readers want it.

Action – Ask your potential customers to take your desired action (fill in the order form, download an ebook, subscribe, etc.).

You can’t overestimate the value of this standard formula: it’s plain yet super effective. And it can be used in any kind of marketing copy. If you look closely, you might even start recognizing AIDA copywriting in advertisements created a hundred years ago.

For this strategy to work, make sure to lay solid ground to reach your aim:

Choose a catchy headline to attract your prospects, and then find the right words to keep them genuinely interested in reading your content until the end.

copywriting techniques

2, FAB: Features – Advantages – Benefits

Features – Describe what you or your product can do for your clients.

Advantages – Explain the advantages of your product/service to prove why it is helpful and why they need it.

Benefits – Describe the benefits of your product, highlighting how it will change your customers’ lives for the better.

Now, this is crucial:

Always focus on the benefits rather than the features of your product. Your prospects are not interested in the characteristics of any particular item or service you’re selling: they need to need to know right away how it will solve their problem and make their lives easier.

That’s what they need.

That’s what will influence their final decision.

copywriting formulas

3, ACCA: Awareness – Comprehension – Conviction – Action

Awareness – Make your readers aware of the situation or problem.

Comprehension – Help them comprehend how this situation affects them and explain that you have a solution.

Conviction – Create a conviction in your prospects to make use of your solution.

Action – Call your readers to take a specific action.

This copywriting formula is widely used for fundraising, where it focuses more on personal conviction than on solving people’s problems.

So what’s so great about this formula?

You can use it to approach any subject—even one that your customer is not yet aware of. And your efforts can be quite successful as long as your topic has enough weight to create a sense of conviction.

Here’s an example of ACCA.

4, SCH: Star – Chain – Hook

  • Star stands for your service/product.
  • Chain is a range of sources, facts, benefits, and reasons.
  • Hook is a call-to-action.

This marketing approach is another effective method to influence your audience.

  • Attract your prospects’ attention by offering your product in a catchy way.
  • Turn their attention into a desire by bringing up a chain of facts, benefits, and reasons to buy from you.
  • Call them to the desired action by giving them an irresistible hook.

Remember:

Pay special attention to the formula’s “hook” step, especially in social media posting, by making it easy to respond to your call-to-action. Otherwise, you might lose a great number of customers before they finally arrive at the order button.

copywriting formulas

5, SSS: Star – Story – Solution

  • Star – your idea, product, or even your reader as the main character of your story
  • Story – the narrative itself, with the main character and some action
  • Solution – the final part of the story where your star wins

Be creative here!

And remember to stay positive.

There’s no need to write a long post—it’s better to be vivid and concise instead.

Your readers should like your story and, most importantly, remember it!

Here’s an idea: why not tell an interesting story about a customer who used to experience certain problems until he purchased a product from you that brought a significant change to his life?

Brainstorm many ideas and then select the best ones to develop in your social media copywriting.


vida


 
vida

6, BAB: Before – After – Bridge

Before – Describe where your prospects are right now.

After – Describe a situation in which their problems are solved.

Bridge – Build a bridge to help them get there.

This is another effective way to advertise your product. The great thing about this formula is that people can see how quickly and easily they can overcome their problem with your help. Obviously, the bridge shouldn’t be too long—and neither should your post if you use this technique wisely.

copywriting formulas

7, PAS: Problem-Agitate-Solve Formula

Identify and describe a problem.

Agitate it emotionally.

Solve the problem.

Example: Is your pillow uncomfortable? Keep using it and feeling constantly sleepy and tired in the morning. Or check out our new design here!

Are you limited in space or time when writing your posts? Do you want to be precise and persuasive?

Then you definitely need to try out this proven copywriting formula!

8, PPPP: Picture – Promise – Prove – Push

Picture – Describe a bright yet realistic picture that’s sure to create a desire in your potential customers.

Promise – State the benefits that your product or idea will bring to your customers.

Prove – Support your promise with some proof (e.g. testimonials, a video of your product in action, etc.).

Push – Gently push your prospects to take action.

In this formula, the “prove” and “push” steps are actually the most crucial ones. People tend to believe something only after they see proof. So give them what they need and encourage them to take action!

Here’s a good example of this formula in a Renault advertisement.

Have your content meet certain criteria

9, CCCC: Clear – Concise – Compelling – Credible

  • Clear – Let your readers understand you clearly.
  • Concise – Be brief and precise when writing your post.
  • Compelling – Write interesting and engaging content to attract people’s attention.
  • Credible – Help your readers believe you.

Tips:

  • Focus on the essence of your message.
  • Provide only the most important information.
  • Do your best to present your information in a way that is interesting to read.

Be frank with yourself, and run through this short checklist every time you’re writing a post.

As soon as you master this copywriting technique, all of your posts will become extremely clear, concise, compelling, and credible.

10, UUUU: Useful – Urgent – Unique – Ultra-specific

Urgent – Make your readers desire your product or service as soon as possible. Or provide a solution to their problems right here and now. Or make them feel like they need to take action before it’s too late.

For example, tell them your webinar recording will only be available for the next 24 hours, so they need to watch as soon as possible.

Useful – Provide useful content to your readers that will solve their problems. Or offer useful information in a unique way.

copywriting formulas

Unique – Mention at least one small real thing about your product that’s different from others of a similar type.

copywriting formulas

Ultra-specific – Be precise and specific when writing your content, and make use of credible facts and statistics. By doing so, you’ll show that you understand your readers/customers deeply, you feel their pain, and you know what you’re talking about.

This method works great, so you have to try it!

Do it step-by-step

11, The 6+1 Model

According to Danny Inny from Smashing Magazine, this copywriting formula works even better than AIDA!

You will need some mastery to fit all of its components into creative social media posts, but once you’ve figured it out, you will see just how successful it can be.

It’s a bit complex, but who said acquiring prospects would be easy?

  1. If you want to stand out from the crowd and have your message read, you need to introduce yourself. Tell your readers briefly and clearly who you are and why you’re talking to them.
  2. Hook your readers’ attention and hold it until it creates desire. You can use a catchy headline, an unusual picture, a compelling infographic, etc.
  3. In this step, you want to inspire people to read more, just until you can get deeper into the details. Within about 15 seconds, you’ll have to ignite their desire. Depending on the aim of your post, you can describe their pain, provide some interesting facts, or intrigue them by asking an unusual question. Let your imagination run wild, and you’ll find plenty of variants.
  4. The Gap. During this step, you should convince your audience to take a certain action. You can do that by describing what might happen if they do nothing. You can agitate their problem with emotional language. Use examples to show them the implications of not changing the current situation.
  5. Don’t let your readers feel scared or frustrated for too long. Show them the way out of their painful situation. Tell them that you have a solution, and make them believe that it will really work. No need for extra details.
  6. Call to action. Here, you’ll simply encourage your audience to take immediate action to solve their problem by clicking the button, calling you, or contacting you in some other way. But keep in mind: you should offer just one possible option, so they don’t get lost or feel overwhelmed.
  • +1 Help the reader understand that they can trust that you really know what you’re writing about. Build credibility by providing testimonials, proof of your expertise, or some protective guarantees.

12, The APPROACH Formula

This formula takes a gentle approach to offering your product, service, or idea. It concentrates around communicating, building trust, and finding the best opportunity to make the offer.

You should be able to get to the essence of each step quite gently yet quickly, which will take some skill. Most people don’t like to be pushed. And this approach will take them smoothly right to the decision they need to make.

If you’re going to fit your message into just one post according to this formula, you’ll have to intuitively guess when is the best time to ask for action.

  • Arrive at the problem that your readers have.

copywriting formulas

  • Propose your solution.

copywriting formulas

  • Persuade them why exactly your solution will work for them.

  • Reassure your audience that they can trust your solution.

copywriting formulas

  • Orchestrate the most appropriate moment to make the offer.
  • Ask for a response or for your reader to place an order.

copywriting formulas

13, The String of Pearls

With this analogy, try to think of the “pearls” of your marketing strategy—the details, facts, benefits, stories, and testimonials—that you can string together in a line, one after another. Each line is complete in its own way, but when combined, they become even stronger and more effective in persuading your audience.

It’s easy to do in social media:

Just publish a series of posts on certain topics, and make your readers visit your page again and again.

Talk around corners

14, The Fan Dancer

“Fan dancing” in copywriting is the art of revealing just enough information—but not too much—so that your readers want more. You can apply this formula to your headline, or go even further by tantalizing your audience until they click ”More” or “Read.”

The human mind doesn’t like unanswered questions, so if you manage to intrigue your readers artfully, they will definitely want to click or keep reading for more details.

copywriting formulas


vida


 
vida

15, Open Loops

Let’s go deeper into psychology now.

According to a psychological phenomenon called Open Loops, the human mind becomes anxious without closure; we need to see loose ends tied up.

It’s similar to a launched app on our phone or tablet—it keeps consuming power until it’s finally closed.

We’ve all experienced this phenomenon with TV shows or serials: a shocking cliffhanger that makes us wonder what’s going to happen next.

So why not try it in your posts?

Make your readers await your next post with anxiety!

You want to intrigue them at the beginning, but be sure to tie up all loose ends eventually, or else they might be disappointed when they don’t get what they expect.

You can find a good example of an open loop in this Marks & Spencer 2016 Christmas Ad. Everyone is so curious to find out what Mrs. Claus has delivered to that girl…

Anticipate your readers’ questions

16, The 3 Reasons Why

Anticipate your readers’ main questions by answering “3 Whys” about your product or service in your post:

  • Why are you the best company to order from?
  • Why should I believe or trust you?
  • Why should I buy it right now?

Sure, you can expand this list if you need to, but try to stay as concise and precise as possible. Explain just the essence to your audience, and then give them an opportunity to order from you quickly and easily.

17, The 5 Basic Objections

Imagine yourself reading someone else’s offer for a new product/service. Chances are you have plenty of objections and reasons to reject their proposition popping up in your mind. This is a normal human reaction.

But what if you could foresee your prospects’ doubts and objections?

Well, good news!

You already have 5 of the most common objections here in one place:

  • I’m short on time.
  • I don’t have enough money.
  • I don’t think it will work for me.
  • I don’t trust/believe you.
  • I don’t need your product/service.

Review these basic objections and address them in your post—even before your readers think of them! And it’s up to you how you’d like to tackle this task within the limits of your content.

But let’s make a deal?

Don’t stretch your arguments past the point of effectiveness. They must sound natural and convincing.

If they don’t, it’s better to leave them out.

18, So What?

This is one of the most popular copywriting formulas mentioned in Guy Kawasaki’s book The Art of the Start, and it can be applied to any kind of content you publish.

It’s super simple, yet definitely worth your attention.

Every time you mention something in your post, answer the question, “So What?” Be sure that your answer is something your readers really want to know.

Ask the same question about your post as a whole before you share it. If your piece of writing doesn’t pass this test, save it for later. You might remember some important details to add after you read it the next day.

All copywriting tricks in one brief formula

19, A FOREST

A – Alliteration

Play with your words. Eye-catching language tickles ears, and most of us like that.

copywriting formulas

F – Facts

Your readers’ emotional decisions need to be somehow rationalized and supported by credible facts.

copywriting formulas

O – Opinions

Other people’s opinions and reviews serve as evidence, saying, “I’ve already checked. You can trust them.”

copywriting formulas

R – Repetition

Repeating the advantages and benefits can persuade people.

E – Examples

Relate your product/idea to real life, tell stories, or give examples, and people will trust you more.

S – Statistics

Give your readers exact figures to show that you’re in the loop. Be specific.

T – Rule of threes

According to this rule, you should repeat something three times to make it memorable. You can check for yourself: repeating something three times does help you remember it better.

Considering the length of this technique, though, you may have a hard time fitting it into your brief social media blog post.

And that’s okay! There’s no need to.

If you write something too long, people might get overloaded with information. After all, it’s not a landing page.

So use these elements sparingly to make your posts more accurate and memorable.

In reality, A FOREST is not even a formula—it’s more of an easy way to remember and use some copywriting tricks that usually work. Things like figures, interesting facts, vivid examples, and repetition attract people’s attention more than just plain text.

Important:

Make sure to use data from trustworthy sources. You don’t want to lose credibility, right?

Go beyond without leaving the framework

Want to know the final copywriting secret?

Copywriting is not as creative as most of us think.

It’s mainly formulaic…

But if you manage to combine your creativity and your fresh ideas with these standard formulas, you can create a real marketing masterpiece.

Creativity + Fresh Ideas + Copywriting Formulas = Marketing Masterpiece and Success

So if you want more clicks, more shares, and more leads and customers, get ready to tame your words. That’s what this whole marketing thing is about.   

Guest Author:

Helen Nesterenko

Content Strategist @ Writtent.com

Email: [email protected]

Social: Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin

2 Comments

  1. Jasmine says:

    this is awesome, absolutely love the APPROACH formula & UUUU tips.

  2. Felicity says:

    great post Helen, thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *