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Goldfish! Tips for Writing Social Media Content

By Sarah Sims

Source: Griffon Web Studios

Quick! What is the average adult attention span these days?

8 seconds! (And the attention of a goldfish is 9 seconds!)

In the time it took you to read the above two lines, you have either hooked, or lost, your reader. In a world of constant distraction, 24/7 news, endless push notifications, and a barrage of messages, you have a finite window to capture the attention of your readers on social platforms. Your donors experience the same communications overload and lethargy that we do in our day to day lives and our organizational messaging is just one more blinking light that will either capture their attention or keep them scrolling.

The following are a few tips and tricks to keep your social media writing efficient and effective:

  • Less time equates to tight messaging – you need to capture the reader with the first 5-10 words (2-3 seconds), or you will lose them.

    • Remove unnecessary intros or context

    • Set the hook in the first line with power words, emotion, or pressing call to action

    • Always include strong imagery or video to visually grab the reader’s eye

    • Focus on ONE main idea or call to action – don’t overcomplicate the message

  • Your social media tone should be light, easy to digest, and not overly produced or formal; as social is designed to be our most accessible and timely communications outlet, the message should be written as if it took a few moments to write and post because we needed you to know this information right now, not in several days or weeks it would take us to craft and approve the right email or newsletter.

  • Write from the perspective of the reader, NOT the organization; don’t talk AT your reader! Social posts and digital platforms are not the place for heavy, dense information sharing. Save this for the attached video or links to appropriate webpages. Pull your reader in by making the content dynamic and interesting, don’t overcomplicate with organizational jargon or terminology. Infuse emotion words, simple call to action, accessible language.

Join us in this month as we dive deeper into writing for social (and many other hot writing topics!) in the 4 Keys to Writing for Donor Relations webinar series!


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