Remember my first post at Maximize Social Business a year ago?
Facebook writing, engagement depression, crazy algorithms turning user newsfeeds into a mess that seemed impossible for marketers to beat… and some tricks on Facebook writing to try for better reach and conversion.
A year had gone.
Facebook algorithms are even crazier now. Experts like Jitendra Vaswani come up with alternative ways to stay on top of Facebook algorithms changes, as people don’t come to Facebook for words anymore. Our emotional intelligence is growing by leaps and bounds, so emotions are what users want to get from social media networks today. It appears that a positive emotional response to your social media content is the engine of your marketing success.
With that in mind, we can assume that words themselves don’t trigger emotions from people, right?
“I would hug you, but I am just a text.”
Facebook writing becomes a thing of the past? It’s nothing but visual content can trigger emotions and make the audience pay attention to your brand, both personal and business ones?
Words, if suitable and tailor-made, can trigger emotions and encourage the desired action from people. And you don’t need any visual decorations to heighten the effect. What you need is one (tiny) detail. In 2019, concentrate on emotional narrative when writing.
Social media is about life, not beautimous language or literature.
Facebook Writing That Triggers Emotions
Web writing techniques we all know still work, but make sure to answer these questions before publishing your next text on Facebook:
- Does it surprise you? What’s new in this text for you personally?
- Why should people want to read this text?
- How can it make the life of its reader better?
- Why should people want to tell about this text or share it? What emotion does it trigger? Would you share this text personally?
- Does your text encourage to comment? Does it involve to a discussion? How?
- Does it hook a reader from its first line? How emotional is the first sentence of your text? What emotion or reaction does it trigger? A question? An intrigue?
- Is there a wow-effect in your text?
- Would you use the same words if spoke about this topic aloud?
- Did you enjoy writing this text? What did you feel while writing it?
- What is your text about? (Use one sentence to describe it.)
- Is the topic of this text your personal problem?
- What issue do you bring up in this text? Do you know the answer? Is it a broad or specific question? What its aspect do you cover in this particular text?
- Take a look at the last sentence of your text. Does it encourage to discuss the text or give an opinion on it? Is there any intrigue?
Once you’ve come up with clear answers to all these questions, your Facebook text is ready to go live.
For your text to include answers to all these questions, consider the following:
As well as with Maslow’s, a reader’s pyramid is built on values and needs. Depending on their needs at the very moment, your target audience will respond to definite topics and content types.
- Physiological needs. – Respond to texts a la “Prices rise.”(The writing genre to use here is action.)
- Safety. – Respond to texts a la “A serial killer is in the city.” (The writing genre to use for stories is crime, horror, or thriller.)
- Belonging. – Respond to texts a la “Children become smarter.” (Love stories, romance, family stories are what to apply to in your texts.)
- Self-esteem. – Respond to texts a la”Top trends of this summer.” (Society, performance, status stories are your best weapon here.)
- Self-actualization. – Respond to texts a la”British scientists have found out that…” (Write texts that expand readers’ worldview.)
- Esthetics and Intelligence. – Respond to content based on creativity, morality, self-transcendence.
Keep in mind the audience needs when brainstorming and coming up with ideas for Facebook writing.
Every text is an idea. But what is “idea” itself?
It’s a connection between already known quantities. Our brain builds such connections all the time, spontaneously and unconsciously. As American chemist and author Linus Pauling said, “the best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” So, keep track of them at every turn.
What people want:
- To get the information from around the world in real time.
- To get multimedia information (videos and photos).
- To take part in discussions.
- To generate content themselves.
So give them a text that would fit the bill on these accounts.
Every text is research. It needs to surprise you. Have you learned anything new after writing it? Given that Facebook texts are not that long, you need to avoid writing on a wide range of problems and their all aspects. Otherwise, your texts will sound too general and vague.
Tip: Verbalize an idea as a question. It will allow you to start researching that particular aspect rather than describe a problem with platitudes. Example: Bid4Papers.
Beautiful words don’t inspire or trigger emotions. What inspires is precedents and overcoming (not necessarily through pain and blood). A reader should identify himself with your text: discover, learn, or get inspired.
Back to the question: how can your Facebook text make the life of its reader better? A stroke of insight is what inspires. If a reader understands (clearly) what he needs to do after reading your text, he will definitely share it because he has identified himself with your story’s emotional core.
The most powerful emotions for sharing on Facebook are guilt, fear, ego (a desire to be first and best), optimism (“everything’s gonna be fine” stuff), and “favor for a favor.” The only way to involve emotions in your social media posts and make people want to listen to you (not listen – want to listen) is long familiar:
Storytelling on Facebook
Long story short:
Storytelling is not about data. It’s about experience, process, and feelings. It’s a combination of marketing and fiction.
And now comes the best part:
It’s tailor-made content about specific examples. Always. It’s about engagement that triggers feedback from the audience. And we marketers know: engagement and comments, not “likes” are what matters for a Facebook page monetization.
We need to be specific:
- What stories reflect our brands’ nature best.
- What stories reflect the way we want people to perceive our brands.
Case in point: National Geographic.
What: 92.6 million followers on Instagram, TV brand #1, and the print media #2 on Facebook.
The trick: emotional stories backed with terrific visual components (photos).
- A high-quality photo to trigger a wow-effect.
- A first sentence to hook: shock, sentiment, interest, singularity.
- A format: interactive 360-videos.
You are welcome to use different genres of storytelling on Facebook:
- A personal story or a series of several stories leading to the same conclusion. Example: Tim Soulo.
- An interview (storytelling in a dialogue).
- Video storytelling. Example: TED.
- Freewriting. For example, your diary.
- Photo storytelling. Example: Humans of New York.
But the only rule: one story = one idea and one goal. The most efficient response from the audience is a catharsis and a desire to “screw it, let’s do it!” To get such a response, ask yourself: how people can use this story; why they might need it.
Structure of your Facebook post
As well as in life, your Facebook writing needs to trigger several emotions. From three to five, to be specific, for readers to not get bored.
The neuroscience proves there’s a difference between a story and a good story able to capture hearts and minds. Stories activate the rush of oxytocin (emotional connections), dopamine (pleasant sensations), and cortisone (attention) in our brains; and that’s why the most efficient stories are those with drama when a protagonist needs to overcome challenges and cope with problems.
Even if your Facebook post is of five lines only, make sure to structure it with storytelling in mind:
- Focus at the very beginning.
- Use a wow-effect.
- Create the highest possible reality. (Identification with a protagonist’s feelings).
- Write as you talk. (Avoid professional jargon and cliches; don’t sound like an expert who came to teach the audience.)
- Finish on a positive wave. (Never leave the audience with a bad taste in the mouth after reading you.)
Storytelling is not about how awesome you or your brand are, but what you felt and overcame on your way to that awesomeness. The stories about life, not marketing or plans are what people want to read when coming to Facebook.
Facebook writing in 2019 is about “I have a dream, not a plan.” Tell your audience about experiences, reactions, and challenges on your (your brand’s) way to success. Hit their emotions, talk with them as if you sit at the table in a cafe with the closest friend, add a bit of intrigue to involve them into discussions – and you’ll win the battle with Facebook algorithms once and for all.
Be honest. Be sincere. Write short but bright stories. The stories that hundreds of people will retell and (why not, actually?) remember for years.
P.S. This is my last blog post for Maximize Social Business this year. I cried, freaked out sometimes, smiled, and learned many tricks behind writing for social media while crafting the articles here. And that’s great! Emotions help us remember and become better. Thanks, Neal and the team for this chance to share some knowledge with your readers! And thanks, you all guys, who read and shared my articles! For me, it’s the greatest gift of all.
See you in 2019! 🙂