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Copywriting Formulas That Make Social Engagement Sizzle

Posted on the 07 May 2015 by Marketingtango @marketingtango
  • May 7, 2015
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Copywriting Formulas that Make Social Engagement Sizzle

The same time-proven formulas storytellers use to engage audiences can add pulling power to your company’s Tweets, emails and other social or online writing, according to veteran content crafter, Kevan Lee.

Writing for the Buffer app blog, Lee lists 27 copywriting formulas he (and other experts cited) says will help integrated marketers drive more interest, social media clicks and engagement.

Most of the structures are simple and easy to understand, while some are more complex and cryptic (e.g. #20: AICPBSAWN). All, however, will change the way you think about structuring content, especially on Twitter, where every character literally counts.

Summarized below are three of Lee’s more interesting formulas, along with simple examples small business marketers can relate to.

#1: Before-After-Bridge

This formula first describes some problem your customers face, then, their world without the problem, followed by a short explanation of how they can get there.

Example (hair salon promotion):

Bad hair can leave a bad impression. Imagine looking your very best in every situation and saving 20% in the process. Here’s how: <link to video or coupon>.

#2: Problem-Agitate-Solve

Content marketing authority, Copyblogger, says mastering this widely used formula is the “key to dominating social media.” It’s close to Before-After-Bridge except that instead of “After” (that is, life without the problem), there’s a reference to what happens to customers if they let the problem persist.

Example (tax preparation services)

April 15 tax deadline keeping you up at night? Get used to being an insomniac OR let the pros take the pressure off. Find out how: <link to video or branded, one-page “Tax Time Tips>.

#3: Open Loops

This psychology-driven formula, rooted in movie and TV scriptwriting, exploits humans’ natural interest in stories, while playing on our innate emotional need for closure in the tale (think happily ever after).

This approach creates a ‘cliffhanger effect’ that gets people to come back for more. Your favorite show probably uses Open Loops so you’ll tune in the next time to see how the problem was resolved. In a Tweet, the formula might look something like this:

Example (veterinarian)

Beagle pups are known for their boundless energy. But poor little Cody was listless until
Dr. Kim suggested this simple dietary change! Learn more: <link to blog post of Cody’s story>.

Something for Everyone

Lee’s article describes 27 copywriting formulas, many of which are definitely worth a try, especially if you’ve never intentionally structured or patterned your content. The experts cited swear by this approach.

To add even more oomph to your social and online content, try combining copywriting formulas with expert tips from our post entitled “Eight Social Writing Strategies for People Who Think They Can’t Write”. If you send a lot of email, this post on supercharging subject lines will be an added writing bonus.

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