You want your Facebook content to convert.
The good news? It’s not crazy if you consider alternative tactics to engage users. Concentrate on their needs and emotions rather than your product. Target a niche audience with stories that would align with their core values and reflect your brand’s nature.
The best news? You can apply to your Facebook posts with some emotional writing tactics.
Here are five emotional writing tactics to try out for improved engagement on Facebook.
Why emotional narrative in Facebook writing?
You may think people come to Facebook for the news from friends and brands.
The rapid growth of interest in emotional intelligence led to the demand for content that would trigger emotions rather than share bare facts. People are on Facebook for conflicts and emotions that they can relate to. With that in mind, you need to craft content that appeals to this interest.
You need to use emotional narrative in your Facebook content.
This writing technique is all about building your message by specific words, writing structures, and particular visual hooks to keep the audience emotionally invested and, therefore, willing to respond. Now, here go five writing tactics you can use to get emotional narrative in Facebook posts.
1. Consider your reader’s needs
First of all, determine the core value of your Facebook post. For that, consider the needs of your target audience. With those in mind, you can determine what topics to choose and what message to communicate so that your readers will reflect and respond to it.
Take this analogy with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, for example. Users pay more attention to Facebook posts that reflect their needs at the moment, so choose your writing genre accordingly:
Use a writing genre that corresponds to your audience needs.
Share content about trends or how-to posts in the niche if your readers crave for self-esteem. Facebook posts telling about inventions or achievements will work best for those in self-actualization. And for readers in self-transcendence, the content based on creativity or morality will be of key value.
The example of a Facebook post that appeals to readers’ self-esteem.
With a reader’s needs in mind, you’ll encourage users to engage by addressing their pain points in your every post. Also, it closely echoes the second writing tactic in this list…
2. Appeal to your reader’s basic instincts
Basic instincts, also known as subconscious needs, appear in the brain’s limbic system, and they’re responsible for behavior, emotions, and motivation. So, if you turn to these instincts in Facebook copywriting, your audience will respond.
One theory of personality identifies three basic instincts: self-preservation, sexual, and social.
The instinct of self-preservation is about physical health, safety, and secure environment, so users will respond to the content helping them achieve it. This might be why food and lifestyle blogs are so popular.
Emotional writing tactics that make this post even more delicious.
The social instinct is about creativity and action. We are all concerned about personal value, accomplishments, status, and approval. Subconsciously, we crave fame and success. So any content that proves we are cool will resonate with us.
Consumers feel involved: “It’s cool to be eco-friendly today, so we are cool because we support this achievement on the way to saving the planet.”
The most powerful instinct is sexual. Give the audience content about connections, adrenaline, people, attraction—and they will respond.
Here’s how to write Facebook posts that boost engagement by appealing to these basic instincts:
Use “tasty” words in your posts
Even if your niche has nothing to do with food, you can play upon the meaning of “tasty” words. Many blogs use this trick when choosing headlines for articles.
- Food for Thought: The Content Strategy Burger (Contently)
- The Marketing Funnel Ice Cream Cone (WordStream)
Ice cream and chocolate make it more intriguing to click.
Invite people to act
Create the illusion of presence with your content. Make your readers feel involved to satisfy the need for action. Post quizzes, slides, tests, and other interactive elements whenever appropriate.
Appealing to the instinct of action in Facebook writings.
Help your audience find answers
People respond to the content that solves their problems and teaches them how to interact with the world. So help them find answers. Share content with tools and strategies. Write about secrets and tips. Post content with hacks and insights that fit your audience needs.
- 9 Brilliant Tactics to Promote Your Blog Content on Facebook (CMI)
- 3 Powerful Strategies for Pain-Free Client Relationships (Copyblogger)
WordStream shares the guide that can solve a problem. Reflecting? You bet!
Show people they can do it
We all want to believe we are different from others, and we can do everything (if we want!). The problem is that most of us are looking for easy ways to do everything. So appeal to the “you can do it” mantra in your Facebook posts: Show the audience that the sky’s the limit.
- Easy Guide to Creating an Awesome “About Us” Page (WordStream)
- How to Start a Blog When You’re Not an Expert (Problogger)
- 4 Simple but Powerful Tactics for Writing Compelling Ad Copy (WordStream)
Simple, short, everyone can do it.
3. Use neuro copywriting tactics and phonosemantics
Legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman has already explained the psychological effect of particular words and sounds to the human brain. Used in a definite order and in the right place, they serve like mental hooks for readers. Known as neuro copywriting, this tactic can make your content flourish.
Goldie appeals to odd numbers and beneficial adjectives to trigger attention to her post.
Here’s how to use it:
- Avoid weak adverbs and use active verbs only.
- Add beneficial adjectives and odd numbers (they get a better response than even).
- Choose particular phonemes to trigger desirable emotions and associations from readers.
- Consider stylistic devices like metaphors, repetition, and contrast.
This caption repeats /g/ and /l/ to symbolize shining and brightness and plays with other words to emphasize the contrast and make readers smile.
Also, use sensory words and transitional phrases liberally to turn your Facebook posts into emotionally powerful narratives.
Transitional words help guide your reader through your narrative by making the connections between ideas and even phrases clear. They are like hooks, engaging users to keep on reading your Facebook posts to the very end. Web content writers know them as bucket brigades and manipulate the dwell time with their help.
Here’s an example of using transitional words:
Sensory words are best described by Henneke Duistermaat as descriptions of how we see, hear, smell, feel, and taste the world.
Here’s a list of some useful sensory words to use in your Facebook copy:
Visual words help readers “picture” your story. Words relating to smell and taste turn your writing in lip-smacking content. There are also motion-based and tactile words that allow the audience to “feel” and “move” with your stories. And all of these will serve you even better if you practice brand storytelling on Facebook.
Which brings me to my next point.
4. Tell a story
Readers evaluate your content by feelings rather than facts, so you need to make them “feel” your writing, especially on Facebook. The best way to do that is through storytelling.
Big brands often practice storytelling on social media to engage followers.
You can use different formats of storytelling in your Facebook content: a short post, a video, a photo, or a long read. You just need to make sure it reflects human values and is unexpected yet relevant to your niche.
And remember, users don’t read, but scan Facebook feeds. Structure your posts so they would want to stop and read more.
Tim hooks readers with the first sentence. It makes them want to learn more.
- Hook them at the very beginning (weird words, exclusive facts, or insights can help here).
- Avoid professional slang and overly complex sentences (write as you talk).
- Make your writing concise (one thesis per post).
Starting your post with a dialog is another trick to get users interested in further reading.
Last but not least: Finish your post on a positive note. People come to Facebook to relax or be entertained. They probably won’t remember the specifics of your text but the emotions it caused, so make sure those are positive.
5. Use some “wow” in your post
It’s the detail that makes people remember your content and want to respond. It’s a hook catching them while they are scrolling Facebook feeds. It makes them stop, raise an eyebrow, think “wha-a-at?” and continue reading to find out what it’s all about. Basically, your posts need some wow.
Try out attention grabbing words or expressions, or engage your readers with a question.
The first word is intriguing enough to make readers wow.
Experiments, extraordinary insights, shocking information, and relevant emoticons can work here, too. Before publishing a Facebook post, ask yourself, “What will users remember about this piece of content? What is the eye-catching element here?” The wow-effect in Facebook posts allows you to stand out from the crowd and make your content go viral. People will like, share, and comment on it because it hooked them and reflected their emotions at that very moment.
Start drafting those Facebook posts!
On Facebook or any other social media channels, users want to know what happens in the world right now that could relate to them. Give them what they want.
Here’s a quick recap of the ways you can start using emotional appeal in your Facebook copywriting to boost engagement:
- Consider your reader’s needs
- Appeal to basic instincts.
- Tell a story.
- Try neuro copywriting tactics.
- Wow your audience.
Now, get writing!
About the author
Lesley Vos is a text author and ghostwriter, blogging at Bid 4 Papers and specializing in content creation and self-criticism. In love with words, coffee, and foxes. In the hope of mastering the art of proofreading before she hits “send.”