Lots of text, lots of emojis, long lists of reasons for people to buy your stuff. There are tonnes of techniques for business owners trying to work their way in to the eyes and brains of viewers. Do they work though?

Text captions on Facebook posts and ads don’t have to be long and complicated. Image: Canva

There is a science to writing great posts and ads that helps engage, educate and excite those who are seeing them. Though the gurus and sales trainers and network marketers seem to ignore all those and have a very overused and instantly scam-alerting way to try to trick people into their sales funnels.

You’ll instantly recognise it. They’ll open with a triggering statement about how bad your life is. They’ll tell you how much better your life can be. Then they will list all the amazing things you could do, marking each line with an emoji.  And then they’ll move on to some secret “product” or “weird idea” that they won’t directly name or own up to. Then they’ll drag out the emojis again to lighten the mood and mark out another list of the things that their product or process will bring to your life. Then there will be a typical statement to trigger your fear of missing out, ask you what are you waiting for (or “what have you got to lose?) then provide a link to a website somewhere that will ask you for your email address.

And that’s where their magic begins. In your inbox. Until you report them as spam of course.

If it takes long posts full of text and emojis to trick you into something by being cute and full of promises and too-good-to-be-true claims, then it’s probably spammy, scammy and expensive. So what’s the alternative for honest, everyday businesses like yours?

Describe, then call to action

The biggest platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest advise businesses to not overload posts and ads with tonnes of text. And they almost universally advise us not to overload text with emojis. They do, however, say that light emoji use can be fun and whimsical.

Network marketers are notorious for writing long, convoluted posts to somehow manipulate people into joining their schemes. Image: Canva

The most recommended format for text posts and ads generally lands around the following.

  1. Say the most important thing about the product or service you are promoting first.
  2. Then include a call to action on how to get that product or service.

No rules about long blocks of text. No overuse of emojis. No manipulative language. No dodgy use of Neuro Linguistic Programming to trick people into buying something that they don’t actually want or need in their life.

For example, if you are selling a particular style of kids clothing, you could show a video of that clothing in use, or have a great photo of it, then include text that does the above. It might end up something like this:

Kids t-shirts that are made to last until they outgrow them. See the range at our website.

No long claims. No massive stories about where the cotton comes from. No painting of pictures in the mind. No manipulative language. Just the important point first about the t-shirts being made to last, then a quick point in the right direction on where to get them. Simple. Easy. And not coming across as the slightest bit dodgy.

Another example could be for a consulting service.

A better organised day so you can get more done. Book a free chat below.

That says everything that needs to be said in just one sentence. No long descriptions of scenarios. No lists of advantages. No hypnotising people into booking you without knowing what they are booking you for.

Keeping your text simple on social media allows the message to be at front and centre, without getting lost in sales spiel. Image: Canva

So why do people still use those long, emoji-filled posts and ads?

Generally because their digital coach or the upline in their network marketing scheme or someone in a “Secrets of Social Media Revealed” course said so. The trouble with this advice is that the only people who seemed to get great results from these kinds of posts are the people who got into the game years ago and scooped the market that way. None of the people they are teaching are getting any success with this stuff anymore. The Facebook algorithm understands what these kinds of posts and ads are really about and doesn’t give them as much airtime as those that are not trying to manipulate people in some way beyond simply presenting an idea and a way to get it. It’s similar to MLMs and network marketing.

The only people who did really well from Isagenix, the crazy wrap thing, Amway or any of those schemes are the people who got on board really early are the ones who got all the value. Join now and you’re in a saturated market where everyone has already seen all the tricks and marketing techniques and has already learned to ignore them.

So try the easy, quick and proven way of making your ads and posts work better on Facebook. And keep doing it over time with engaging videos, compelling photos and a little bit of your own creative flair.

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Dante St James is the founder of Clickstarter and a digital coach, advisor and trainer in regional Australia.