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Writing scripts for social videos is the hardest thing I’ve done. This is what I’ve learned since I started in 2016. Not every social video that scores has all 7, but most have most of them.

  1. A great first caption: It’s your only chance to stop people scrolling on by, so make it catchy.
  2. Positivity: People love stories about smart people trying to make bad things better. It’s a nice contrast to the negativity of much mainstream media. And they make viewers feel good, which means they’re likely to share.
  3. Surprise factor: You need to stand out in a user’s stream in which they are likely scrolling through quickly. Something unexpected is a well-established way of doing this.
  4. Relatability: If it’s not clear why the viewer should care then you’ve kind of lost before you’ve started.
  5. Accessible language: Short sentences, plain English, no jargon. 
  6. Trustworthy tone: Clear, confident statements. Authoritative sourcing in footnotes. 
  7. ‘Flow’: No extraneous detail, repetition, or awkward shot changes. Smooth introduction of captions, good use of memorable factoids, strong opening image, interesting shot choices.