February 21, 2024

ChatGPT Prompts for Social Media Marketing (Direct from OpenAI)

ChatGPT Prompts for Social Media Marketing (Direct from OpenAI)

OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, has released an extensive guide on ‘prompt engineering’ – the term given to providing the language model with the best possible prompts to generate the best possible responses. 

It’s a long guide that covers all potential use cases, so we’ve summarized the key strategies below and how they’re relevant to a social media marketer. We’ve also added useful tactics and examples to explain how they could be used day-to-day.

Let's dive into the six strategies:

1. Write clear instructions

This is the biggest mistake that most people make when using ChatGPT. Think ‘garbage in, garbage out’ – if you don’t clearly instruct ChatGPT, it’s unlikely to give you what you want.

Make sure you craft prompts that are as detailed as possible. Clear instructions help the model understand exactly what is expected, increasing the likelihood of you receiving a great response, first time. 

There are several tactics that OpenAI recommends:

Specify details in your query

Adding details to your query helps ChatGPT understand the context and specifics of your request.

Instead of asking, "Create a social media post," be more specific: "Create a social media post for Instagram targeting millennials interested in sustainable living, highlighting our new eco-friendly packaging."

Ask ChatGPT to adopt a persona

Instructing ChatGPT to adopt a certain persona can tailor its responses to fit a specific style or voice, increasing the relevance for your audience. For example, "Adopt the persona of an expert real estate agent."

Use delimiters to indicate distinct parts

Delimiters help separate different sections or types of information in your input, making it easier for the model to process and respond to each part effectively. 

In this example, square brackets are used to make it clear to ChatGPT when the product description starts, and when it ends:

"Summarize the following product description [Start Description] Our latest skincare product combines natural ingredients for sensitive skin [End Description], focusing on its benefits for allergy-prone users."

Another option is to place the description on a separate line by using Command+Enter (on a Mac) or Shift+Enter (Windows).

Specify the steps to complete a task

Breaking down your request into clear, sequential steps can guide the model through complex requests.

For example:
Step 1: Analyze the current trends in digital marketing.
Step 2: Identify how these trends can be applied to a small business.
Step 3: Suggest three innovative marketing strategies based on this analysis."

Provide examples

Giving examples can guide ChatGPT’s output to align with a specific style, format, or content type. This is a great tactic if you’re struggling to get ChatGPT to write in the tone you want – simply cut and paste something you’ve written before (that has the tone you want), then instruct ChatGPT to write in that same tone.

For example: "Using the same tone as the email below, draft an email for our new product launch.

[Copy and past the previous email]”

Specify the desired length

Make sure you detail the desired length that you want. It won’t deliver it exactly, however it usually comes pretty close.

You could write: "Write a social media post, not exceeding 100 words, of the best practices for LinkedIn marketing."

2. Provide reference text

The best ChatGPT prompts for social media marketing use relevant and trusted sources of information, such as text, articles, data, etc. 

This is useful where accuracy and correctness are important, but also where you want to explain something based on existing knowledge or well-known ways of doing things. OpenAI recommends the following tactics:

Instruct ChatGPT to use a reference text

Drafting a blog article about the latest social media algorithms will be more factual if the model refers to recent studies or official platform updates. Therefore, ask ChatGPT to base its response on the text you provide. You can copy and paste the information below your prompt, or attach a document. 

For example, "Using the attached research paper on social media trends in 2024, create a summary highlighting key findings relevant to small businesses." 

Ask for citations

This tactic is great for creating content based on a source, or for situations where you want to increase the credibility of the content. 

For example, “Use the attached digital marketing industry report. Include citations from specific sections or pages."

3. Break up complex tasks into simpler ones

OpenAI says you should break down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable requests. This allows ChatGPT to tackle each one separately, therefore increasing the accuracy and quality of the response you get back.

This can be particularly helpful when marketing on social media, where your tasks can involve multiple steps – planning, implementation, analysis and optimization.

It's also useful where a task requires processing a lot of information, or there are different sources for each step. 

Make the intent and context clear

According to OpenAI, ChatGPT’s output will vary wildly if you’re not clear on your intent. 

For a query about 'increasing Instagram engagement,' first make the context of your query clear. Does increasing Instagram engagement relate to your content strategy, hashtag use, or audience interaction? 

Summarize or filter previous responses

Sometimes your interactions with ChatGPT can be long. By summarizing or filtering past responses, you can keep the conversation focused and relevant. 

For example, you could ask ChatGPT to “summarize the key points discussed so far, and then proceed with my further instructions."

Summarize long documents

When dealing with lengthy documents, break them into sections, summarizing each separately, and then combining the summaries. That way it’s well structured and you won’t lose any important details. 

You could ask something like this: "Summarize the attached report on social media analytics. First, create individual summaries of each chapter or section. Then, combine these summaries to form an overall summary highlighting the main insights."

4. Give ChatGPT time to 'think'

According to OpenAI, ChatGPT prompts for social media marketing can be improved by asking it to take its time before giving you its response. It’s sort of like asking someone to carefully consider their answer instead of rushing to give you one. 

Giving the language model time to think should allow it a deeper level of analysis and provide a better quality response.

Instruct ChatGPT not to rush

Encourage ChatGPT to detail its thought process first, similar to how one might logically solve a problem. 

For example "Suggest a social media strategy for a new product launch. First, list out potential consumer demographics, platforms for engagement, and types of content, then formulate a comprehensive strategy based on these considerations."

Use a sequence of queries to guide reasoning

Here you’re essentially asking ChatGPT to have an internal debate with itself! It will consider multiple perspectives and therefore deliver a more thorough analysis. You can use this as an original prompt, or after it’s already responded to you.

Let’s say you have a query about a particular marketing technique, you could ask it to “assess its pros and cons, potential reach, and engagement metrics internally before giving a final recommendation."

Ask ChatGPT if it missed anything

Seems crazy, but here you ask ChatGPT if it missed anything the first time. Often, it will overlook certain things and provide an incomplete response. 

Ask it to "Reevaluate and add any significant information or detail that might have been missed in the first pass."

5. Use external tools

OpenAI suggests combining GPT-4 with other tools or data sources. Some potential use cases could be complex calculations, accessing up-to-date information, or tasks that require specialized knowledge.

Use embeddings-based search

OpenAI is owned by Microsoft, which has integrated ChatGPT in the Bing search engine. However, you stil need to ask ChatGPT to conduct an ‘embeddings-based search’. 

Your request could look something like this: "Provide me with the latest social media marketing trends. Use embeddings-based search to pull in recent articles or studies, and then synthesize this information into a coherent response." 

Hopefully this will save you a lot of time doing the searches yourself.

Call external data, software or APIs

We’re getting a bit techy now, but the idea with this tactic is to ask chat GPT to interact with a database, software tools or API. This will make the output more numerically accurate and also ensure it’s as up-to-date as possible. 

You could ask ChatGPT to: “calculate the ROI of a marketing campaign using real-time data fetched from an analytics API."

6. Test changes

The final strategy recommended by OpenAI is to "test changes systematically". In essence, you ask ChatGPT to assess and improve its response by comparing it against something you know is best-in-class or has worked well before.

This is particularly important for social media marketing, where your results will vary greatly based on your target audience, the social media platform you’re marketing, and the content topic and format being used.

Compare ChatGPT responses to a gold-standard

With this tactic, you ask ChatGPT to compare the output it has given you against a set of pre-defined, 'gold-standard' answers or data. 

After initially asking ChatGPT to write you a short-form video script, you could then provide scripts of other content that has gone viral: “Compare the script against the attached virals scripts (gold-standard). Evaluate the effectiveness in terms of engagement metrics and audience resonance."

It’s up to you to determine what the ‘gold-standard’ data is – click-through rates, engagement, video views, ROI, etc. A few things to keep in mind though:

  • Make sure your data covers a diverse and representative sample.
  • Make sure your sample size is large enough
  • Regularly update your sample
  • Integrate feedback from your audience interactions as part of your evaluation criteria.


In wrapping up, knowing how to write ChatGPT prompts for social media marketing can make a huge difference to your results. Therefore, it’s best to use the strategies recommended by OpenAI that we’ve discussed in this article: be clear and specific with your instructions, provide reference texts, break down big tasks into small ones, and let ChatGPT take its time to think things through. You can also add relevant external tools, and keep testing to see what works best.

It’s all about guiding ChatGPT to deliver just what you need. Whether you're creating engaging social media posts, researching trends, or responding to audience comments, follow these practical tips to improve the quality of your responses. 

Jonathon Tanner

Jonathon Tanner

Co-CEO and Co-Founder

Co-CEO and Co-Founder of SMC, earned Social Media Educator of the Year from SMMI. With vast experience in social media strategy and content marketing, he's also a co-founder of other businesses. Specialising in growth strategy, Jon has a background in management consulting specialising in M&A.

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