January 31, 2021 | Sean Foo
As the battle between main street and Wall Street rages on, let’s take a moment to really investigate how r/WallStreetBets inspires their audience to be fearless, invest in an uncertain market and hold firm with diamond hands. 💎 🙌
Sure, while most of their audience are self-proclaimed ‘degenerates’ that fervently hate the establishment (banks, hedge funds, etc), all this anger and attention will still have to be channeled into taking action.
There has to be a rallying cry.
A message and call-to-action so clear & convincing that it can literally move markets up ten-fold.
A singular directional charge with enough momentum to squeeze hedge funds, like Melvin Capital, out of their short positions (with billions lost in the process) while causing short-sellers in the market to sit on a staggering $19 billion loss on GameStop.
If you missed out on the GameStop saga, here’s a quick timeline of the events.
While we aren’t here to play stock pundits and guess how far this market rally will rise, we are here to analyze how Redditors of r/WallStreetBets are masters at crafting their ‘justice-laced’ messaging to get their army of retail investors throwing their money in one direction.
Messaging that allowed them to move stocks within a few days to incredible levels such as:
That means incredible gains for investors holding the stock, and untold devastation for short-sellers.
While I am not invested in GameStop (wished I caught the big move though), I am in a rather unique position where I am invested in another market since 2012 that WallStreetBets is currently targeting and actively trying to move up.
Namely the silver market.
Disclaimer: I have done my own homework for nearly a decade on silver and I’m not advocating for you to enter or exit (or god forbid, try to short) the silver market.
You can start your journey here to find out more and dive deeper into the silver rabbit hole.
I am not a financial advisor – Make your own decisions.
The silver market is a different beast from small-cap stocks like GameStop.
It is a much bigger market with bigger sharks swimming around.
There are huge fundamentals like supply and demand at play – silver, after all, is both an investment asset as well as a metal with widespread industrial use.
However, the intention to shoot the price to the moon is very real.
While the user who wrote the silver rallying cry probably isn’t a professional copywriter – it is actually written to near perfection.
Even the vulgarities and ‘attacks on the establishment’ adds flavor and depth to the post.
The message trims away all the fat, flames the fire of passion, infuses anger into the reader and culminates into a point where readers are ready to jump into the trade with strong conviction.
I’ll be breaking down this message, step-by-step, from a perspective of a professional copywriter and someone who understands the silver market enough to help you understand the persuasive elements being used.
Let’s get started!
While this technically isn’t part of the messaging, the structure of Reddit threads allows for support to be built fast & showcased instantaneously.
As a Redditor lurking the board, you’ll want to know if a certain stock pick or investment direction has supporters. And that means you probably need to check out 3 parts of the thread:
While the comments give a clearer picture of the sentiment of the crowd in WallStreetBets, checking the number of upvotes gives you a quick snapshot of whether this movement is gathering momentum or not.
With over 3,000 upvotes (and loads of user-awarded medals), this isn’t a post to ignore.
Teaching overly aggressive short-sellers in the market a lesson by massively investing into a stock (or commodity in this case) to cause a short-squeeze.
And to get the attention of their primary audience, their headline is a powerful claim that this is the ‘Biggest Short Squeeze’ in the world – indirectly implies huge profits if this squeeze is effective.
Having a strong claim is one of the fastest ways (albeit extremely risky) to grab attention.
While you might be tempted to use this in your own business, you’ll need to make sure you can back-up your claims with real hard evidence.
Now while this figure might seem random to most, it is not. It appeals to at least two separate audiences – readers who already understand the silver market (like me) or speculators that want to win big
For the existing silver bug, the appeal is about accelerating the eventual move up.
You have a long-term horizon of silver going much higher than $25.
But, $1000? Is there something I missed out on?
Is the big move up happening now? I have to learn more!
For the speculators, a move from $25 to $1,000 doesn’t sound too extreme at all.
After all, GameStop’s share price was less than $16 in December 2020 and recently hit a high of nearly $470.
Regardless of the audience type, this price projection (as fantastical as it might seem) has stoked the flames of interest in the readers.
One of the most crucial steps in writing great sales copy is to have a powerful introduction that establishes the context of the argument.
Or in other words – you need to allow your reader to step into your universe and quickly understand the current state of the world.
Unlike the traditional landing pages or sales letters, this has to be done insanely quick on a Reddit post.
With short sentences that go straight to the point, the post paints a picture of incredible opportunity, a rigged environment and a sinister cabal of manipulative villains that is destroying the economy.
It thrust you directly into the heart of a deep conspiracy where you feel like a member of the resistance ready to do your part to fight back.
While wild claims and big numbers do capture attention, they have to be brought down to earth and justified using facts.
In this section, a compelling case on the demand & supply of silver is laid out in a fast and furious manner – and in my opinion, is largely true.
It bolsters the argument of why silver is intrinsically a valuable commodity with various practical industrial applications.
This is exactly the same process of justifying a product’s benefit with the various accompanying features.
While you might be wondering, “How in the world is this conservative?”
The way it is written portrays it as such to any reader who understands the basics of investing. It means that if all the decades of inflation were factored into today’s silver price (which means the price is allegedly being manipulated down), the price should be $1,000.
Without any other factors, such as supply or demand, being considered.
Now, do I personally believe that inflation-adjusted silver should be at $1,000?
No, I don’t.
But I do not deny that this is a rather unique angle that is written to subtly suggest at the potential upside that silver might even surpass $1,000 given the right conditions.
When it comes to any copywriting project, the first thing to be done is to understand the audience personas you are writing for – specifically what drives them.
In this post, the writer clearly understands the two biggest motivations that readers of the subreddit have when it comes to investing.
The first is obviously to make profits (or ‘gains’ as they call it) while the second is a desire to teach big financial institutions a lesson that they believe are manipulating the markets.
Done in an extremely crude way, this sentence reminds readers of what is at stake.
Every good message needs a compelling call-to-action and oh boy, does this post deliver that in spades.
While this might seem extreme and peppered with weird lingo to the casual reader, you’ll need to dive deep and understand the culture of the WallStreetBets subreddit to realize it’s not that uncommon.
Laced with passion, vitriol and unbridled optimism, this call-to-action is crafted to perfection for their intended audience.
As GameStop’s share price continued to climb, brokerages such as Robinhood started to place limits and even temporarily halt trading on the stock – causing a big controversy and a huge annoyance to traders.
This is a real potential issue that could happen again and knowing this could deter readers from jumping into the market.
The messaging here cleverly swats away any concern by letting readers know they can continue to squeeze the silver shorts by purchasing silver.
This is true by the way, when you buy physical silver, hedging positions from the dealer (short positions) will have to be covered (which means buying back the borrowed stock, potentially driving the silver price higher)
While this shouldn’t come as a surprise, to move a market you’ll need a ton of retail investors and that means you’ll have to get your readers to spread the word.
It has to go as viral as possible.
By throwing in a simple ask to retweet, the stage is finally set for potentially the next price surge from the WallStreetBets army.
While we won’t know for sure if silver will ever hit $1,000, it is clear as day that the messaging here is on-point.
Great copywriting doesn’t always have to come from the professionals.
But what you do need is to truly understand the people you are trying to write for and tailor it to the platform you are publishing it on!