Writing for social media is the key skillset that vendors must bring to successfully serve marketing, branding, and “new media public relations” clients. Writing for social media is a specialty.
Writing well is essential to creating compelling content for business owners, artists, authors, and other clients. This is a basic skill. The ability to write for social media is included in the “new media” skill set.
When you are in business, you have to sell. Even when your business is a non-profit, a freelance venture, or your professional career, you are selling. Writing for social media is no different.
While best practices approach social writing as a function of electronic relationship building, this writing still has to ultimately sell itself. Today’s over-informed consumers demand direct interaction. You must log in and report to them on their terms in their territory. This is WHY you need to engage in social media communications – for the benefit of your customer – and this is WHY these social communications need to sell, for YOU.
Writing for this new environment involves a judicious combination of writing and expertise, familiarity and credibility with social media or within “social space”.
It just means that first of all the writer must have strong writing skills which in this context are different from journalistic skills, academic or literary mastery. And “grammar doesn’t matter”. Copywriting means sales writing. It is a rare and powerful ability to persuade and sell from the printed page.
Moreover, the social writer does not only need to be familiar with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin; have an established YouTube channel, AND follow every new social phenomenon, but it must also be visibly present in the social media space as proof.
WRITE FOR PRESENCE: Social media engagement
When it comes to social media, written posts need to keep coming. You need to become and stay engaged in social conversations with your audience – who are ultimately prospects and customers – through your social networks. The more consistent the writing, the stronger your presence. It gives you social credibility. The good news is, you don’t have to do all of this writing – or NONE of it – yourself. You can hire a writer who is an expert at “new media conversation”.
WRITING FOR CAMPAIGNS: creating social content
Engaging effectively with your prospects and customers through social communication systematically becomes strategic when your series of messages are planned. That means rather than just random posting, tweeting, or texting, you do it at regular, scheduled intervals with scheduled content. It’s campaign marketing. These strategic marketing campaigns build and improve your brand.
The content you create for your social campaigns starts with copywriting. Your content can be produced as simple captions with photos, scripted videos, tweets, polls, promotional contests, podcast interviews, audio announcements, new media press releases, digital information products, text messages, advertisements, etc.
As you would imagine, when you produce and use many forms of content, the combination becomes powerful. In each case, for each type of content, its production begins with or is supported by writing. These writing efforts are specifically aimed at social media.
WRITING FOR NEW PR MEDIA: Social Media Branding
Branding, which is NOT just a term used interchangeably with marketing, but a marketing specialty has always been best facilitated by public relations, by public relations professionals. Public relations professionals know how to come up with long-term strategies that involve building and promoting brand relevance. Public relations professionals can help clients develop and reveal business “personalities” to the market that serves to “brand” the business.
All of these planned branding practices are based on written communication. For social networks, these “writings” can be specially designed by specialists. When executed successfully, writing for social media leads to branding through social media.
SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS
• When you’re in business or selling something that requires marketing, you need to be “engaged” with social media.
• Basically, social “engagement” involves writing.
• For companies, social engagement – and its writing function – must be strategic. It means planned, orchestrated, and executed over the long term and even in the short term, through campaigns.
• Many forms of essential social content, including audio interviews and podcasts, videos, and mobile messages, begin with writing.
• Whether or not you write yourself, once you understand the principles, you can successfully grow your brand or business by using writing for social media.
Having the power to sell through the written word does not mean that the social network placed in “copy” is always pitching. More often, this is not the case. What this means is that the writer understands how to write correctly in every social context; that means he has the know-how to create engaging short- and long-term conversations – messages, tweets, texts, etc. – which lead to the desired result. This desired outcome is most often sales or traffic leading to sales.
Once you know how social media engagement sells in and for your business; once you know how social media engagement marks your business, then you can understand why you need to get involved and stay there. You don’t have to be an expert. You just have to sign up as such. Understanding that this social engagement is an ongoing “conversation” with your market that requires consistent communication, you immediately recognize the power and need to write for social media.