Copywriting for Social Media – Making the Leap

Use Grammarly for proofreading because you don’t want to look like a blogging dufus who doesn’t know what she’s doing!
leaping writersNot long ago (why do I want to add “in a galaxy far-far away” to this?), I made the leap from copywriting typical marketing vehicles such as brochures, ads and articles, to creating social media posts full-time. With great confidence, I brought more than 20 years of writing experience to the job, but the learning curve was still bendy as I wore the hats of social media maven, creative content writer, marketing guru and Facebook whipping boy (sounds better than girl, but it’s still the same).

Thinking that I already knew how to pack a punch with as few words as possible, I tackled the social media landscape like a speed demon chameleon. Keeping up with the ever-changing social media landscape led to my discovery of a few important things to consider if you’re a traditional copywriter going digital:

I See You In My Scope – Targeting the audience is what marketing copywriters SHOULD do for regular marketing, and it’s no different with social media. You’ve got to know who you are writing for, what problems you can solve, and deliver the how-to for doing that. This includes writing posts that not only put a brand out on the table, but make it the answer everyone is looking for. But first, you had better get the audience’s attention which leads us to…

Hey Audience Look at These! – If you’ve got the goods, raise ’em up and be proud (get your mind out of the gutter)! What I mean is to catch audience attention, you may have to pull a few tricks to appeal to their likes, lure them into your social media platform, and then hit them with all the brand talk and promotions. Its called engagement, and although there is no ring involved, you can still partner with the audience by entertaining them.

Boo-Hiss Boring Not – You might think that putting content out there that is all work and no play makes social media a dull boy, and this is partly true. Large brands known for eloquent toothpaste and soda offerings know how to strategize the appeal of their brands, while making it a fun experience. The opposite of this is a small company that switches social media gears on a dime and expects better results from reverting to boring brand-only promotional copy. If you can balance on the edge of entertaining the audience and setting your brand apart from the competition, you’re someone to reckon with.

Consistency is King – If there is one piece of advice I can give you about copywriting for social media, it’s that you must be consistent. It is preferable to have some sort of editorial calendar to go by so that you know what you are doing at any given moment. For example, you may schedule five posts on Facebook each day, each with respective content that may include links to a promotional blog post, sharing an article written by a key influencer, a cute cat video, a promotional ad for a special or new offerings, and other news or announcements from the company. Spread this across your social media platforms every day and people will begin noticing and counting on your posts to be there.

Be Kind if They Want to Rewind – Social media is still new in the world of business. Company leaders try to see its value and cannot fathom that social media doesn’t offer a tangible return on investment. They might not see that a rise in engagement and reach means their brand is being put in front of thousands of potential ambassadors. Instead, they may very well bark at you, the little writer who went all social, demanding hard lead generation and results. My advice to you is keep your chin up, all the while knowing that you’ve taken their average reach from 150 to 5,000. They might never see the value in what you’re doing, but then again if you’re in marketing, and especially as a copywriter, you already know how it is (inside joke).

For my writer brethren who have joined the social media world, know that my heart and best wishes are with you. Knowing your way around marketing is in its own right no easy task, but doing it in a public way through social media makes you uber-vulnerable. But don’t fear – I like to think of Facebook, Twitter and Google + as socializing for introverts, and for many copywriters that’s a good thing!


*Image by Mark Ramsay

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