Remember when in Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox got transported into the past driving a modified DeLorean that was actually a time machine?
Well, that’s kind of how I’m going to start this guide for social media content writer.
Hop in my DeLorean, we’re setting the dates and off we go.
A Brief History of Social Media Content Writing
Welcome to 2009 – Facebook is getting a foothold on the market, Instagram doesn’t exist, but LinkedIn has been around for a while now. LinkedIn’s app is raising the standards in the digital world by allowing third-party sites to connect with the platform and share their data on it. More access means more data, which in turn gives marketers the opportunity to rethink, redesign, and reconstruct their marketing strategies. Yes, this is a big deal for social media content writers.
Fast forward to five years later. It’s 2014, and a new app called Vine has just surfaced, slowly becoming an efficient social media marketing tool. Marketers are skeptical about its effectiveness though – mostly because Instagram is introducing InstaVideo at the same time. Instagram is an established platform, Vine is new, but growing very fast, so the question asked is: which app will dominate through video content?
Two years later, in 2016, the landscape looks nothing like experts predicted. Marketers are enthusiastic about a new Facebook feature – Live Broadcast. One thing becomes clear – delivering content fast is one of the most important factors in a strategy. We live in a period where being first in the digital world actually counts for something.
That’s about enough introductory time travel for today, don’t you think?
I hear you can get major migraines if you get stuck in the past for too long and we don’t want that, now do we? We got a future to think about!
The Growing Importance of the Written Word
Going through the years and reminiscing on trends, we see that marketing is dynamic and ever-changing.
The one constant, no matter the year or trend, is the importance of content.
If you really think about it, written content has always been around us and it’s going to keep on being there in the future as well.
Social Media Platforms – The Present and Future of Advertising
If we had taken the DeLorean on a trip to the 1970s, we would’ve witnessed the big bang of advertisements. Even then, there were people who sat behind the desk and wrote catchy headlines, memorable slogans, and articles that made the people run to the stores.
Today, there are people behind electronic devices doing the same thing.
We call these people social media content writers.
But in this fast-paced age we live in, we confuse or simply struggle to understand exactly what a social media content writer does and what does the position cover.
That’s why I’m here to answer all your burning questions concerning this topic – all of them!
No more going back and forth, we’re in the ‘here and now’.
What is a Social Media Content Writer?
Let’s say you’re scrolling through your favorite social media platform and you see a picture of your old high-school sweetheart. It says ‘just married’. Huh, who would’ve thought?
You keep on scrolling. You see an image and some text.
The first few words grab your attention and you keep on reading. Intrigue arises, and suddenly you’re interested in a product, service, or even just in the persona conveying the message.
You have just witnessed the work of a social media content writer.
The definition of content writing is the process of planning, creating, and editing content that’s later used for marketing purposes.
A social media content writer is a person who’s directly involved in that process – creating the content.
In today’s digital whirlpool, relevant social media presence is a high priority for every company’s marketing success. Social media platforms have a strong marketing pull, hence the need for people to create such content.
But this whirlpool is full of platforms that all function separately from one other. That’s why social media content writers need to have the knowledge and skills to create different types of content, for different social media platforms.
The Skill Set of a Social Media Content Writer
The average company has at least five profiles on different social media platforms. Which means they need to continuously produce content for those platforms.
Keep in mind that the same content rarely goes on more than one platform. The reason for this is simple – what works and gets noticed on Twitter, will most probably fail to have the same effect on Facebook.
So, in order to create diverse content that performs well on social media, content writers need to possess the following key skills to make that happen.
You can’t write content if you can’t write.
It’s content writing 101!
But writing is a skill, and like any other skill – you can learn how to do it properly. Social media content writers most often work on:
- Post description;
- Blog posts;
There are many other types of content, and mastering them requires a lot of work.
I know what you’re thinking.
“Creativity? But I’m not a creative person.”
We go back to the previous point. Creativity can be learned, like any other skill. There are a lot of exercises to practice creativity, and I do advise you to jump on that if you want to become a social media content writer. You can have all the skill in the world, but without something to inspire you, your content will be bland and won’t engage readers.
This skill plays a significant role in creating content for social media.
All platforms are flooded with a lot of content, but we don’t see them all, do we? We only see the most creative ones. The ones that catch our eyes and attention time and time again.
You can choose the profession you want, but you can’t always choose what you work on.
This applies to social media marketing too, which is why you’ll have to learn to adapt, not just to the work required, but also to new trends, methods, and strategies!
Social media content writers who can adapt the tone and voice of the piece they’re writing to suit a certain brand or company, are held in high regard. Aside from the personal benefit, being adaptable can help the quality of the content and overall writing performance.
Your content needs to resonate with your readers. This requires you to be well-informed on the topic you’re writing about, however, this won’t always be the case. More often than not, you’ll stumble on topics you have little or no knowledge on.
That’s why you need to focus on two things:
- thorough research before you start writing, and
- ensure the information you use comes from trustworthy and reliable sources.
Proper research leads to content that has value and meaning for your readers.
Responsibilities of a Social Media Content Writer
Plan, create, edit, then do it all over again.
Ok, it might not be as easy and simple as it sounds, but it sure is a thrilling process to be part of.
Social media content writers do more than just writing. Even though it all comes to the creation of their content, they also have other responsibilities.
One of them is keeping up-to-date with the latest trends. This might seem like the easy part of the job, but it’s actually very hard to stay in the loop. Trends come and go in a blink of an eye, and some there are thousands carrying the potential to be the next big thing, only to go out with a whimper.
Which leads to another responsibility – predicting future trends.
Don’t worry, it’s doable without a time machine as well!
Content writers who work on social media spend a lot of time on various platforms. Once they get a grip on the comings and goings of the world, it’s easy to predict what will work in the future.
Last but not least, one of the most important responsibilities a social media content writer can have is the difference-maker in the world of online marketing – reputation management.
This is a broad term that encompasses various aspects because more often than not, a lot of people are involved in the process of managing the reputation of one company.
For content writers, the following is crucial: what you put on your platforms will influence how your audience views your brand.
With that in mind, it’s crucial to maintain a consistent tone and voice, always write with the mission and the vision of the company, brand, or whoever you’re writing for.
You don’t get a second chance at first impressions! That’s why consistently producing quality content is important.
To Sum Up
A career as a social media content writer is a good idea for all who feel ready to take it on as a challenge.
The challenge means to be ready for changes on a daily basis, and working in dynamic surroundings.
If you want to write for social media, you’ll need to try to outdo yourself every day. To do that, you have to work hard on developing your writing skills and amp them up as you go.
The beauty in this field is that you can always bring your own flair to the game.
You can follow the trends and stay up-to-date with all the newest and coolest stuff, but the high-peak is when you set trends.
Are you ready to take on the challenge?