Joining the social media revolution: How to Write for Social Media & Become A “Consultant”
Brands of all types and sizes, community groups, charities and celebrities have pages on either or both of these sites and use them to market to their customers and followers.
Essentially, these organisations and individuals are leveraging the online version of the marketing holy grail – word of mouth.
The requirement for all of these pages to be updated on a daily basis has opened up another avenue for the freelance writer. The huge national companies will have their own staff to deal with this but smaller organisations may struggle to keep up and may choose to outsource the work.
If you can master the unique way that social media communicates with people, you could add this type of writing to your portfolio.
You could even create a full time business as a “social media consultant.”
Social media can be time consuming and many business people and web site owners believe they MUST be active on social sites, but they do not know how to set up campaigns nor have neither the time or inclination to be tweeting & posting on a regular basis.
The top 5 principles of effective social media content
- 1. Community building, not selling
Companies use social media to market their activities but the best strategies involve engaging with followers, effectively treating them as a large family. Social media posts should be used to share interesting information connected to the company’s products and services, encourage people to leave comments and give tips and advice.
- 2. Be concise
Twitter forces everyone to restrict their posts to 140 characters or less but brevity is the key to success on any social media channel. As attention spans dwindle, it’s essential to hook people in within the first sentence and to keep posts to a couple of sentences. If you need to explain a new concept, post it elsewhere and provide a link on your social media channel with a catchy headline and enticing invitation to click on it.
- 3. A friendly tone
If you’re building a loyal community, you need to communicate with followers as if they were having a chat face to face with you. Cut out all formal language and jargon and observe the phrases that your followers use when they provide comments or give feedback. An important part of writing for social media is about establishing relationships so, while you want to inform and offer value, you want to do it in a way that sounds natural and like part of a normal conversation.
- 4. Interact
If your client only wants you to post messages and links, they are missing a trick in developing their brand loyalty. Followers won’t become engaged with the social media page if their comments pass by without response. True, your followers can communicate with each other but part of the point of having a social media channel is to look as if you’re listening and responding. These responses should be written as carefully as your main posts as they can make the difference between people opting out or engaging as part of your client’s social media community.
- 5. Be entertaining
If you are writing on social media to promote your own work, let your personality shine through to make you stand out. If you’re posting on behalf of clients, you need to convey their personality to make them appear ‘human’. If a company’s social media page looks and sounds too corporate, it will simply encourage people to go elsewhere. Using humour and unusual facts will help to keep followers engaged and entertained.
Understanding the technical side
Some aspects of social media communication can seem a little alien but are quite easy to master. Knowing how and when to use them will stand you in good stead when approaching clients or promoting your own content.
- Hashtags: Mainly used on Twitter, hashtags (identified by the symbol #) create hyperlinks to other Twitter conversation threads. Used well, they can help to promote your (or your client’s) profile among people who are likely to be interested in the content you are posting.
- Retweets: On Facebook, users can share content and have plenty of space in which to write their own messages. As sharing on Twitter means retweeting the original message, the 140 word character limit still applies. If you can restrict your post to 120 characters, that gives people some space to insert their own message before they share to their networks.
- Graphics: Photos and illustrations work very well on Facebook and Pinterest and tend to attract more attention. The ability to provide punchy headlines or questions and attaching complementary images will enhance your success as a social media content writer.
- Groups: LinkedIn is a growing social media website for professionals and freelancers. A big feature of the site is the ability to join, contribute to and set up groups that can act in a similar way to the communities on Facebook. Creating a group simply involves selecting the ‘Create a group’ option from the ‘Groups’ tab within your LinkedIn account. From there, you can add the group’s name, logo, purpose, website address and group email account.
All of the main social network sites – including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, MySpace and Google Plus – contain guidance on getting the most out of their sites. If you are interested in writing for social media, you should spend time reading those tutorials so that you can create effective and popular content.
Next we cover the subject of using ebooks to make money, either as a gift to visitors to your website so that you can build a list of followers to whom you will market products in the future (covered in main site) OR writing ebooks for clients. To find out how: CLICK HERE
Author: Marc Walton
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