Writing for social media is the key skill set providers need to bring to the table to successfully serve marketing, branding and “new media PR,” clients. Writing for social media is a specialty.
Writing well is essential as the foundation for creating appealing content for business owners, artists, authors and other clients. That’s the core skill. Included in the “new media” skill “set” is the ability to write for social media.
When you’re in business you must sell. Even when your business is non-profit, an independent project or your own employment career, you’re in the process -the business- of selling. Writing for social media is no different.
Although best practices approach social writing as a function of electronic relationship-building, this writing must still, ultimately sell. Today’s over-informed consumers demand direct interaction. You must connect with and relate to them on their terms on their turfs. This is WHY you must engage in social networking communications -for the benefit of your customer- and this is WHY these social communications must sell, for the benefit of YOU.
Writing for this new environment involves a savvy combination of copywriting plus expertise, familiarity and credibility with the social networks, or inside the “social space.”
This simply means that first the writer must have strong skills writing copy which in this context is entirely different from journalistic skills, academic or literary mastery. And, “grammar don’t matter.” Copywriting means sales writing. This is the rare and mighty ability to persuade and sell from the printed page.
In addition, not only does the social writer need to know his way around Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin; have an established YouTube channel AND keep up with each new social phenomenon, but he needs to also be visibly present in the social networking space as proof.
WRITING FOR PRESENCE: Social Media Engagement
When it comes to social media, written messages need to keep coming. You need to become and stay engaged in social conversations with your audiences -who are ultimately prospects and customers- throughout your social networks. The more consistent writing delivered, the stronger your presence. This gives you social credibility. The good news is you don’t have to perform all this writing -or ANY of it- yourself. You can hire a writer who is expert in ‘new media conversation.’
WRITING FOR CAMPAIGNS: Building Social Content
Engaging effectively with your prospects and customers through social communication on consistent basis becomes strategic when your series of messages is planned. This means rather than simply posting, tweeting or texting randomly you do so at regular, planned intervals with planned content. This is campaign marketing. These strategic marketing campaigns build and enhance your brand.
Content you create for your social campaigns starts with writing. Your content can be produced as simple captions with photos, scripted videos, tweets, surveys, promotional contests, podcast interviews, audio announcements, new media press releases, digital info products, text messages, ads and so on.
As you 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 for social media.
WRITING FOR NEW MEDIA PR: Social Media Branding
Branding which is NOT simply a term interchangeable with marketing, but a marketing specialty, has always been best facilitated through public relations, by public relations professionals. PR pros know how to deliver long-term strategies that involve creating and promoting brand relevance. PR pros are capable of helping clients develop and reveal business “personas” to the marketplace that serve to “brand” the business.
All these planned branding practices are based on written communication. For social media, these “writings” can be specially crafted by specialists. When executed successfully, writing for social media leads to branding through social media.
KEY POINTS’ RECAP
• When you’re in business or selling anything that requires marketing, you should be “engaged” in social media.
• At its core social “engagement” happens through writing.
• For business, social engagement -and its writing function- need to be strategic. That means planned, orchestrated and executed over the long haul and even in the short-term, through campaigns.
• Several forms of essential, social content including audio interviews and podcasts, videos, and mobile messages, begin with writing.
• Whether you actually write or not yourself, once you understand the principles, you can successfully build your brand or brand your business using writing for social media.
Having the power to sell through the written word does not mean that social network placed “copy” is always pitching. More often, it is not. What it does mean is that the writer understands how to properly write within each social setting; it means he has the know-how to build engaging short-term and long-term conversations -posts, tweets, texts, and such- that lead to your desired result. That desired result 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 brands your business, you can then understand why you must get and stay engaged in it. You don’t need to be an expert. You simply need to engage like one. Understanding that this social engagement is an ongoing “conversation” with your marketplace that requires consistent communication, you immediately recognize the power of, and need for, writing for social media.