In this post I’m going to talk about the types of little tricks of the trade that allow social media marketing specialist to get the big bucks. The good news is that we can all do the same thing with a bit of practice. Tis’true! As for guaranteed results…there are none. Let’s go.

Social media writing

Skill #1: Being Highly Adaptive

The digital culture is always shifting and adapting to an ever-increasing load of tech-innovation. We’re all freaking ADHD now dude! Our attention is limited and there’s only so much cerebral real estate to go around. You need to speak the language your audience responds to. Skip the sales-speak and only ask for things after giving them a ton of information/entertainment first.

You’ve got to adapt the writing to suit their lingo. You’ve got to tailor the snippets of information to be relevant to what your audience finds engaging. Social media writing is both an art, and a science of understanding the click-generation.

Skill #2: The Ability to Keep is Short

Being able to keep things short isn’t easy. You’ve really got to practice for a while and read legions of updates on pages that get tons of organic traffic. Approach it from a psychological angle. How much can you fit into four lines of text? In reality you can change the world with two sentences, it just takes a bit of brainstorming.

Skill #3: A Snappy Wit that Engages

Everyone responds with a smile to wit because we understand that it takes a certain sense of inventiveness. We all smirk when we read clever uses of irony because we know it requires a keen intelligence. Wit is all about humor. If you can consistently write in a way that gets people to think and smile, they’ll typically come back for more.

Then it’s a matter of sustaining that precedent. Now remember, a little bit of wit goes a long ways and it can quickly bog down the mind so use it sparingly.

Skill #4: Tie-ins to Relevant News that Works

Almost half of the time social media writers need to be witty in a hurry and then tie-in some kind of relevant news. It could be current events or it could be some consumer-based news (OMG the new PlayStation/iPod/you get the point). Regardless, being able to tie-in with style and finesse isn’t that easy.

We can all say, “Check out this article from so and so about this and that.” But, being short, concise and witty as well takes more practice.

Skill #5: Pro Formatting

No one, and I mean absolutely no one likes a huge block of text to read online. This is especially the case for people that are browsing using little mobile screens. Pro formatting in the social media realm is no different than in the blogosphere. We’re talking short snappy paragraphs, witty subtitles and headings along with visuals and aesthetics that help us scan things.

Skill #6: Mastering the Details

There’s lots of little details that you come across when writing for an online audience that they don’t know about unless they do it themselves. There’s proper punctuation, spelling, meta-data, tags/hashtags, formatting, getting the pictures right (which also have meta-data to worry about), and on and on. Don’t forget about revising your writing. All these little details add up to either make or break user-experience.

Part of social media writing success is in the understanding that it’s more dependent on how your content is received than necessarily what it’s composed of. For example, announcing maintenance isn’t all that exciting, but it can be made exciting through the crafty use of a humorous picture/meme and some witty writing with candor.

Skill #7: The CTA Ability

At the end of the day the success or failure of social media writing is measured in action. How much action does the writing incite people to do? Do they click where you ask them to click? Do they sign up? Do they share, leave a comment, spread the word or subscribe to whatever it is?

Furthermore, do they push your writing or post forward onto other social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and so on? How it’s done is hard to explain. You need to tell people what to do in a way that definitely comes across as non-sales, and genuine though. Social media writing is all about reaching people and getting them to pause for a moment to consider whatever your proposal is.

Conclusion: Start Practicing

Social media isn’t going away. The platforms will change and evolve, but not the medium of communication. Practice being short, relevant, authoritative, witty, humorous, and formatting with a clear CTA at the end. Once you get used to it and find the formula that works best for your audience, it’s a snap!