Social Media for Writers: Friend or Foe?

Posted on June 5, 2014 by Aimee B

There is no denying that social media is becoming a major part of people’s everyday lives all over the world. Facebook and Twitter aren’t just for individuals anymore. News outlets, celebrities, charitable organizations, corporations, and all kinds of other professionals are all using social media outlets more and more to communicate with existing customers or clients and to reach a larger audience.

What does this social media frenzy mean for freelance writers? The trends show that social media is only going to continue to become more prevalent in business and certainly isn’t going away any time soon. The good news is that this boom in social media will probably create jobs for writers, many of these organizations and businesses are going to need us to create content and manage their social networking pages. So, clearly there is an upside, but what about the change in wording and language that comes along with having such limited spaces to convey your point?

The point of social media posts are to be short, to the point, attention getting and engaging. Sometimes that is easy for a writer to do in 140 characters or less, but what if it’s a harder sell or a subject that just isn’t very interesting. Are we stifling our abilities and skill by trying to cram everything we want to say into such small dialogue boxes? Not necessarily. The great thing about being freelance writers is that we are used to being flexible and having to cover a wide range of topics and assignments of any word count with or without special instructions.

We may have to channel our more complex thoughts and research into other avenues such as articles for magazines, books, or websites, but those are outlets for us that aren’t going away anytime soon. Learning the language of social media and practicing concise, interesting posts is a new and exciting challenge for writers, and it has opened up a whole new world of job opportunities that didn’t exist for us just a few short years ago.

Platforms like Twitter, where your writing space is strictly limited causes us to write in text language, which is basically using abbreviations for words and phrases, for example the popular lol (laughing out loud) and smh (shaking my head) are so common that they are frequently used as punctuation at the end of social media posts.

If you can master these short, witty, to the point posts, there is tremendous potential for your career. Celebrities, television studios, movie studios, universities, larger corporations, non-profit organizations and many more hire people to produce their content. Many of these types of organizations also have full time employees whose only job is to manage their social media accounts.

So post away (and get paid for it)!

Aimee B is an editor for a Fortune 500 company during the day and a writer by night. She has recently taken up horseback riding, and with two full grown American Bulldogs, a Blue Quaker Parrot, a Dwarf bunny and two kids under the age of 12, Aimee can also be considered a zookeeper!


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