Many of the freelance content writers that I know struggle with social media and content marketing. Relax, people! Almost everyone struggles with social media and content marketing. There is no single reason it’s so difficult, but a conglomerate of reasons that make it a hard river in which to swim.
Why Social Media?
Why do you use social media? There are a plethora of reasons why social media is popular. According to the pewinternet organization, at the first part of 2014, 74% of adults who ventured online used social media. This is notably amazing and is also tremendously powerful. So what’s the problem? The problem is how we approach social media. Notice that I did not say the problem is how we approach Facebook or Pinterest. That is a key statement. Both are social media, but they are not the same. We tend to lump all of these platforms into the same grab bag. It becomes akin to trying to use a shovel to change a light bulb. These are tools, but they are not the same tools. Each platform specializes in precise functions, but those functions are limited.
Why social media? People use social media because it is easy to use. It allows you to feel a connection with someone or a topic. It allows you to reconnect with people with whom you have lost touch. It allows some people to be social when otherwise they could not or would not be able to socialize. Social media works well for most of us and it does so on multiple levels.
The Freelance Content Writer and Social Media Connection
There are two work-related connections between freelance content writers and social media. Those are the way that we promote our work and business and how we create content that is designed for social media for our clients.
In both situations, writers might approach social media platforms as though they are all the same. The truth of the matter is that while social media platforms are similar, they are not identical. Why then would we create content for different social media sites that is the same? That, right there, is one of the bigger problems. In fact, bigger companies use each social media platform to connect a piece of their marketing strategy. They do not throw all of their eggs into one basket and expect the best results. They did once. It failed…big time. They changed. We need to change too. We need to change how we approach social media. We need to change how we create social media content. It is not just about freelance content writers. It is also about the clients for whom we work.
Seeing What Tomorrow Brings
The modern crystal ball is not crystal. To see what tomorrow brings, social media marketers use programs to track the success and failures of each segment of their social media campaigns. The successful marketers have broken apart their marketing strategies into pieces. those pieces are customized to exploit the best features of each social media platform. The exploitation begins with monitoring and measuring the success and failure of each piece. When the parts begin to work together, then the project moves forward in a straight and predictable line.
That is how writers who produce content need to think. That is how clients who hire writers to produce content need to think. It is no longer worthwhile to ask the writer if they are a social media expert. Instead, clients should ask if the writer is an expert at Facebook or Pinterest or G+. As writers, we need to know the difference. We need to know how our audience perceives content on each social media platform. We need to know how to exploit the reader. Instructions need to be directed towards a specific platform. The client does not need content that is social media ready. The client needs content that is Facebook ready. The client needs content that is Pinterest ready. Learning how to create that kind of content is golden. The opportunity is there. The clients are priming. This is where social media marketing is now. We are caught up in the lag between getting there and the next big move forward. Don’t be a laggard. Instead, move to the front of the pack.
Resources for Further Reading:
Impact Branding and Design: The difference between Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Youtube, & Pinterest
David S is a freelance content writer who works with clients to create high-impact content on social media, travel, nature, and science, and business topics.