Well, I ran across this article last week in a Facebook post by my globe-trotting friend, Nina, a social media expert and the co-author of Inkwell Editorial’s The Social Media Marketing Bible for Freelance Writers.
It talks about Twitter dropping its 140 character limit and what that means – in a broader context – for brands publishing their full content (instead of just excerpts and/or links) on social media outlets.
3 Reasons Social Media Writing Means More Work for Freelance Writers
When I read information like this, my brain always goes to, “What does this mean for freelance writers?” of course. Following is why I believe it means more work (than ever!) for freelance writers, especially online writers.
1. Brands Need Even More Content
Why? Because of this conundrum that the above linked-to article points out, “No matter the reach that platforms can offer, owned audiences will always matter. A direct relationship with people matters.”
You see, while social media outlets want brands to publish their content on their outlets, brands will still need unique content for their site too. Because of this, I foresee brands publishing more long-form content on their favored social media outlets. BUT, I also foresee them continuing to publish unique long-form content on their sites.
Brands have to offer something on their site that a user can’t get any place else. Amidst all the social media noise, they still have to be lure a customer into their personal domain so that they can develop that personal, one-on-one relationship, which can be, for example, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a white paper or e-book, taking a free video course, etc.
2. Writing for the Medium
Just like SEO writing has its own set of rules and guidelines, so does social media. Brands will need writers who understand how to write for the various outlets. And not only is social media writing different from, for example, SEO writing, each social media outlet has its own unique quirks, as Nina pointed out in the comments section of this linked-to post, writing:
I would add that writers who want to learn social media have to get very familiar with the different platforms. Writing for Twitter is very different than writing for Facebook or Linkedin. Each social network has its own culture and selected audience.
So if you’re one of those writers who learns how to write for social media now, get familiar with the major differences between the popular networks and start trumpeting this knowledge in your marketing. It’s a pretty easy way to stand out from the competition.
3. Mobile Technology
Another thing the linked-to article points out is how many users consume content via digital modes nowadays, stating: “Sixty percent of digital media time is now spent on mobile … and 85 percent of our time on mobile goes toward using apps.”
Between tablets and smartphones and iPhones and iPads – heck, does anyone even use a laptop anymore?! So it goes to reason that brands need writers who know how to write content that is mobile friendly. This is a rapidly growing need that can be a potential goldmine if you position yourself right as a freelancer.
Funny Story: “Are You Jiggy with Mobile Technology?”
I was in Kingston last Wednesday handling some business. I was in the terminal waiting for my bus back to Negril when a guy comes in, sits down and proceeds to pull out this huge charger and his laptop. I had to practically put my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing out loud because it looked like an ancient relic amongst all the smartphone users.
Just to clarify, I’m “old school;” I still use a laptop. I don’t own a tablet and I just got a smartphone last year. However, I can count the number of times on one hand I’ve logged onto the web on it because I’m online at home all day and when I do go out, the last thing I want to be is online on my phone. But as I was sitting in the Immigration office earlier that day, I did check my email and some other accounts on it.
I think that was only the second or third time ever that I’ve done this on my phone. Really! I just don’t have a need to use my phone to access the net because again, I’m online at home all day most days.
The reason I point all this out is, mobile technology is still very new. Many brands – big brands – still don’t have mobile-friendly sites. But they’re moving to get them – and they’re going to need writers who know just how to give them that. So now’s a great time to position yourself as a specialist in this niche.
“But I already specialize?” you may be thinking.
Great – just add writing social media and mobile-friendly content to the list of services you provide. Play it up in your marketing materials. Write and distribute a free, downloadable report about the importance of social media and mobile-friendly content (which plants the seed deeper than you can possibly imagine).
Writing short reports is one of the most effective forms of marketing I’ve ever done as a freelance writer; it’s a free, evergreen way to land freelance writing jobs.
Good luck if you decide to dive into this niche of freelance writing.
Have you done any social media writing? Were/are you aware of the growing need for this form of writing? What questions do you have about it? What insight can you provide about it? Please share in the comments section below.
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