Surely you have noticed the icons for Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and other social media sites with a number by each one when you read content online. The number, of course, indicates how many times people have shared the article or blog post on each social media platform. For content marketers, these numbers mean everything. While we normally produce only the written content for clients here at Content Runner, some clients may also ask you to write corresponding social media posts. This is an excellent way to add to your income and develop long-term working relationships with clients by increasing your value to them.
Best Practices for Writing Posts for Various Social Media Sites
Writing compelling posts for social media takes practice, skill, and understanding the nuances of each site. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Twitter allows you to create a post of up to 140 characters, including the #hashtags at the end. This forces you to be concise. When you’re creating a Twitter post for a client, it’s important to avoid sounding over-promotional. Instead of announcing that you have written a blog post, ask the client’s Twitter followers a question instead.
If the post is announcing a new technique in dog training, you might lead with something like “Fed up with your dog’s constant barking?” This gets the audience’s attention as they nod in agreement and click through to find a solution. Keep the sentence after the lead-in question short so the reader has no choice but to go to the blog post to find the dog-training information. Creating relevant hashtags at the end of the post is also essential as this attracts people who are specifically looking for information on #dogtraining or #stopdogbarking.
Facebook and Google Plus
Although you don’t have the same character limitations on Facebook and Google Plus that you do on Twitter, marketing experts recommend the you keep the post short nonetheless. Asking a leading question is also a great way to start a post on one of these social media sites. Since you have a bit more room, you can instruct people to take a specific action after providing them with a sentence or two of information. This is what the content marketing industry refers to as the call to action. Here is an example:
“Looking for proven ways to slim down before swimsuit season? Click the link below and then share if these methods are new to you or comment if you have tried one of them in the past.” Remember to keep your post positive, even if you are disputing claims made by someone else. As in politics, focus on your client’s strengths instead of the competition’s weaknesses.
With LinkedIn, it’s important to understand the difference between a post and an update. A post can be as long as an article about virtually any topic. It’s a great way for people to show that they have insider knowledge about their particular industry. However, if your client asks you to write a post for LinkedIn, he or she actually means an update. Below are some tips from LinkedIn itself on how to make business page updates relevant and compelling for the reader.
- Ask yourself if the information provided in the update, including a link to the blog post you have written, provides fresh insights, helps the viewer improve business practices, or educates them on your client’s industry.
- Avoid using promotional language in your update, even if your client is announcing a new product or service. As with the other social media platforms, asking a question that addresses a problem the reader may be having is more effective.
- End the post by asking for feedback or requesting the reader to share it. When asked in a polite way and not overdone, most people are happy to do this.
Create an Offering for Social Media Posts
Content Runner has a feature called Offerings that allows you to sell specific services to clients. You can click here to see the form you need to complete to list something in this section. Facebook and Twitter are already in the drop-down box and you can choose “other” for any other social media platform. You have the opportunity to describe what you can do, name your price, and include examples. If you have any type of social media page for your freelance writing, including a link to posts you have created for them would be ideal.
I have written Facebook posts for clients in the past and earned in the range of $1.50 to $2.00 per post. This is not bad when you consider that a post consists of two to four sentences and a link that the client provides. What you charge is ultimately depends on your level of expertise and how long it takes you to produce the posts.