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Wow, the marketing communication landscape has changed with the dominance of social media marketing, which is growing dramatically and use is expected to quadruple by 2015.  Social networks like Facebook with 750 Million users, Twitter, with 200 Million users, and even newbie Google Plus, which gained over 30 million users in less than a month compels firms pay attention. This growth in social media usage creates its own cottage industry of professional, gurus, and even traditional agencies who compete to guide business practice and generate revenue from firms participating in social media marketing. While we could argue about the value of all these social media gurus and the advice they dispense, a bigger discussion is how social media fits into other communication efforts undertaken by the firm — including advertising, public relations, or corporate branding.
Now, here’s the rub — is everyone out there saying the same thing about the firm and supporting the same branding?
Everything a firm does is a form of communication — the colors, images, words, and content.  So, how do you integrate marketing communications in the era of social media? About Angela HausmanI manage Hausman and Associates, a full-service marketing firm operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media.
I'm a featured contributor to Business2Community and was named to Content Marketing Institutes 40 digital luminaries for 2014.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, occasionally includes paid and unpaid links in the posts published.
In this post, I will outline my 5 most important rules for social media marketers to live by for effective social media writing in business posts.
Of all the rules for more effective social media writing, choosing the right content is the most important, by far. The most helpful ingredient in choosing the right content is knowing what will interest your audience. Articles or images that relate directly to your product or service (but not your brand specifically) – Ex. Just as the author of a book, a radio or tv personality, or talented speaker has a particular style or cadence in the way they speak that is distinctive and unique to them, your social media writing should show your personality and the personality behind the brand. For example, I previously ran the social media efforts for an incredible health drink called Mamma Chia, and took an extensive amount of time to get the voice and tone of the company’s Founder just right; as, she was the entire essence of the brand. As an overall rule of thumb for effective social media writing, just KISS (keep it simple, silly). Aside from strategically keeping your post short and simple, there are obviously constraints in length based on which platform you are posting to.
Social Media should be engaging and welcome conversation from your fans, followers and customers. For example, try to integrate some humor into your posts – of course only when appropriate, and don’t cross any unprofessional or offensive lines. No matter how “conversational” or “casual” you choose to get in your social media writing and posting, please for the love of professionalism – make sure that you don’t have any spelling or grammatical errors. If you are writing for a professional business, your social media writing should not include slang, abbreviations, or emojis. The free blog post headline analyzer will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.
Pretty soon a social media post you once found cool or interesting seems to be taking over your newsfeed and becoming a pain in your side. There seems to be a misconception that by sharing one basic social message on multiple social media platforms, companies are doing their job and being active on social media. Seeing the same message on multiple platforms is a sign of a company’s laziness or ignorance.
When writing for social media, you need to tailor your social messages to each audience you are trying to reach on each network. Writing for #socialmedia is more than sharing one basic social message on multiple networks. Writing for social media—done really well—means sharing more than one basic message on multiple networks. There are intricacies of each social network to which you can optimize your messages to be super effective. Even if your audience uses multiple social networks, when they go to a certain platform, they are expecting to be communicated with in a specific way. Ask questions and get feedback: This helps people feel they belong to a group and their opinion is valued. Links: Once again, links are important because it takes the audience right to your content. Interaction: Pinterest makes it easy to discover new boards and engage with others when they re-pin your pin.
Professional growth opportunities: People will often search LinkedIn for new professional opportunities. Continual learning: Many search LinkedIn for professional posts that can help with their career. Validation: Provide your followers with proof that you are knowledgeable about a specific topic. Tip: LinkedIn is the perfect platform for reaching professionals, so when you’re on there, act like a professional. Highlight your niche: In your messaging, discuss the niche of your content and include tags. Hashtags: Just like Twitter, hashtags help users to easily search Google+ for areas of interest. Different content does well on different social platforms—it all depends on the audience you are trying to reach and what the post is. For example, our blog post, How To Actually Make Money Blogging, is performing well, but had a relatively low engagement rate on Twitter. This is the type of posts that professionals would be more interested in, hence why it performed better on LinkedIn. Once you have the main bulk of your content, like your completed blog post, writing for social media is easy, right?
Now, you’re not changing your tone or brand voice when writing for social media or different social media platforms. When you search for writing for social media on multiple platforms, you come up with conflicting arguments. Yes, each social platform requires a different approach, but that doesn’t mean changing your company’s voice.
If you have a quirky company, that doesn’t mean being serious on LinkedIn, it means being quirky, but adapting your message to appeal to those on the professional network. Join one of our resident customer coaches for a 20-minute guided tour, followed by a Q&A session. Save time scheduling social media in bulk & work more strategically with premium integrations. Work smarter with robust social automation, auto-pilot publishing, and data driven intelligence.
A calendar that will give you more control and even better insight over your team's schedule. What if we said 77% of you reading this post could get 192% more traffic by following this social media posting schedule? It’s annoying at best and a sad state of affairs for PR professionals who actually know what the hell they are doing. I’d argue the biggest change in social media came in 2006, with the debut of Twitter and its stream of updates. Five years later, every other copycat social network has their own crappy version of the news feed.
Additionally, even with systems such as Facebook’s Edgerank, how do we know what is relevant?
The next great social network will be the one that figures out what comes after the news feed.

In my day job, where I get paid to be nice and talk with people on Facebook, I look at a lot of Facebook pages.
That’s why it drives me nuts when people say they are going to do Facebook in a different way. Let’s face it, the news feed is the core of the Facebook experience, and it only allows text, images, and video to reach users. Social media marketers often claim one of the benefits of social media is that it is up to the minute and instantaneous, but is it really?
When we write tweets, compose Facebook updates, or post videos, we can revise and edit them endlessly.
With the addition of Google+ to my daily social media torture-fest, I’ve been wondering why I actually need a personal brand across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and my blog.
From what I can tell, the only thing a personal brand does is set expectations of what people can hope to get out of me online.
The last time I looked at anything to do with personal branding, some chump was trying to sell me tips on things I could do to brand myself better.
Personal branding is great when you’re trying to promote yourself as a job candidate or some other venture that deals all about you, but why else do we need it?
So, with that in mind, we create an identity built upon two or three of the best aspects of ourselves. Anything with Justin Bieber - The boy has a lock on being a trending topic.  Don’t give him any more publicity, and please don’t give him any more musical credibility. As our Circles begin to feed and grow and contain more and  more friends we have never actually (and never will have) met (but who we’d start an all out cyber war at the drop of a disrespectful tweet for **respect**), users will be looking for order, and what has more order than a list (apart from the Order of the Phoenix of course)? Whoever said change was a good thing obviously wasn’t a compulsive social media friend sorter.
So now that the shine is off the shiny new object, what am I supposed to do with this thing? She comes to social media by way of the entertainment industry, where she worked for over ten years in development, production, and marketing. Once you develop your buyer persona, you can easily decide topics for original posts, filter and choose third party articles, and decide which offers will be most appealing.
Do you want a lot of “likes”, shares, comments, increase in followers, conversation, click-throughs to your website? Twitter, with a 140 character limit, forces you to keep your post to the bare minimum – which actually tends to be a good thing. Perhaps a line of soaps or toys for babies could post a funny “motherhood” meme on their Facebook page to encourage sharing from their audience.
Social Media writing, at its core, should be the driving force to guide the viewer to take action on your social media channels. Your social media writing still represents a corporate brand, personal brand, or a business – so the proper use of spelling and grammar remains essential. The image you include (if applicable) should support your social media writing and help you to limit the amount of verbiage you need to get your point across. Following the 5 rules above will help to ensure you reach the goal you have set for each post, any benchmarks you’ve set, as well as your overall social media posting strategy. 5 Simple WaysGoogle Plus Local Pages: 5 Reasons Your Local Business Must Have One8 Reasons Why Every Company Should Have a Business BlogWhat is Content Curation?
While social media purists would decry the term “outsourcing” being used anywhere near the social web, managing social full time and in house isn’t always a good fit for companies. Whether it’s simply absorbing a tidbit of useful information or clicking a link to buy your product, direct your audience with a call to action.
They are a great way to join in a conversation already happening or organize a conversation, like a Twitter Chat. Plus, Facebook has an instant play feature on videos, which makes it hard to keep scrolling once a video starts playing because it sucks the audience in. So, if your target audience strongly consists of women, it’s worth looking into a Pinterest account.
Frequent LinkedIn users enjoy discussing niche industry topic with their peers, all the while making new connections.
It allows you to have long conversations like Facebook, share quality photos like Instagram, connect with likeminded people like LinkedIn, video chat like Skype, and more. They are a great way to join in a conversation already happening or organize a conversation. Share your content in a way not only your audience in general will appreciate, but in a way the audience you are reaching on the specific platform will be attracted to.
Go into it understanding on which social network it is likely to perform best, and optimize your message accordingly.
Keep consistency through your company’s brand voice and tone, just change the way the message is perceived on each platform. There seems to be a debate to write for social media using one consistent voice on multiple platforms and to change your voice depending on the platform you’re on. Tweak your message to fit the social network you are posting to, but keep your brand voice.
These are things that are usually not even halfway related to social media, but I guess they figure, “Hey! I often read about new social networks through pitch emails like those and on social media news sites.
This format was adopted by Facebook soon after, and the news feed was born. The news feed, that ever updating scroll of text, photos and videos has been the biggest revolution in social networks since someone decided you could make a profile and connect that profile with other profiles and list yourself as single. Sure, it can be useful to have the latest information and updates, but information is useless without analysis.
Can we really trust a computer to determine what is relevant to individuals based on browser cookies and the actions of other people? Facebook marketers now spend their time creating updates that will reach the most potential people based on the posts Edgerank. While you have complete freedom over the content in that news feed, there is little to do things differently.
The information offered, the apps you promote, and the images you share, which hobo from the street you let be your admin and community manager. I may have started writing this blog post a month ago, or maybe I cranked it out an hour before I posted it.
It surprises me how many times I go back to change a word, a phase, or just completely delete  and start over. While that is useful for people who are trying to sponge and leech information from me, for everyone else, I just don’t see the value anymore. But being the social media junkies that we are, haven’t we all ordered our facebook friends and the people we follow on twitter in to a dozen lists, giving us the exact same solution to our first world problems? Venn diagrams, the Olympic rings, light discs, Captain Planet’s Planeteer rings, crop circles and all those metal rings that link and unlink through magical prowess… Circles kind of scare me, they’re never ending, literally. If we introduce Parent-Circles and Sub-Circles as Google+ users are already calling for, you’ll end up having to play a game of Connect 4 just to share a montage of your latest killcams with your Call of Duty circle. That means she posts for clients’ social media channels, runs social ad campaigns, writes marketing plans and functions as a Social Media Jill-of-all-Trades.
On a break from the entertainment world, Karen received a master’s degree in Media Studies from Syracuse University where she wrote her thesis on the popularity of Gwen Stefani. I come across so many updates, tweets, and posts that have so much potential to be effective social media writing, but the posts fall flat because of some key elements that were overlooked. You may have some posts from time to time that do not link to any media, and are strictly words – but for the most part, you’re going to be linking to an outside article, including a picture, or guiding your reader to a landing page.
Whether you post an image, a quote, a helpful article, a controversial article, or a free offer will change the outcome of your post.

So, every article and post, every response to a follower, and every visible online activity had to mirror that voice and replicate that tone. Obvioulsy Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ allow you a bit more wiggle room on the subject, but keep in mind that most social media reports emphasize that shorter posts are better for conversion. Take advantage of this, try to get on a peer level with your customers and develop a loyal relationship. Unless you are making an extremely obvious pun or play on words that includes a misspelled word, it is important to respect the witten word. That’s why social media services are one of the fastest growing sectors in the web marketing field.According to the “2012 State of Social Media Marketing Industry Report,” the outsourcing of social doubled between 2010 and 2011, and is likely to reach 32% by the end of 2012. Make sure the image you choose has a purpose: Remember, emotions are a great way to appeal to your Facebook audience. The highest engagement rate on the post for Twitter was 1 percent, while the engagement rate for that post on LinkedIn was 4.82 percent. While sharing the headline and header image of a post once or twice is fine, you need to spice it up and make the social media posts original to each network you are posting to. I’ve done both super-short and pretty long, and I can’t seem to decide the best strategy!
People make new social networks all the time, because for one reason or another, they think they’ve made something new just because you can have a profile, post updates, and see what your friends have posted.
Who cares about making meaningful updates and impacts when you can just manipulate an algorithm for the max results for your business? Eventually, they all start to blend in to the same nonsense of likes, wall posts, and apps.
While those actions are the start of doing something, whether that something is different, who knows.
I don’t need to pay money to find out I need to pay more money to build a shrine to myself online with glossy head shots and a slick WordPress theme. They’re for every other person on the internet who wants to stalk you and every person with the same name as you. With Google+ I feel like I’m dragging my friends into a bull rink against their will to faceoff with likeminded individuals.
Rather pathetic, but oh so satisfying.  Until I discovered that my colleague was essentially cheating. While in school, she began writing professionally about television and new media, and managed a website geared to young Hollywood. I always asked myself if all of my social media writing was “spreading the love” of health, happiness, and chia seeds. The top choice for outsourcing social was design and development – but coming in third at 10% was social media content.We’ve covered a lot of different social media outsourcing areas in this column – but social media writing deserves a closer look.
So, if you’re using an image and want room for people to reply, aim for using 100 characters in your tweet. Engage your audience by providing them with tidbits of what they can expect from your post. It takes years of talents and practice to be able to perform an identity, and a written one at that, perfectly.
Is there no room for experimenting with your personality, or showcasing different aspects of yourself online?
Facebook and Twitter lists work pretty damn well if you ask me,  I don’t need an bordered enclosure for my friends, surely I’m charming enough that they won’t run away. She wouldn’t actually go to some of these places, she’d check in if she was near them.  We called foul.
After returning to Los Angeles she managed the official websites for a number of celebrities before changing her focus to social media. These are all the same thing with a different name to avoid trademark infringement.Every one presents the latest updates in a reverse-chronological order so the most recent update is first. The personal brand then becomes stripped of the personality that make it personal to begin with. Even the app cried foul, awarding her a badge that was the equivalent of a “Get a Life” badge. Without the writing component, even the best marketing strategy will fall flat.Let’s look at what social media writing is, how to evaluate your need for outsourcing and how to begin outsourcing this crucial marketing task. All the while, we focus on building the identity, rather than building ourselves in the three categories we try to show off. Social media writing affects your fans and followers, but with every update you’re also increasing the likelihood of search engine results. With consistent social content creation, you’re able to attract the two biggest sources of web traffic.Social media writing is shareable, clickable and directly in touch with your target market’s needs. It shares the same basic principles of great web copywriting, but with a few twists to make it a unique animal.It communicates your brand – Social media writing needs to blend with your company’s existing voice and tone.
If there’s too big of a difference between your perceived brand image and your social updates, there will be a resistance from your audience.It obeys the rules of the road for each particular platform – Not all social platforms behave the same way, and your followers on Twitter are going to engage your brand differently than your Facebook fans.
Smart social media writing takes the platform into consideration as well as the message.It gets people involved – Far too many companies use social as a broadcast platform, rather than a tool for connecting with their audience. Great social media writing sounds like a conversation rather than a one-sided blast.Is it Time to Outsource Social Media Writing?Obeying the rules for social media writing is essential – but it’s also very time intensive. It needs to be developed strategically and professionally.Although you know your business best, there are many challenges that can keep in-house staff from getting social media writing just right. The business owner or executive team knows the business best – but their time is being spent on all of their other duties.
Marketing directors are another possible match, but they may be juggling too many other projects to spend time writing. With the volume of content that is being published online each day, it’s essential for companies to develop and implement a consistent content strategy.
Copywriters and social savvy content specialists can help fill the gap.How to Begin the Social Media Writing Outsourcing ProcessWith so many platforms and projects to choose from, you need a step by step plan to dipping your toe into outsourcing social media writing. In addition, finding a social media writer who can connect with your audience and capture your brand’s voice can be a challenge. That’s why it’s so important to start slow and build upon a strong foundation.Begin by screening freelance social media writers or content creation agencies. Just like with any industry, there are tons of providers out there who may miss the mark and leave you frustrated with outsourcing. A great social media writer should not only know how to engage your followers, but he or she will also know how to create content in your voice.Once you’ve developed a list of potential candidates, start with a blog post or two.
Blog posts are the cornerstone of social media writing – and if a writer can produce an engaging, fresh blog post on your industry they’ll be able to carry over that same fresh and interesting voice to your social updates.
In no time at all, you’ll see increased engagement, more clickthroughs and all the other benefits that can come from social media marketing.Have you outsourced your social writing efforts before?
Courtney is the Director of Content Strategy for Endurance Marketing, where she helps take B2B brands from boring to breakthrough. She creates strategies that helps businesses tell their story, increase their prospects and convert more customers. She manages content marketing creation and implementation so clients can see the best results from their inbound marketing efforts.

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