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The Role of Social Media in a Copywriter’s Life

The Role of Social Media in a Copywriter's Life

One of my favorite things about clients is how much faith they have in me.

One of my least favorite things about clients is how much faith they have in me.

Confused? Here’s what I mean: Clients who are really happy with you and give you free reign are awesome. It’s so much fun to work with them. However, they often like you so much that they decide you can – and should – do anything even mildly related to writing. ANYTHING! WOO!

Except not woo. Because if you love writing, but don’t want to be a social media manager, visual designer, user experience whiz or anything else tangentially associated with copywriting, then you’re in trouble here.

I especially hate this when it comes to social media, which is often lumped in with writing by the uninitiated.

Well, it ain’t, and don’t let anyone convince you it is. Instead, it’s important to clarify exactly what the role of social media in a copywriter’s life should be.

Hurr we go.

Social Media Copywriting: It’s Really Not a Thing

A lot of clients assume that because social posts use words, they’re copywriting.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Social can be a type of copy, in that it’s intended purpose is to convey a message and drive action. It’s especially useful as a direct marketing tool, and totally worthy of the client’s money and your respect.

But. But.

I do not consider social media posts to be in the same realm as copywriting. They’re often image-reliant (definitely for Pinterest and Instagram, and often for Facebook), and they require an innate knowledge of how each platform works, not to mention hashtags, tagging and so on.

That’s a lot of knowledge that doesn’t necessarily come with the writing job. If you don’t know what you’re doing, eventually that fact will show – primarily when those posts don’t get engagement. You better know what you’re doing, in other words, or that client relationship won’t last long.

So go balls out, or be leery. Because as I say, it’s not really a thing.

Or at least, it’s a whole different thing.

Social Media: A Nice Way to Add Value

Just because social media isn’t a form of copywriting doesn’t mean you can’t offer some of that to your clients.

Me personally, I don’t really like assisting with social media. It’s hard for me to bill for it as a copywriter, because per-word doesn’t reflect the amount of time that goes into posts, but a large project quote often throws people off. The sticker shock usually blinds them to the fact that social posts are hard and are worth paying a lot for.

However, most clients do want a social post or two to accompany a long article or whitepaper, and I think that’s very reasonable. If they don’t have a social media manager and want a good writer to toss off a tweet or 100-word Facebook blurb, that writer should be you. It’s just good business.

My standard line to clients is: “I’m happy to write a post or two in addition to [real project], but I’m afraid I don’t offer that on my own.” If they really push me, I’ll vomit out the longwinded explanation I just gave to you, but usually I leave it at that.

Social Media Copywriting: Do You Offer It?

At the end of the day, the only question you should be asking is: How can you get more bacon in your life?

Wait, sorry, no. It’s almost dinnertime. What I meant was, Do you like social media copywriting or not? If you do, cool beans. (Sorry. Dinner.) You can charge a lot for it. Yay!

If not, though, I advise you avoid that swampy area between writing and social media management. Like the Dead Marshes of Middle Earth, it’s just not a fun swamp to navigate.

And that’s it!

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