Social Media Copywriters exist, and we deserve your respect.

Give the intern something else to do.

Brit McGinnis
Nov 29, 2017 · 3 min read

There’s something wonderful about social media, in that it’s now become incredibly accessible to the average person.

Ask someone what Facebook is for: “For keeping in touch with people.”

What’s Twitter for? “Conversations and news.”

How about Pinterest? “Searching and saving ideas?”

Google+? “What’s that?” (I kid, I tease.)

But for real: Social media is strong by the very fact that it is now mainstream. It is valuable in the very fact that it is easy to understand.

Unfortunately, that has made my job as a copywriter all the harder.

You see, in making social media accessible, we’ve created the idea that anyone can use social media for marketing.

I’m here to stick a major pin in that notion.

Let’s take the most general example: Yes, anyone can write a Facebook post.

But once you write it, do you know how to promote it effectively?

Do you know (or at least try to keep on top of) best practices for Facebook ads?

Have you ever been to a social media conference?

Do you follow news about company acquisitions, and think about what they may mean for the user experience?

Do you use pre-planning tools to schedule content?

Are you always trying to learn new skills around composing social media posts that resonate with real people?

All of these are things that social media copywriters do: Act, research, interpret, and educate. It’s not just writing posts and throwing money at them for promotion.

It’s not just foolhardy to believe that social media isn’t a “real” marketing specialty.

It can put your entire marketing strategy in jeopardy.

The least successful brands I’ve ever worked with in my years of social media were those run by people who thought they knew it all.

Their logic was that if you’re a regular user of a social media platform as a customer, that’s more than enough to qualify you as a copywriter for that platform.

Me being me, I was always tempted to say, “Hmm. Interesting. What company did Pinterest last acquire? How’s the new update to Facebook’s Power Editor treating you?”

Also: 90% of the time, the people who think they can write advertising copy for a social media platform have never trained in ad copy. Which is insane—you think “Think Small” came from a person on the street who wanted to look cute and contrarian?

No. That ad came from someone who was trained in being creative and analytical about that creativity.

That is what social media copywriters do.

Thankfully, more and more attention has been paid to good social media copywriting. This isn’t the same as community management, though the skills often mesh and interact. Wendy’s is a great example of a brand using the skills of both professions to create an excellent presence.

The best tweets you’ve ever seen have come from someone who was trained, paid, and occupied with doing that exact task.

Not some intern with a YouTube channel.

Not a secretary who spends all day posting to Reddit that was commissioned to take on the social media accounts.

The best social media messaging you’ve ever read was done by someone whose sole job it was to execute that message.

So no, you’re not good enough to do your own social media. Not if you want to do it well.

You’re better off hiring some schmuck like me.

Brit McGinnis

Written by

Copywriter and CEO of Black Bow Communications. Author of several books. Host of the You’re Not Helping podcast. Tips and leads: @BritMcGinnis

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