5 Writing Resources for Social Media Managers

My writing station

One of the things I love about working as an engagement strategist is that it allows me to do a lot of different things. In any given week, I write content, design graphics, create GIFs, analyze data, brainstorm for special campaigns, and more. I spend a lot of my time writing, and it’s important for me to produce sharp, error-free copy very quickly. After all, people have very short attention spans, and you often need to convey complex ideas using a line or two.

Those of us who struggle to keep our thoughts shorter than 140 characters know that writing short is much harder than writing long. Below are a few resources that help me write better.

-On Writing Well, by William Zinsser. I read this book during my master’s degree and I probably read it a couple more times after that. It’s an incredible resource for people who want to write well, not only for social media. One of Zinsser’s most known quotes:

“The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb that carries the same meaning as the verb…these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence.”

You can buy it on Amazon here.

-Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, by Mary Norris. This book is a sort of memoir of grammar queen extraordinaire Mary Norris. Norris worked in the New Yorker’s copy department for more than 30 years. Peppered with personal anecdotes and showing an irreverent sense of humor, in this book Norris goes beyond the basics and explains some of the most common -and yet sometimes puzzling- grammar mistakes. (The title of the book should give you a hint.)

You can buy it on Amazon here.

-The Hemingway App. This is a great app that highlights lengthy, complex, sentences, with the goal to make your writing bolder and clearer. Just like Hemingway. The web version is free. The app is $20 to download.

Read more on Lifehacker.

-Grammarly. This online, free grammar checker scans your copy against 250 grammar rules, and also checks for plagiarism and stylistic issues. Aside from the online editor, Grammarly is also available as a plugin for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. They also have a blog with writing tips, a grammar handbook and a newsletter with weekly grammar tips.

-Grammar Girl. Whenever I have a grammar question, I know Grammar Girl will have the answer. A post I probably checked dozens of times is how to capitalize titles (we used to have pretty heated discussions at one of my jobs). One of the things I like about this blog is that it includes more than one possible answer and goes deep into the meaning of certain rules. You can catch Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl) and her tips in her podcast or buy her books.

What are some of the tools or resources you use? Add them in the comments.