Writing for Social Media in 2022: Tips and Tools

Writing for social media is not an easy task.

You work with strict character limits and tight turnarounds. You speak the language of memes and microtrends that your boss and colleagues may not understand. You have to respond quickly – and witty – to trending topics. And if you ever publish a post with a typo, folks shall notice and summon you. (When I look at you, Twitter is mean.)

But it’s also fun and worth it. Great content can help you start inspiring conversations, build engaged communities, create buzz around your brand, and even directly impact sales.

Keep reading for tips and tools from experts that will help you become a more confident and effective social media writer in no time.

What is social media content writing?

Writing social media content is the process of writing content for social media audiences, usually across multiple major social media platforms. It can include writing short captions for TikTok or Instagram roles, lengthy LinkedIn articles, and everything in between.

Writing for social media is different from writing for blogs and websites – it requires expert knowledge of social platforms and their audiences, trends and inside jokes.

Social media writing is a critical part of any brand’s social presence. It can make or break a campaign or your entire social media marketing strategy. When done right, social writing has a direct impact on engagement and conversions and contributes to strategic business goals.

7 social media writing tips for 2022

The tips below will help you create content that inspires your target audience to interact with you, take action, or just spend a few seconds thinking about what they’ve just read.

Try some (or all) of these in your next 10 social media posts to build good habits and strengthen your writing muscles. You will be amazed at how clearly you write and how you record your voice.

1. Just start writing (you’ll edit later)

Writer’s block is real, but there’s an easy way to get past it: just start writing without thinking about it.

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Start typing whatever comes to mind and forget sentence structure, spelling and punctuation (for a moment). Just keep your fingers moving and power through any blockages. Editing comes later.

This is how John Swartzwelder, the legendary Simpsons writer, wrote scripts for the show:

“Since writing is very difficult and rewriting is relatively easy and quite fun, I always write my scripts as fast as I can, the first day, if possible, with silly jokes and pattern dialogues […]. The next day, when I get up, the script is written. It’s worthless, but it’s a script. The hard part is done. It’s as if some worthless little elf sneaked into my office and did all my work badly for me, then left with a tip of his worthless hat. From that moment on, all I have to do is solve it.”

2. Speak the Language of Social Media

Of course, this means different things on different platforms.

Eileen Kwok, Social Marketing Coordinator at Hootsuite thinks it is absolutely crucial to “have a good understanding of which language appeals to your target group. Each channel has a different purpose, so the copy has to vary.”

Curious what that looks like on Hootsuite’s own social media channels? “For example, LinkedIn is a space for working professionals, so we prioritize educational and thought leadership content on the platform. Our audience on TikTok is more casual, so we give them videos that capture the fun and authentic side of our brand.”

But this advice goes beyond choosing the right content categories and post types for each network. It really depends on the language you use.

Eileen says: “On most channels, you want to spell-check everything and make sure you’re grammatically correct, but those rules don’t apply to TikTok. to have capitalized words for dramatic effect, use emojis instead of words, and even misspell words everything serves the playful character of the app.”

You can show this to your boss the next time they see a TikTok caption stating Dula Peep or using absolutely no punctuation.

3. Make your messages accessible

As a social media writer, you need to make sure that everyone in your audience can enjoy your posts.

Nick Martin, Social Listening and Engagement Strategist at Hootsuite told me: “When writing for social media, accessibility is something to consider. Some of your followers may be using screen readers, and a message full of emojis would be almost unreadable to them.”

Unintelligible posts will not help you achieve your social media goals. In fact, they can even take people off your brand altogether.

“The same goes for when you share an image with text on it,” Nick adds. “You need to make sure you write alt text for that image, so all your audience can enjoy it.”

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Here’s a great example of how you can enjoy writing creative and entertaining alt text for your social post’s accompanying images:

4. Keep it simple

Imagine you are writing to a group of 8. Like, actually.

This is a simple yet super-effective exercise that forces you to write clearly and cut out unnecessary jargon that would likely only confuse your readers.

“Stimulating innovation.”

“Become a disruptor.”


LinkedIn, in particular, is home to some of the most overused, under-effective statements of all time. And sure, it’s a “business” social media channel. But business people are, well, people too. And people respond well to concise, clear texts – underused buzzwords with little to no real meaning behind them.

To connect with your audience, you need to speak a language they understand. Say something real. Use clear language and short sentences. Practice on your niece, mother or boyfriend and see if they get your message.

5. Write to the reader

Your social media audience isn’t eager to find out what your business is up to or what’s important to you (unless it’s super relevant). They want to know what’s in it for them. Therefore, always write from the reader’s perspective. Make them the hero.

So, instead of posting a boring list of features just added to your product, tell your audience how their lives will improve if they use it.

Sometimes “stand out” is nothing more than writing from the reader’s point of view, because most of your competitors don’t.

6. Have a clear goal

…and write that goal at the top of your draft to keep your mind on the goal as you write.

What action do you want the reader to take? Do you want them to leave a comment or click through to your website? Whatever it is, make it clear in a CTA (call to action).

Keep in mind that a CTA doesn’t have to be a button or some other super-explicit, easily identifiable element in your message. It can be as simple as an engaging question in your caption, or a phrase telling your audience why they should click the link in your bio.

7. Use (the right) images to reinforce your words

This one speaks for itself. (One picture is worth a thousand words, anyone?)

We’ve already talked about the importance of adding alt text to images for accessibility, but the images you choose are very important.

Some networks rely more on words than on images and videos. But where possible (and relevant), you should try to include images in your posts – they are much more effective at grabbing the attention of scrollers than words. And without that attention, your words don’t get a chance to shine.

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4 Social Media Writing Tools

1. Hemingway App

Good for: Write everything down briefly and clearly.

Cost: Free in your browser, one-time payment of $19.99 for the desktop app.

writing for social media

The Hemingway app makes you a better, more engaging writer. It highlights overly complicated words and phrases, long sentences, unnecessary adverbs, passive voice and much more. It also gives you a readability score.

Pro tip: At the Hootsuite editors, we always aim for grade 6 readability. Some topics are just a little complicated, so stay flexible and don’t beat yourself up if you’re not always able to meet this benchmark – but it’s a good score to look at to strive.

This is how it works:

  1. Write your copy.
  2. Paste it in Hemingway’s Online Editor.
  3. Visually see what works and what doesn’t.
  4. Make your changes.
  5. Watch your score improve!

2. ZenPen

Good for: Distraction-free writing.

Cost: Free.

writing for social media

There is a lot of clutter in life. ZenPen is a little corner of the distraction-free universe to help you write without outside interference.

  1. Go to zenpen.io.
  2. Start writing social media posts.
  3. Enjoy the noise free editor until you are done.

3. Grammar

Good for: Make your writing clear, effective and correct.

Cost: Free basic subscription; Premium plans start at $12 per month

writing for social media

Grammarly promises to keep your social posts sharp. It will highlight everything from contextual misspellings to bad word choices. And the tool integrates with many online platforms, including Twitter, Gmail, and Tumblr.

4. Lately + Hootsuite

Good for: Automatically generate social captions from other text (eg blog posts).

Cost: Plans start at $14.99

Lately is an AI content creation tool for social media marketers. When integrated with Hootsuite, it learns which keywords and phrases generate the most engagement with your audience and automatically creates content based on those insights.

Lately, existing long content, such as blog posts, can also be broken down into multiple social media headlines and short content pieces, all designed to maximize response.

As you view and edit the content, the AI ​​continues to learn, so your auto-generated content gets better and better over time.

Compose, schedule and publish your expertly written posts across all major social media channels from one dashboard with Hootsuite. Try it today for free.

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