Before the advent of the internet, copywriters and account executives used to spend hours, days, and weeks perfecting their craft. It could take that long to develop a tagline to influence the masses to buy anything from alcohol to cars.
Advertising moves much faster in the 21st century. Marketing companies can create graphics and advertisements for a campaign or branding idea within days or a week, if not faster. A talented graphic artist can design a print-ready ad in hours, thanks to digital design programs.
The rise of social media means companies must develop many different messages and strategies, deploying different ads every day at different times and on different social platforms. Copywriters write the substance of social media messages to target different demographics. Earning an online Bachelor of Arts in English can prepare individuals for careers as social media copywriters.
What Does a Social Media Copywriter Do?
Social media copywriters craft the messages that companies use in their social media posts. They spend their days working with company representatives, clients, and account executives to turn a marketing ideas into a hashtag, phrase, or longer post for various social media channels.
Copywriters are the primary professionals responsible for generating ideas for social media graphics or messages of this type. They may begin by storyboarding concepts or brainstorming with the advertising team. They are then responsible for communicating the brand message in a concise but compelling way through their copy. Delivering a targeted message with a specific voice and style contributes to the overall effectiveness of the strategy. After high-level staff members approve the concept for a post, the copywriters implement the strategy by creating the copy, publishing the post, and later tracking its success through analytics.
Social Media Copywriter Industries
Companies in a number of industries hire social media copywriters to craft engaging copy that persuades their audiences to take action. This action may include choosing to follow an account, attending an advertised event, commenting on a post, reaching out to a service provider, or buying a product.
The Sprout Social Index reveals that 91% of consumers who follow a brand on social media will visit their website or app, and 89% will buy from that brand. Equally important, 84% will choose that brand over a competitor. Over the past several years, data has revealed the numerous benefits for retail brands that establish an active presence on social media, produce engaging copy, post interesting photos of their products, and gain a large following.
Sports teams and athletes have some of the highest numbers of followers on social media, according to the Sprout Social Index. While news platforms can update sports fans about certain teams and athletes, fans can also watch or read information straight from the athletes themselves. Copywriters can manage the accounts of sports teams to write concise, informative, and engaging messages across different social media platforms.
Using social media in healthcare enables nurses, doctors, and medical administrators to raise public awareness about health concerns, from the spread of epidemics to basic routine health tips. Copywriters can write posts for medical facilities and organizations that wish to convey any number of messages. A healthcare provider may want to remind people to get a flu shot, schedule a screening, or make an annual appointment with their primary care provider. Professional copywriters who have medical knowledge and work for healthcare facilities can help minimize the spread of misinformation and help social media users receive information from credible sources.
Social Media Copywriter: How to Become
Becoming a social media copywriter is about developing the right skill set, which includes digital media savvy, communication, and writing. The right education can help students hone these skills and more, making them attractive to future employers.
Establish an Online Presence
Anybody can go online, create social media profiles, and open accounts on several platforms for free. Aspiring social media professionals should be comfortable with the major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By avidly using them, future social media copywriters learn what works and what doesn’t, as well as the different styles of communication each platform emphasizes.
Once an aspiring social media copywriter is online, the next step is to develop social media skills. This includes gaining an understanding of graphic design, analytics and their interpretation, and how to write social media posts that have the potential to “go viral” and reach a wide audience. By crafting their own social media presence, future copywriters practice brand building and curating images and messages.
Earn a Degree
Social media skills can only go so far without refinement. A college education can help aspiring copywriters gain a more nuanced understanding of tone, voice, style, and the mechanics of the English language and its effect on an audience. A degree such as an online Bachelor of Arts in English is often an essential step on the path to becoming a copywriter in the social media landscape.
Why Become a Social Media Copywriter?
Working in the social media industry comes with a number of benefits. In the past decade, social media platforms have continued to grow in popularity, consistently gaining more daily, weekly, and monthly users. Many companies around the world have incorporated social media marketing into their business strategies, so there is plenty of demand for copywriters who are interested in social media.
Another benefit of working as a social media copywriter is the wide choice of subject matter — from politics and travel to beauty products and soft drinks. Working in social media engages writers’ creativity and enables them to interact with a diverse audience.
Social Media Copywriter Salaries
The median annual salary for copywriters with social media marketing skills was around $51,000 as of September 2020, according to compensation website PayScale. The bottom 10% earn approximately $37,000, and the top 10% earn as much as $73,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report specific data on social media copywriters, but includes them in the category of public relations specialists. Professionals in this occupation earned a median annual salary of $61,150 as of May 2019.
Employment Outlook for Social Media Copywriters
The BLS reports the job market for public relations specialists includes 274,600 jobs as of 2019. It projects the employment of these professionals will grow 7% between 2019 and 2029. This is slightly above the national job growth average (4%) and equates to 19,700 new jobs in a multitude of industries.
As of 2019, one of the largest employers of PR specialists was the advertising industry, holding 13% of the market. Educational services also employed 13% of workers in this field. The government employed 10%, and businesses employed 8%.
Learn More About Becoming a Social Media Copywriter
As you develop your social media and graphic design abilities, make sure to enroll in the proper degree program to enhance your writing and communication skills. Courses on rhetoric, creative writing, classic literature, and more can help you gain a greater command of the written word.
Are you ready to take the next step toward becoming a social media copywriter? Explore how Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Arts in English degree can help you become a better writer and step into a new career.
Advertising vs. Public Relations
Copywriter vs. Copy Editor: What’s the Difference?
Media Bistro, “What Does a Copywriter Do?”
Medium, “The History and Evolution of Copywriting”
Metricool, “Social Media Copywriting: The Ultimate Guide for Your Marketing Strategy”
PayScale, “Average Copywriter with Social Media Marketing Skills Salary”
Sprout Social, “How to Master Social Media for Retail to Win More Customers”
Sprout Social, “How to Use Social Media in Sports to Keep Fans Engaged”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations Specialists
Way Up, “What Does a Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager Look Like?”