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Writing for Social Media in 2024: Tips and Tools

Writing for social media takes talent, creativity, focus, and a deep understanding of your audience. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Karolina Mikolajczyk, Nick Martin, Eileen Kwok April 19, 2023
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Writing for social media is not an easy job. 

You work with strict character limits and tight turnarounds. You speak the language of memes and microtrends that your boss and coworkers might not understand. You have to quickly — and wittily — react to trending topics. And, if you ever publish a post with a typo, people will notice and call you out. (Looking at you, Twitter meanies.)

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

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

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OwlyWriter AI instantly generates captions and content ideas for every social media network. It’s seriously easy.

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What is social media content writing?

Social media content writing 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 Reels, long-form 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 crucial element 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 directly influences engagement and conversions, and contributes to strategic business goals.

7 social media writing tips for 2024

The tips below will help you create content that will inspire your target audience to interact with you, take action, or simply spend a few seconds contemplating what they just read. 

Try some (or all) of these in your next 10 social media posts to build good habits and strengthen your writing muscle. You’ll be amazed at how clear you’ll write, and how you’ll zero in on your voice.

Bonus: Download The Wheel of Copy, a free visual guide to crafting persuasive headlines, emails, ads and calls to action. Save time and write copy that sells!

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

Writer’s block is real, but there’s an easy way to blast past it: Just start writing without overthinking it. 

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

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

“Since writing is very hard and rewriting is comparatively easy and rather fun, I always write my scripts all the way through as fast as I can, the first day, if possible, putting in crap jokes and pattern dialogue […]. Then the next day, when I get up, the script’s been written. It’s lousy, but it’s a script. The hard part is done. It’s like a crappy little elf has snuck into my office and badly done all my work for me, and then left with a tip of his crappy hat. All I have to do from that point on is fix it.”

2. Speak the language of social media

This, of course, means different things on different platforms.

Eileen Kwok, Social Marketing Coordinator at Hootsuite thinks it’s absolutely crucial to “have a good understanding of what language speaks to your target audience. Every channel serves a different purpose, so the copy needs to vary.”

Wondering what that looks like, exactly, on Hootsuite’s own social media channels? “LinkedIn, for example, 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 speak to the fun and authentic side of our brand.”

But this advice goes beyond picking the right content categories and post types for each network. It really comes down to the language you use. 

Eileen says: “On most channels, you’ll want to spell-check everything and make sure you’re grammatically correct — but those rules don’t apply for TikTok. Having words in all caps for dramatic effect, using emojis instead of words, and even the misspelling of words all serves the playful nature of the app.”

You can go ahead and show this to your boss the next time they don’t want to approve a TikTok caption mentioning Dula Peep or using absolutely no punctuation.

3. Make your posts accessible 

As a social media writer, you should 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 you should be keeping in mind. Some of your followers may use screen-readers, and a post that is full of emojis would be nearly unreadable for them.”

Unintelligible posts won’t help you reach your social media goals. In fact, they might turn people away from your brand altogether. 

“The same goes for when you share an image that has text on it,” Nick adds. “You’ll want to make sure you write alt-text for that image so all of your audience can enjoy it.” 

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

4. Keep it simple

Imagine you’re writing to an 8th grader. Like, actually.

This is a simple but super effective exercise that will force you to write clearly and ditch any unnecessary jargon that would likely only confuse your readers.

“Drive innovation.”

“Become a disruptor.”


LinkedIn, in particular, is home to some of the most over-used, under-effective statements of all time. And sure, it’s a “businessy” social media channel. But business people are, well, people too. And people respond well to succinct, clear copy — not overused buzzwords with little to no real meaning behind them.

To connect with your audience, you have to speak a language they understand. Say something real. Use plain language and short sentences. Practice on your niece, mom, or friend, and see if they get your message.

5. Write to the reader

Your social media audience isn’t dying to find out what your company is up to or what’s important to you (unless it’s super relevant). They want to know what’s in it for them. That’s why you should always write from the readers’ perspective. Make them the hero.

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

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

6. Have a clear purpose

… and write that purpose down at the top of your draft to keep your mind on the target while 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). 

Note that a CTA doesn’t have to be a button or any other super explicit, easily identifiable element within your post. It can be as simple as an engaging question within your caption, or a sentence telling your audience why they should click on the link in your bio. 

7. Use (the right) pictures to enhance your words

This one speaks for itself. (One image 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 pick are very important. 

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

The formula for going viral

Everything you need to make engaging content. AI support for captions, an AI hashtag generator, and access to Canva in Hootsuite.

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3 writing tools for social media

1. Hootsuite’s OwlyWriter AI

Good for: Generating social media posts and ideas, repurposing web content, and filling up your social media calendar faster.

Cost: Included in Hootsuite Pro plans and higher 

Did you know that Hootsuite comes with OwlyWriter AI, a built-in creative AI tool that saves social media pros hours of work?

You can use OwlyWriter to:

  • Write a new social media caption in a specific tone, based on a prompt
  • Write a post based on a link (e.g. a blog post or a product page)
  • Generate post ideas based on a keyword or topic (and then write posts expanding on the idea you like best)
  • Identify and repurpose your top-performing posts
  • Create relevant captions for upcoming holidays

Using Hootsuite OwlyWriter AI to write an Instagram caption: Typing in the subject and selecting the tone from a drop-down list.

To get started with OwlyWriter, sign in to your Hootsuite account and head to the Inspiration section of the dashboard. Then, pick the type of AI magic you want to see in action.

OwlyWriter AI in Hootsuite. Main screen with available choices: Repurpose your top posts, start from scratch, get inspired, turn web content into posts, get your holiday calendar ready

For example, if you’re not sure what to post, click on Get inspired. Then, type in the general, high-level topic you want to address and click Get ideas.

Generating social media post ideas in Hootsuite's OwlyWriter AI

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OwlyWriter will generate a list of post ideas related to the topic: 

AI-generated social media post ideas in Hootsuite's OwlyWriter AI

Click on the one you like best to move to the next step — captions and hashtags.

AI-generated social media post captions in Hootsuite's OwlyWriter AI

Pick the caption you like and click Create post. The caption will open in Hootsuite Composer, where you can make edits, add media files and links, check the copy against your compliance guidelines — and schedule your post to go live later.

AI-generated post idea in Hootsuite Composer

And that’s it! OwlyWriter never runs out of ideas, so you can repeat this process until your social media calendar is full — and sit back to watch your engagement grow.

Start your free 30-day trial

2. Hemingway app

Good for: Writing anything succinctly and clearly.

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

writing for social media

The Hemingway app will make you a better, more engaging writer. It flags over-complicated words and phrases, long sentences, unnecessary adverbs, passive voice, and so much more. It also gives you a readability score. 

Pro tip: On the Hootsuite editorial team, we always aim for grade 6 readability. Some topics are simply a bit complicated, so stay flexible and don’t beat yourself up if you’re not always able to reach this benchmark — but it’s a good score to shoot for.

Here’s how it works:

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

3. ZenPen

Good for: Distraction-free writing.

Cost: Free.

writing for social media

There’s plenty of clutter in life. ZenPen is one small corner of the distraction-free-universe to help you write without outside interference.

  1. Go to
  2. Start writing posts for social.
  3. Enjoy the noise-free editor until you’re done.

Compose, schedule, and publish your expertly written posts to all the major social media channels from one dashboard using Hootsuite. Try it free today.

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By Karolina Mikolajczyk

Karolina Mikolajczyk is a Senior Inbound Marketing Strategist and associate editor of the Hootsuite blog. After completing her Master’s degree in English, Karolina launched her marketing career in 2014. Before joining Hootsuite in 2021, she worked with digital marketing agencies, SaaS startups, and international corporations, helping businesses and social media content creators grow their online presence and improve conversions through SEO and content marketing strategies.

By Nick Martin

Nick has over ten years of social media marketing experience, working with brands large and small alike. If you've had a conversation with Hootsuite on social media over the past six years, there's a good chance you've been talking to Nick. His social listening and data analysis projects have been used in major publications such as Forbes, Adweek, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. His work even accurately predicted the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election. When Nick isn't engaging online on behalf of the brand or running his social listening projects, he helps coach teams across the organization in the art of social selling and personal branding. Follow Nick on Twitter at @AtNickMartin.

Read more by Nick Martin
By Eileen Kwok

Eileen is a skilled social media strategist and multi-faceted content creator, with over 4+ years of experience in the marketing space. She helps brands find their unique voice online and turn their stories into powerful content.

She currently works as a social marketer at Hootsuite where she builds social media campaign strategies, does influencer outreach, identifies upcoming trends, and creates viral-worthy content.

Read more by Eileen Kwok

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