Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Okay. As a social media marketer, there’s a good chance you aren’t penning from a typewriter. We also hope that wherever you do pen from, it’s blood free.
Even so, you get the point. Writing is hard.
Writing is also a skill that social marketers need to have. Social media posts, after all, have a pesky habit of not writing themselves.
The good news? There is now a whole army of online writing tools out there to make your life easier. We’ve compiled eight of our favorites below.
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Good for: Strengthening prose by eliminating unnecessary language.
Cost: $19.99 for desktop; free online
The Hemingway Editor strengthens your writing by highlighting sentences that will likely lose your readers. The tool also highlights complex words, adverbs, and instances of passive voice and give hints for alternatives.
To use it, simply paste your text into the online editor. It’ll review your writing and generate recommendations for improvement.
Good for: Comparing words and phrases to see which option is more common (and likely accurate)
The Writefull extension draws from large language databases (like Google Books and Google Web) to search for the frequency of phrases of text. Writefull can be activated in any writing tools (like Word or Outlook) and is super easy to use.
After downloading the plug-in, highlight the chunk of text you want to check (from whatever writing tool you’re using) and activate the Writefull pop-up by clicking CTRL + SPACE and pick the database you want to pull your results from.
Writefull is handy for:
- Checking how often a portion of text appears in a database—the higher the number the better the odds are that it’s written correctly.
- Comparing two chunks of writing to see which is more common in the database.
- Seeing words in context—quickly see the most appropriate adjectives or prepositions to use in a phrase of text.
- Getting synonyms in context—helpful if you find yourself using the same words repeatedly.
Good for: Generating caption ideas for Instagram and Snapchat
Cost: $0.99 per download from the App Store.
Coming up with clever Snapchat and Instagram captions can be tough, especially when you’re posting a lot of photos and generally pressed for time. Enter Captiona, an app that generates captions for Instagram and Snapchat posts.
Optimized for iPhones and iPads, The app is essentially a search engine for social media captions that produces ideas based on keywords associated with your photo or video content.
After entering in those keywords, Captiona comes up with a bank of captions that you can pick and choose from. While some are quite generic, many are surprisingly clever.
Good for: Distraction-free writing.
Staying focused on writing while at work can be a challenge. Especially with all the team chat pings and chatting colleagues buzzing around to distract you at any moment.
ZenPen helps you block out all those distractions with a minimalist writing zone. The full-screen enabled site offers a handy word count feature and drafts can even be downloaded for safe-keeping.
Good for: Sourcing alternative words to add more variety to your writing
Cost: Free online
Stuck for a new way to say the same thing? Power Thesaurus could be your best word-hunting friend yet.
Not your average thesaurus, Power Thesaurus is a crowdfunded tool that generates synonyms from a large community of writers. All suggestions are based on the actual work of the community and are rated and ranked by members.
Good for: Granular grammar and spelling review
Cost: Free online
Grammatical and spelling errors happen, especially when you’re rushed to get your social posts published. These sorts of errors can be pretty funny when published from personal accounts. For brands, however, errors in social media posts can negatively impact your reputation.
Grammarly promises to keep your social posts on point, flagging everything from contextual spelling errors to poor word choices. And the tool integrates with lots of online platforms including Twitter, Gmail, and Tumblr.
Good for: Spelling and grammar check
Cost: $29.95/year for unlimited scans (first 10 scans are free)
Correctica is another helpful grammar check tool. While Correctica’s primary function is to scan website content for errors, they also offer personalized content reviews.
To take advantage of the service you need to email your documents to Correctica and they promise the return of proofed copy within minutes.
Good for: In-depth evaluation of your writing
Cost: Free online; premium desktop contracts ranges from $40 to $140
Like the Hemmingway App, ProWritingAid is another handy writing evaluation tool. Available in desktop and a free online version, the tool flags redundancies, lengthy sentences, and clichés. It also checks for plagiarism.
While the free version is very functional, it is limited to 3,000 words per review. Something to keep in mind if your content team plans to use the tool for more than reviewing short social media posts.
For more social media writing tips, head over to our post 10 Quick Social Media Ad Writing Tips From an Expert.