Tips and Tools to Write for Social Media in the Year 2023

It is not easy to write for social media.

You have strict character limits. Your boss and colleagues may not understand the language of microtrends and memes. You need to react quickly and wittily to current topics. If you make a mistake in a post, you will be called out by others. You Twitter trolls are the ones to be ashamed of.

It’s not only rewarding, but also enjoyable. Content can be used to start conversations, engage communities, generate buzz about your brand and influence sales.

Read on for tips and tools from experts that will help you to become a confident and effective writer on social media in no time.

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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 2022

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:

Self-care routines and bear encounters both start with setting boundaries

— Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (@waDNR) September 20, 2022

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. 

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!
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4 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 promptWrite 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 postsCreate 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.

Sign in to Hootsuite and go to the Inspiration section on the dashboard. Select the AI magic that you would like to see.

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

Click on Get ideas if, for example, you don’t know what to write. Enter the topic that you’d like to cover in general and then click on Get ideas.

Generating social media post ideas in Hootsuite's OwlyWriter AI

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OwlyWriter generates a list with post ideas that are related to your topic.

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

You can then move on to captions and hashtags by clicking the best one.

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

Click Crete post and select the caption that you want. You can edit the caption, add links and media, and check it against your compliance guidelines.

AI-generated post idea in Hootsuite Composer

That’s all there is to it! OwlyWriter will never run out of ideas so you can keep repeating this process until the social media calendar fills up.

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2. Grammarly in Hootsuite composer

You can do well by: Writing that is clear, correct, and effective.

Hootsuite Pro and higher plans include the cost.

Did you know you can use Grammarly in your Hootsuite dashboard even if you do not have a Grammarly subscription?

Grammarly offers real-time suggestions to help you write better social media posts. You’ll never have to worry about making a mistake again. We’ve all done it.

You can now use Grammarly on your Hootsuite dashboard.

Log into your Hootsuite Account. Go to the Composer. Start typing.

That’s it!

Grammarly will suggest a new phrase, word or punctuation when it detects an improvement in your writing. It analyzes the style and tone in real time and makes edits with a single click.

using Grammarly in Hootsuite composer

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Click on the highlighted fragment to edit it. Click Accept to accept the changes.

Find out more about how to use Grammarly with Hootsuite.

3. Hemingway app

Write anything clearly and concisely.

Cost: No charge for your browser. $19.99 one-time payment for desktop app.

writing for social media

The Hemingway App will help you become a more engaging and better writer. It highlights overly complex words and phrases as well as long sentences, unnecessary adjectives, passive voice and more. You will also receive a score on readability.

Hootsuite’s editorial team always aims for grade 6 level readability. Stay flexible, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t always reach this standard.

How it works

Write your copy.Paste into Hemingway’s editor online. Visually see what works. Make your changes. Watch your score improve.

4. ZenPen

Write without distractions.

Cost: Free.

writing for social media

ZenPen is a small corner of the distraction-free universe to help you write without outside interference. ZenPen is one small corner of the distraction-free-universe to help you write without outside interference.

Start writing social posts at Enjoy the quiet editor until you are done.

Hootsuite allows you to compose, schedule and publish all of your posts on social media from a single dashboard. You can try it for free today.

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OwlyWriter AI is a tool that generates content and social media captions instantly.

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