It doesn’t seem that long ago that social media was just starting out and people were still reading a newspaper or turning on the TV to get the news. I remember when Myspace first started and was more of a dating site than a way to connect with friends. I was on Facebook when only college students were allowed. It wasn’t long after Facebook began that we saw the social media explosion. Now, there are so many social media sites that I can’t keep up with them all. Social media is no longer just a way to connect with friends and family. It has seeped into professional writing world. It has changed the way we receive our news and advertisement. So many people now rely on social media for their news that news outlets are being forced to adapt how they deliver content in order to stay relevant.
To get more insight on the affects of social media on professional writing, I spoke with Kalyn Wolfe. Kalyn is a weekly columnist for the Pensacola News Journal, freelance writer for the New York Times, and the Digital Media Specialist for Meyer Vacation Rentals. One of her duties for Meyer is handling their social media accounts. Their Facebook alone has over 200,000 followers. We spoke about what caused the shift in social media and the impact it had on professional writing. She says,
“Links are what really affected professional writing. Things are now easier with a click of a button, eliminating steps. You only have so many characters to get your audience’s attention. People are learning to work with less but providing more impact. Also, we have new ways of gathering information and people have become less inhibited.”
Professional writers need to be careful not to write with the intention of getting followers and likes. They need to avoid being considered clickbait by not giving misleading headlines. A title to an article is important. Kalyn says,
“You can be a little tongue and cheek with a headline but don’t get too cutesy. Don’t treat it like a teaser and state the facts.”
I asked her what advice she would like to give young professional writers:
“Stay authentic. If you write a story to get more followers, then you won’t be your authentic self. Also, don’t be afraid to have fun but know that as a writer it comes with responsibility.”