By Virginia Cunningham
Speed is the essence of social media, yet most freelance writers don’t capitalize on the opportunities that speed offers. Instead, they fall into a predictable pattern of constantly promoting the offers or information they want others to hear about.
This will never get writers the attention they want; in fact, it’s backwards!
Once you have your Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts, there are some tactics you’ll need to learn so you can really become part of the conversation. If you don’t, you’ll be one more face on the feed shouting “look at me!” Once users realize that they don’t know you, you’ll lose them. Instead, use these strategies to build real social media clout.
- Respond to Others — Immediately
Sending direct messages to others when they add you is now considered tacky and rude, especially since most of these are automated. Instead, look at the questions and concerns people have and respond to them immediately on your blog or website. Then direct people to that new post. The faster, the better!
- Add Users Who Follow Others Like You
Too many freelance writers use scattershot tactics to build their social media lists. If you are using Twitter, you should be watching users like yourself — freelance writers and entrepreneurs — and looking for prospects who follow them. That way, you are speaking to an audience interested in what you offer.
- Use Rich Media to Drive the Conversation
Studies have shown that mobile users and internet viewers in general are more likely to respond to videos than to other forms of media. Don’t just tweet — learn to offer complete responses in your own voice through a YouTube channel. When you post, link people to your video to grab their attention.
- Interlink All of Your Social Media Profiles
A centralized solution is the best way to make the most of social media. Use a social media management software like TweetDeck to handle all of your accounts in a streamlined way. This will ensure that all of your channels are regularly updated and that users always get your message. It’s ideal to manually post to each of the main social media sites so you can customize your message. But realistically, few of us have the time so auto-posting can save you time and make sure your message is being disseminated through all of your active social media channels.
- Search for Prospects using Social Media Sites
Go to search.twitter.com. You’ll find a search box, where you can type in a search such as “I need a writer”. The search will return a list of people who are looking for a writer. You can then send them a personalized direct message, or respond by tweet. Facebook can also work to find new prospects. Use the search bar and type the same query, “I need a writer.” Make sure you select “public post” on the left-hand menu. Then contact those people directly sending the mto your personal site with examples of your work.
The social media landscape is crowded. Most messages go by in a blur. To stand apart from all that noise, build relationships by listening more than you speak — and when you speak, provide real answers. That’s what transforms you into a confidant, not just another freelancer yelling over the crowd.
Virginia Cunningham is an experienced internet marketer with 12 years of experience writing for businesses. She is currently working with Alphacard, the leader in Id Card Systems. In her spare time she loves to read books, work on her garden, and learn more about social media.
Interested in contributing a guest blog post of your own? Check out the guest blogger guidelines.