Most freelancers would agree that the key to sharing their work and/or getting their name out there is social media. Some platforms are tailored more towards certain niches than others. For example, Instagram and Pinterest are, of course, great for photographers, as well as those in lifestyle and retail. Twitter is more for writers. LinkedIn is also a good tool for writers, as well as editors.
Facebook isn’t as popular for marketing purposes as it used to be, though some would argue that the Groups feature still has merit. People often choose to link their Instagram and Facebook accounts so that anything they post on the former also shows up as a post on the latter, be that an actual profile, or business page.
Regular, thoughtful, engaging social media content can make a difference not just in terms of followers/likes, but also in terms of search engine rankings.
Focus more on the what, not the how much.
Something that tends to happen particularly in the Twitter community (and on Pinterest, to a slightly lesser degree), is that many freelancers place more of an emphasis on just sending out massive amounts of “filler” tweets or pins, thinking that’s what gets them followers. Does this seem like something you’d do/are doing?
Sure, this approach might help, and is looks impressive on the surface. However, those aren’t followers who are probably actually going to really participate in terms of visiting your website or employing you. Look at any social media profile with thousands of followers and chances are more than good that many of those followers are bots.
Take the normal and make it extraordinary.
In order for any social media platform to truly work, there should be a balance between how often you post, and what you’re posting. For example, are you a freelance photographer? Don’t only post your photographs; share advice that you wish you knew when you were just starting out – and approach it from a new angle, like a video as opposed to an article. This can work across all freelance niches.
Of course, media content is only as good as its production quality. Don’t be one of those people who shares information by just talking into the camera – make it fun, go to locations, incorporate great stock images, and music!
Concise keywords can make all the difference for traffic.
Although SEO (Search Engine Optimization) isn’t quite what it used to be, it still matters when it comes to titles and descriptions. This is especially true for, as of this writing, Instagram and Pinterest, which rank well in Google search results.
Regarding Instagram, hashtags are the most important – after all, there’s the option of even following specific hashtags. However, the more popular the hashtags are, the higher the chances of your posts getting buried within them. So, pick hashtags that have a few hundred to a few thousand results, as opposed to millions. You might even want to start completely new hashtags!
For Pinterest, yes, your pins need a description, but it’s the first sentence that really matters, since that’s what appears just below the pin itself. A good rule is, either use the exact text that’s in the pin, or a summary of it.
Remember, social media trends change regularly – much like search engine algorithms. If you want to win at the social media content creation game, be sure to read as much as you can about aspects such as post lengths; Dominique Jackson’s Sprout Social blog entry, “Know Your Limit: The Ideal Length of Every Social Media Post” is a particularly informative resource to start with.
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