The terms social media and social networking are used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between them. Social media is for fun while Social networking is for business and it’s important to present yourself professionally when networking.
Freelancers have to refrain from any objectionable content on their profiles. Because unprofessional content can hurt their marketing & promotional efforts.
Social media platforms are a means to reach and interact with a broad audience. However, sometimes it can be too time-consuming or impractical to reach out to prospective clients in a direct way. But a great Linkedin Profile or the use of a social media management tool can help bring clients to you.
There are several options out there and it’s important to play the field until you find out what works best for you.
Here are a few platforms and tools that are becoming indispensable to freelancers:
Hootsuite is a platform that manages social media for independent contractors, freelancers and businesses. It works with core networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
They offer various customized plans that cater to various social networking needs. It allows for the management of three social profiles under one common account. Content scheduling is the key feature of Hootsuite. You can schedule your posts in advance and manage the release of the content when desired. The tool also provides analytics that measures the impact of your social media presence.
Similar to Hootsuite, this tool manages all social media for independent contractors and freelancers. They provide a free trial to prospective customers. They also include all of the major social media websites. Additionally, Sproutsocial also offers provision to schedule posts at a later date. However, the tool is expensive, compared to Hootsuite, but has a larger customer base to its credit.
While most use Facebook to connect with their social circles, freelancers can use it for promotion purpose too. Facebook pagesallow for you to post content about your services, aids you in connecting with fellow freelancers and they provide you with feedback that lets you know how your page is doing.
Facebook provides several analytics options to track your social progress. You can post images, videos and links to websites to showcase your work. It’s a great tool for promotion and it doesn’t cost anything to create a page. But you do have to pay to boost post and to advertise to potential leads or clients.
As a social networking website that allows you to follow other accounts, Twitter is awesome. Through the platform, you can maintain a professional account to post your content, links, images and videos while garnering new contacts and followers. By retweeting about aspects that relate to your work, you can project your interests to others that share them. Most of all it’s a great tool for staying on top of the latest trends in your marketplace.
Google+ is the social networking feature offered by Google. It allows you to create social circles of friends, communities, and groups. By posting your content to the page, you can promote your work. It has +1 add button that allows you to like and share the post while following trending topics in any field.
LinkedIn is the World’s largest professional network with 433 million members around the globe. The primary aim of this website is to allow connection between fellow members of an industry. It enables you to write about your work experiences, skill sets, education, and references . It presents your entire portfolio to the industry. And with the advent of Linkedin ProFinder, it could soon become the #1 source for freelance social media networking.
TweetDeck is a tool offered by Twitter for real-time tracking, engaging and the planning content on Twitter. It allows you to plan posts geared towards your target audience. It lets you tweet like a professional, helping your online presence in the industry. TweetDeck also has a dashboard with notifications and latest activities.
True to its name, Opportunity presents opportunities for work. It allows you to stay connected with like-minded professionals based on matching interests. It can send notifications to you about new trends or advances in your industry. Opportunity also handles your networking needs by identifying clients, customers or businesses with similar interests.
These tools are just the tip of the iceberg and there are many other viable options out there. Remember, as a freelancer, it is important to connect, network, unite and grow!