As a freelancer in our digital world, social media should be a core component of your online marketing strategy. The scope of social media platforms is growing, as is their impact across the web. As a freelancer, you must be online because it’s where your clients expect to find you and it’s your way to prove your social media marketing prowess.
Building your presence on social media will enhance your marketability as well as make you better at what you do. As a successful freelancer, your marketing abilities will soar and you’ll be able to:
Communicate with clients and prospects more easily
Become more visible in search engine results
Generate more business leads and clients
Develop a voice and reputation that will give people confidence in your brand
Get real-time information on critical news in the marketing industry
This social media guide was compiled in order to help you achieve your marketing goals. In order to get the most out of it, it’s important that you are present on the social media platforms your target audience use, engage and interact on. In this guide we’ll cover Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Reddit.
It’s critical that you’re on Facebook because most social media users are here, and many of them are looking for tips from freelancers like you. Here are some fascinating statistics on Facebook (as of 2014) from marketing expert Jeff Bullas. These make the case for why you need to be on Facebook:
829 million people use Facebook on a daily basis; and you want to capture their attention.
30 million businesses now have a Facebook Fan Page; you should too.
Tips to Optimize your Facebook Business Page
Create a Facebook Fan Page for Your Business
Facebook has a great portal just forBusiness users; use it as a guideline when building your page.
Use the “About” section wisely
The “About” section of your is your opportunity to tell people who you and what you do. More importantly, it’s your ticket to help them understand how you can help them and why they need your service. There is no limit to characters. Make sure to add keywords to optimize your search potential.
Design the right-sized profile picture & cover photo
Make sure to size your photos correctly: profile photo, 180p x 180 pixels, cover photo 851 x 315 pixels.
Follow and “like” influential Facebook pages
Start “liking” other business pages relevant to your industry and engage with them. This will help you become a part of your community and bring Facebook fans of your own.
Attract and engage
Begin attracting people over to your Facbook page by sharing interesting articles, statistics, inspirational messages and even pictures. Some of the content that you share can be from your website and blog, which will encourage visitors to follow the link to your site. But also be sure to share content from other sources, which will gain the goodwill of the content’s author.
Twitter is a social network powerhouse with a huge, growing user base. Here are some fascinating statistics on Twitter (as of 2014) from marketing expert Jeff Bullas. These make the case for why you need to be on Twitter:
34.7 million American adults use Twitter.
27.9% of all social network users in the U.S. are on Twitter, 19.2% of Internet users are on Twitter, and 15.2% of the total U.S. population is on Twitter.
Tips to Optimize your Twitter Account
Make the Most of your Bio
You don’t have a lot of room for your Twitter bio-- but make sure to include one to two keywords or hashtags (#hashtags) to increase your visibility.
Add your location
By adding your location, you can be found via geographic search tools.
Design the right-sized profile picture & cover photo
Profile photo should be 400 x 400 pixels. Cover photo 1500 x 500 pixels.
Follow other freelancers that you respect and influence your profession.
Tweet to teach and inform
Tweet tips and links to helpful articles and videos, including your own content, that will teach and inform clients about things that you know and can help them succeed in their own business. Listen to the type of information they’re asking for and be ready to offer valuable suggestions.
Add your latest tweets to your email signature
Make your tweets reach more people by linking it to your email signature. Doing this will ensure that your tweets get more views.
Why LinkedIn Matters
LinkedIn is the ultimate social network powerhouse for professionals. Its network of millions of users can help you grow your business contacts and leads. Here are some fascinating statistics on LinkedIn, as of 2014, from marketing expert Jeff Bullas. These numbers make the case for why you need to be on LinkedIn:
300 million users are on LinkedIn
2.1 million LinkedIn professional groups exist. This is where people network, connect, and share valuable ideas and dialogues.
Tips to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page
Use the “Summary” section wisely
This is your opportunity to grab people’s attention. There is no limit to characters. Make sure to add keywords so that you optimize your search potential.
Upload a cover photo
Make sure you use the proper dimension: 1400 x 425 pixels.
Grow your network
LinkedIn allows you to invite people to connect via your email contacts. This is a great tool for building your network.
Follow influencers and join groups
Stay up-to-date on the most relevant news for your industry by following thought leaders and joining freelance professional groups.
Posting to LinkedIn
Posting to LinkedIn is a wonderful way of generating interest as well as leads. Add a call to action and let people know where they can get more information.
Google+ might be the most misunderstood of all the social networks—but its influence cannot be underestimated. Here are the impressive stats of Google+ from leading digital and social media marketing blog Digital Insights:
1.6 billion total users
540 million active users
53% of interaction between a Google+ user and a brand is positive
Tips to Optimize your Google+ Profile
Use the “Story” section wisely
Make sure to add keyword to increase your SEO visibility.
JoiningGoogle+ communities is a great way to connect with other freelancers and become informed.
Add your contact information
Email, phone, and physical address (if applicable for your office or store)
When posting to a Google+ page, your posts show up instantly in Google’s search rankings and by getting clicks and shares to your posts and links they’ll be pushed by in the search rankings. For best results, don’t forget to use keywords.
Pro Tip:Follow theGoogle+ user guide for more ways to optimize your Google+ profile, or head over to theGoogle+ Pages section to learn how you can make your brand at home on Google+.
Why Instagram Matters
Instagram is the social network for online mobile photo-sharing and video-sharing. It’s very different than all the other social networks mentioned above, in that you sign up and are active via the iPhone or Android app that you download to your phone.
People love sharing photos of all kinds, and the proof is in Instagram’s popularity.Here are the impressive stats on Instagram from leading digital and social media marketing blog Digital Insights:
200 million active monthly users
50 million users joined Instagram in the first half of 2014
20 billion photos have been taken on Instagram to date
Pinterest is a hugely popular visual discovery tool you can use to reach new audiences. Here are the facts on Pinterest from Digital Insights:
70 million users are on Pinterest.
40 million users visit Pinterest per month.
23% of Pinterest users use the site at least once per day.
Tips to Optimize Your Pinterest Page
Use the “About” section wisely
Make sure to add keywords to optimize your search potential.
Create a custom username and Pinterest URL
Pinterest allows you to create a custom URL, which is great for SEO purposes. If available, use your name or your business name, or a combination that is SEO-friendly.
Design the right-sized profile photo: 165 x 165 pixels
Follow influential Pinterest pages
Start “following” other Pinterest pages relevant to your industry and engage with them. This will help you enter their community and bring Pinterest fans of your own.
Add your Location
this will help you get discovered in location-based search queries.
Connect to your social media accounts
connect your Twitter account, Facebook profile and Google Plus account to your about section (Settings > social networks) to get more views and followers.
Set up helpful boards
apart from a board with your listings, you should have boards that highlight or complement the services that you provide are. In addition, find ways to provide visual inspiration and connect it to the services you offer.
Reddit is a hugely popular social networking, news and entertainment website you can use to become more influential. Here are some facts on Reddit from Digital Marketing Ramblings:
36 million people user accounts
169 million users per month
over 8,000 communities (in 2014)
54.9 million Reddit posts and submissions (were made in 2014)
Tips to Using Reddit
Subredit are communities which discuss specific topics in your areas of interest and you can join as many of these as you want. On reddit it’s of vital importance to let the human in you shine so be sure to participate in discussions on topics that interest you personally and not just those related to your industry.
Read and abide by the reddiquette of each community you join
Each subbreddit you join has a set of rules make sure you read and follow them.
Upvote stuff you love
If you read a comment or submission that you think is fantastic, go ahead and upvote it so that the contributor can get some karma. Hopefully others will do the same for you when you share valuable content or a helpful comments. You can also downvote something that you feel is not relevant to a discussion, or that you find offensive, but go easy on the downvoting. No one likes a troll.
Post useful links, stories and information that you think others will find interesting, useful or entertaining, and is appropriate for that particular subredit. If you have an article that you want to share, be sure to pick the subreddit that is most relevant for the article's content. If other redditors find your contribution valuable they will upvote it and you will earn yourself some link karma.
If people comment on your article don't hesitate to jump into the discussion, and you just might earn your yourself some comment karma.
Reddit is an extremely powerful social platform, however, in order to make the most of it you have to use it wisely. Reditors are very suspicious of marketers and if you are just on the site to promote your own content, they will rapidly sniff you out and chew you up.
To avoid this fate, just be yourself and have some fun. Create a profile for yourself, comment on topics that interest you and generate some karma. Once you have this you can begin slowly sharing some of your own content in appropriate groups, while continuing to upvote and comment on other members' submissions.
For more tips on how to use Reddit read Reddit_101
A freelancer who's getting social media right:
This all might seem a bit overwhelming but once you get started you'll find that social media is not only a very effective way to promote yourself, but also a lot of fun.
To see how you can be using social media for your freelancing business, take a look at how Bridget Brisk, a former marketing strategist, promotes her blog about natural living with social media, marketing skills and a WiseStamp signature.
Written by Liat Behr
Liat is a content wordsmith at WiseStamp and copywriter at Ink of Imagination. She delights in creating and sharing valuable tips and helping businesses craft effective content.
When she’s not writing content, she can be found in the world of fiction, embarking on adventures with her characters.