I recently read an article titled “I’m a Freelance Writer, Not a Social Media Expert,” and it made me stop and wonder how many freelancers feel similarly about social media promotion. Is knowing how to write web content enough, or is it fair to expect writers to come up with content marketing strategies?
I agree with the author of the article that being upfront with clients about your level of social media comfort is key, but I do think that taking the time to pick up simple skills is well worth the effort. SEO content writers have the inherent advantage of knowing that they’re tackling topics people are curious about, so why not make it even easier for your audience to find you?
Here are some of the advantages social media provides:
- You establish yourself as an authority on a subject
- Your writing reaches a wider range of readers
- You attract new clients and a bigger following
- You can command a higher pay rate
I understand that writers might be hesitant to tackle their own marketing campaigns–I run a Facebook and Twitter account for Skyword and even I can get intimidated by the variety of apps, tips, and studies floating around the Internet–but there are beginner resources available on the subject. One of Skyword’s clients, Everyday Health, asked us to put together a training document to help our freelancers learn to share socially, and I was excited to host the resulting webinar.
In case you don’t have the time to watch, here are five takeaway social media promotion tips:
1. Accept data with a grain of salt. Just because one social media study says people read the most tweets at noon, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use Twitter in the morning. Maybe the bulk of your readers are in a different time zone, maybe they’re night owls; you should still experiment to see what works best for your audience.
2. To have a follower, you have to be a follower. This especially applies when you’re just starting out. Pay attention to what people are saying, engage in conversation, and address topics your readers care about. Social media is not about agenda, it’s about community.
3. Use analytics tools. You’re not going to know how well your sharing is working if you don’t have a way to track the results. Bit.ly is an easy, free way to shorten your links and monitor your page views.
4. Cross-promotion is key. Remember to add social media links to your email signature and business cards, and keep your accounts connected every chance you get. Good examples of this would be linking your Twitter account to your Facebook page or your LinkedIn profile to your blog.
5. It’s a brave new world. Don’t be afraid to go outside of the box–try a #writerchat or a Tweetup, ask for LinkedIn recommendations, join groups and chat with your idols. Like the Google Chrome tagline says, the web is what you make of it!
Juliana Casale goes by @Skywriting during the day and @attackofthetext by night. She loves connecting with online writer communities and chatting with fellow wordsmiths.