Social Media opportunities are the game changer of freelance and independent business owners. They put the power of marketing into your own hands. You can build an audience of followers and clients with no budget at all. You can share information with the world and make your business thrive by using them.
The downside is that there are several social media platforms, each with a slightly different function and audience building system. You're just one person trying to make this business work. Some folks say you should be everywhere, all the time. I'm not going to lie – that would be great. But since you'd rather be doing your creative work than living through a tiny screen in your hand, being everywhere on social media is just not realistic or sustainable.
Being everywhere on social media is just not realistic or sustainable.
Choose it and Use it.
I think the best approach to this amazing and ever-changing world of social media marketing, is to just do what you can with what you've got. And you, by the way, have a lot! For a start, you're creative. And you're making original content all the time. And you're probably better than most at taking photos and writing. I humbly suggest that you not worry about being a social media dynamo, and just learn to like one and do it well. After that, you can see about tackling the world.
Here is a quick overview of the most popular social media platforms
Building Relationships and Community: "I Like This Today and Want To Share It With You"
+ Over 2 BILLION people use Facebook worldwide.
+ Ages 25-55, mostly female
+ Over half of them use Facebook DAILY. (*coughdefinitelymecough*)
+ Best for building brand loyalty
+ Facebook users follow and engage in social conversations, news, and current topics.
+ Great for creating public and private groups
+ Easy to share posts into personal feeds
+ Access to great targeted advertising
– It's difficult to be seen with so much content
– Facebook's algorithms encourage personal content over business (businesses "pay to play")
– Difficult to search past posts or topics once they've been pushed down in the feed
Dispensing Current News & Brief Conversations: "This is a sentence about current news."
+ Over 600 Million users
+ Ages 18-29
+ Best for Public Relations and News Media
+ Can contact a user/account directly
+ Twitter feed is time sensitive (posts last seconds)
+ Easy to disseminate information from other users via re-tweeting function
+ Images with posts are encouraged
+ Hashtags started here
– It's difficult to be seen with so much fast-moving content.
– Communication is short
Job Search and Sharing Business-Related News: "You know someone I know in business. Please hire me."
+ Over 600 Million users
+ Ages 30-49
+ Best for professional business development and B2B contacts
– Not for casual or social conversations
Story telling & conversation through images: "What do you think of this amazing photo moment?"
+ Over 200 Million users
+ Ages 18-29
+ Very image driven
+ Great for lead generating
+ Best for businesses in retail, art, food, entertainment and beauty
+ Use hashtags to build followers
– Difficult to search past posts
– Algorithms might show posts from days ago and not most recent
– Very difficult to share content from other accounts
Informational and Research through saved website links: "I want to remember this resource for the future."
+ Over 70 Million Users
+ Over 2 Billion searches each month
+ Great for website lead generation
+ Best for businesses in food, fashion, event planning, DIY, travel and educators.
+ Popular Pins can last months and even years
+ Images can be very long and informational
+ Easy to share posts (re-pin)
– Pins require popular momentum to be seen by other users
– Followers are not an indicator of visibility
Informational Tutorials and Entertainment: "This is how to do it..." or "This is a very funny mistake I made."
+ One Billion Users
+ All ages
+ Great for tutorial and educational purposes
+ Popular videos can generate revenue through advertisements
+ You can keep videos private or unlisted
+ You can share videos easily with others
– You've gotta make a video
Here's a quick reference guide for you to help remember where you are and why you're there. You can do this! If you ever need some hand-holding, that's what the workshops are for. Sign to our newsletter and you'll be up to date with the latest events and resources.