Working as a freelance writer means a lot of self-promotion. Really, working as a freelance anything means a lot of self-promotion. It is up to yourself to get your name and work out there for the world to see. You are, in a sense, a business. Fortunately, in this day, social media gives you the perfect platform for all the free self-promoting you could ask for. I can’t imagine how hard it was to begin a freelance career before the Internet existed.
As a rule, I would say that I use Facebook more than Twitter for entertainment. When it comes to marketing myself, however, I find that Twitter is a far more valuable asset than Facebook. While it certainly is a matter of opinion, there are a few reasons why I believe this and stand firm in this belief.
One: Facebook is focused around friends and relationships with friends. Twitter is more focused around businesses, magazines, and marketing. I find it is now used more often and successfully as a marketing tool than a social tool. The group of people that you communicate with on Twitter is normally very different than the group of people on Facebook. Sure, there might be some common friends and relatives, but they are the outliers. People and businesses that you do not know can follow your tweets without asking permission, which makes you more accessible to the public; much more so than on Facebook.
Two: Hashtags. Using the most popular hashtags makes you very accessible. When any Twitter user searches for a certain #hashtag, your tweet can show up and gain you another #follower. Therefore, you are in control of how viewable you are by which hashtags you use. Facebook has no such function. You are mainly viewed only by your friends, which tend to be acquaintances and not owners of businesses that could use your freelance abilities.
Three: Twitter keeps you relevant. Rather than seeing a lot of updates about what was eaten for breakfast or how annoying The Bachelor was last night, the updates that are viewed on Twitter tend to be more relevant to professional life. For one, because you are following more businesses, magazines, and blogs that pertain to your field (most likely), you are keeping up-to-date on the news, which makes you more valuable. Second, when you tweet back to certain posts, it helps to build relationships with said tweeter. All in all, you are networking virtually; hence the term “Social Network”.
While I believe that both platforms (as well as many other social media platforms) should be utilized to market yourself, I think Twitter has the leg up in this domain. It makes you more accessible to potential employers, and it is easier to network with said potential employers. When it comes to freelancing, getting your name and work out there is what is important. Once it is out there, opportunities will roll in. Life really is all about connections.
Megan Campbell has a degree from Clemson University in Graphic Communications, and is currently living in Germany during a Gap Year abroad, working as an au pair and freelance writer. Her degree set her up for a great interest and knowledge of social media. You can find her on her blog, balancewithadashofcrazy, or contact her via email at meganecamp at gmail dot com. You can also find Megan on Twitter @abalancedcrazy