How to Leverage Twitter as a Freelancer

Every freelancer knows that social media is one of the most effective ways for them to promote their services, as well as grow their professional networks and build their brands. What makes Twitter so appealing for freelancers is that it’s one of the largest social networks, over 320 million users globally to be exact. With those kind of numbers, you’re bound to come across more than prospective clients. It’s a huge resource for freelancers, so learning how to leverage twitter is vital. You can learn how to do that by following these basic tips.

Interact With the Right People

This has always been one of the most important things to remember when leveraging any social media account; quality over quantity. If you have hundreds of thousands of followers, you may think that you’re doing a pretty solid job on Twitter. But, how many of those followers are tweeting, liking, or providing your brand value? Wouldn’t it make more sense to engage with a handful of like-minded people who you can communicate with and learn from?

Build personal relationships with other freelancers and industry influencers if you want to exchange ideas and gain valuable insights like critiques or advice. Whether it’s sharing an interesting news article, retweeting them, or wishing them a happy birthday it’s essential for you to build these relationships on Twitter. These relationships

Twitter’s internal search does a decent job of finding the topics and people that are most relevant to you. For example, #freelance would provide the latest tweets involving freelance where you could find freelancers and articles discussing freelance work.

There are also numerous third party tools that you can use to locate the leading authority figures in your industry, such as Buzzsumo, Little Bird, Klout, Topsy, and Moz’s Followerwonk.

Here’s another perk of interacting with the right people; they may refer your to clients who could use your services or they could even want to hire you for themselves.

Keep Tabs on What’s Trending

Since there are only 140 characters allowed on Twitter, there are a lot of tweets flying around. It can honestly get a little overwhelming to keep up with what’s going on. Thankfully, there are tools like Tweetdeck that give you the ability to track and organize what’s trending in real-time. You can organize events, topics, and events into columns so that you’re never left out of the loop.

For example, you could create #freelancewriting so that every time a post containing that hashtag will appear in your stream.

Participate in Relevant Chats

Another excellent place to find influencers, grow your network, and discover tools and advice is to partake in in Twitter chats. Buffer describes a Twitter chat as “where a group of Twitter users meet at a pre-determined time to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hashtag (#) for each tweet contributed. A host or moderator will pose questions (designated with Q1, Q2…) to prompt responses from participants (using A1, A2…) and encourage interaction among the group. Chats typically last an hour.”

Buffer recommends that you can find relevant Twitter chats through Tweet Reports, ChatSalad, and Twubs. It’s also suggested that you use tools like Tweetdeck, Nurph, and Tweetchat to have more productive chats.

Finally, use these tips to leverage Twitter chats:

  • Let your followers know that you partaking in a chat, but give them a heads up if it’s going to have a high volume of users.
  • Reply directly to one of two attendees.
  • Place a “.” in front of an @ so that your tweet will appear in all feeds.
  • Be polite, positive, and willing to contribute.
  • Use Twitter handles when addressing others.
  • Always include the chat’s hashtag.
  • Followup with other attendees after the chat.

Visuals, Quotes, Hashtags; Oh My!

Research conducted by Media Blog analyzed content from more that 2 million Twitter accounts to find out what type of content increased engagement. According to the research, the most effective tactics were:

  • Photos averaged a 35% jump in Retweets
  • Videos received a 28% improvement
  • Quotes gained a 19% increase in Retweets
  • Containing a number resulted in a 17% bump in Retweets
  • Hashtags received a 16% boost

Keep in mind though that these results can vary from industry to industry. For example, if you’re in the television industry, tweets containing quotes are the most likely to get retweeted. However, for Government and Politics, that would be a photo URL with quotes as the fourth most effective tactic.

Build Your Brand

As a freelancer, there’s nothing more important than establishing and maintaining your personal brand. For Twitter, you can create a strong brand by doing the following:

  • Don’t hide your beautiful face behind a logo or animated picture. Use an updated image so that the world knows who’s behind the freelance.
  • You can include your logo – or at least the colors that you use on other channels, website, or invoice – in your background image.
  • You only have around 160 characters to describe who you are and what you excel at. Be concise and use keyword-rich words in your bio.
  • Don’t forget to add where you reside. It’s a simple way to connect with other freelancers and clients in your neck of the woods.
  • For promotional purposes, include the URL to your website, blog, portfolio, or LinkedIn profile.
  • Research has found that you should tweet at least 3 times per day and engagement drops after that third tweet.
  • Share content that is relevant to your brand and that your audience will find useful or informative.
  • Don’t promote yourself. Twitter is all about generosity. Promote, retweet, and like the content and tweets of others.

When you leverage twitter well, you can do wonders for connecting with potential clients and spreading your brand’s awareness if you’re willing to take the time to learn how to leverage Twitter and how it works, you’ll promote yourself and others.