Tag Archives: freelance social media

The Year in Social Media and Looking Ahead

By Amanda Smyth Connor10-tips-on-monitoring-social-media

This was a big year for social media as a whole. We saw some amazing success stories and some epic fails (I’m looking at you, @KitchenAidUSA)

New and wondrous social media tools popped up that let us track everything from user insights to Twitter mapping. And it felt like those of us in social media positions finally started to get a little respect! Finally! Companies embraced us as equals and stopped seeing us as interns who were adept at surfing Facebook! VICTORY!

But enough time has been spent on reflection and the efforts for the coming year are focused on strategy.

Here are the big questions we are evaluating for the coming year:

1. Which social sites will expand and which will fizzle out?

2. Of the many tools that have emerged, which are worth our time?

3. How much weight should we put on various analytics and what specific analytics should we focus on?

4. How is our audience evolving? How can we continue to create content that will engage and wow them?

5. What’s in the pipeline for the coming year? What BIG news are we planning?

6. How will we work to align social media strategies and needs across the company?

7. Have we identified talent and social media authority figures in our company?

When working as a social media freelancer, keep in mind that strategy is just as important as execution. Being able to shed light on the big picture and long range strategy recommendations will make you an invaluable asset to any company.

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

Freelance Social Media Management: Mutate and Survive

Joe-Wallace-Vinyl-Collector-and-authorby Joe Wallace

Any regular reader of this blog knows that some of us (myself and Catherine L. Tully) are freelance social media managers as well as writers and editors. I myself have been working with several websites where my duties could simply be listed as “all of the above”.

Since I started working in social media, the landscape has changed so much, so often, and in so many ways, that my advice for newcomers is now essentially boiled down to one sentence, cribbed from a creaky old Rush song: “Constant change is here to stay”.

A great example of that concept is found in the Ad Week post, Agencies Start to Get Really Anti-Social, by Christopher Heine. Here’s a sample:

“Just a few years ago, legions of businesses practically tattooed themselves with the label “social media agency” so they could ink deals with brand clients looking to get on Facebook. But as the marketing landscape shifts toward cross-digital solutions and demands for big data, the term is beginning to be seen as too limiting by some.”


“Agencies have always adapted to a changing media world. Just as brands some eight decades ago began seeking ad services that facilitated both print and broadcast, companies may soon routinely expect that digital services (display, retargeting, search, etc.) and social get packaged together.”

It’s funny—when I first started working in social media, I knew people who were “giving up writing and editing” to work more exclusively on campaigns for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I simply added social media services to the people I blog for in addition to my other work–with an expanded billing rate to match the time investment, naturally. But I never felt entirely comfortable giving up one thing for another.

And now, it seems, current trends–and my cash flow–justify my position. But I do wonder what people who are social media-only these days are thinking about the Ad Week article, the implications, and how they are planning for the future. What’s a social media marketer to do in an age where traditional PR and digital strategy are locking arms? It’s an overdue trend, in my opinion–at least from the point of view of a company that needs the services.

Will digital-only services become an endangered species? Is this a trend, a fad, or has it always been this way in certain sectors but not in others?

Joe Wallace is a freelance writer, editor, social media manager and part-time film maker. His current projects include editing a book for voice actors, social media campaigns for the retail banking industry, and he is currently developing a video series about rare vinyl records. Wallace accepts new assignments on a limited basis. Contact him for more information at jwallace@freelance-zone.com

Advertise Yourself

Joe Wallace freelance social media.jpgby Joe Wallace

It’s funny what kind of great ideas you get for other people where marketing and self-promotion is concerned, but when I started taking a look at things I personally wanted to do, I realized I’d been missing the boat in a lot of little ways that could really help at some point down the line.

Everybody knows you should put a signature file in your e-mails to let people know important things like “I’m available for hire on your next project” and “Contact me here to hire me or look at my awesome resume.”

But there are other little things I realized I wasn’t doing to promote myself that could have the same result as the signature file. Two of the most glaring omissions? T-shirts and bumper stickers.


When I’m not doing freelance social media management, writing articles, or preparing seminars about using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as PR tools, I have a little cottage industry going selling vinyl records, t-shirts and accessories for vinyl lovers. Whenever I do a convention, I’m almost always wearing a t-shirt advertising my site for vinyl junkies, Turntabling.net.

So why don’t I do that sort of free advertising for my freelance work?

A t-shirt that simply reads “freelancer” would definitely be a conversation starter in the right social settings, and when one thing leads to another, you could just end up talking shop with someone in need of a writer, editor, social media maven, etc.

I also noticed a distinct lack of shameless self-promotion on my vehicle–acres of bumper space that is just sitting there blank which could be used to direct someone to a resume page, The Freelance Zone, etc.

So now I’m getting ready to start being a bit more active in my self-promotion efforts by wearing my business on my sleeve, as it were. Within reason, of course. It would be insane to get a tattoo on my forehead with a web address on it, and a car that’s completely screaming a business message is a bit of a turn-off. But one nice, legible-from-a-distance bumper sticker could be a good way of adding some extra attention to what I do.