Tag Archives: social media

How to Get 5,000 (or even 50,000) Followers on Twitter

by Mike O’Mary

logo_twitter_withbird_1000_allblue copyOver the last few months, FZ has featured some very helpful and insightful posts about social media in general and about Twitter in particular. If you missed them the first time around, be sure to check them out now:

Today, I’d like to add to the conversation, not by sharing my own (very limited) knowledge, but by introducing you to Lynn Serafinn, a real expert when it comes to Twitter, social media and online marketing.

iStock_000005894033XSmallWith Lynn’s help, I went from no Twitter account nine months ago to 5,600 followers for @TheNoteProject on Twitter today. Lynn herself has 50,000 followers across four Twitter accounts.

What good is 5,600 followers on Twitter? It’s been very important to me. My goal was to spread the word about the Note Project, a campaign to inspire people to write more notes of appreciation. My contacts on Twitter led to media interviews, posts and guest posts on various blogs and websites, and free gifts to Note Project participants by people and organizations that support the Note Project. In fact, more than half of the Note Project’s 50 sponsors came via contacts on Twitter.

What is the secret to Lynn’s success? It’s not as difficult as you think – and fortunately for us, Lynn recently shared all of her secrets in a three-part series on her Spirit Authors website. Click below to read all three segments – and start building up your community on Twitter today.

“10 Tips to Get Followers on Twitter and Why You Should” by Lynn Serafinn

Mike O’Mary is founder of the Note Project, a campaign to make the world a million times better by inspiring 1 million people to write notes of appreciation, and of Dream of Things, a book publisher and online book store.

Social Media vs. Community Management

By Amanda Smyth Connor1258179_hands_above_4

They’re the same thing, right? They both involve engaging your audience, creating brand awareness and sharing great content that will drive people to a product, site or information. Right? Right??


These two positions are often confused and are, more often, used interchangeably. While there is a great deal of overlap, these positions require very different skill sets. If you are a freelance writer looking to get into social media management or community management, you need to know the difference before you get yourself in over your head.

Community Managers are a liaison between the audience and the proper internal stakeholders. Community managers use proactive and reactive communication strategies to engage the audience and to gather feedback. They analyze the information that comes in (which is invaluable feedback!) and make recommendations that are passed along to IT, marketing, PR, customer service and sales departments. It is also the CM’s job to monitor the brand/product online across all channels (internet-wide). The internet is a big place. Without a CM, how will any buisness know what is being said about their product or site without someone to watch, interact, analyze and report back?

Social Media specialists strive to create strategies for bigger community engagement. From Facebook strategies to Twitter to [insert social media channel here], the social media specialist is the bigger picture person when it comes to the “how” of reaching and engaging customers. SMers can come from a variety of backgrounds but most often have a deep interest in marketing and brand management. If the community manager is the “voice” of the brand, the SM is the “head.”

And while these two positions are different and should not be confused, they must work closely together to create and execute a great social media strategy. You can’t just hire one, you really need both, and they need to work in tandem to be effective. What is a head without a voice, and vice versa?

Are you looking to get into the social media side of freelance writing? There’s a huge need for fantastic writers who can create really engaging content. Just make sure you are very aware of the requirements of the job you are applying for. Because these positions are so new, more often than not job descriptions for these positions are inaccurate and many companies don’t fully understand their own social media needs nor how to identify the right candidate for the position. Do your homework and understand EXACTLY what you can offer before applying for any positions.

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business, 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.

Social Media For Freelancers

book and script editor for hire Joe Wallaceby Joe Wallace

While browsing Freelance Switch I ran across this post discussing five ways NOT to use social media in your freelance work.

Melanie Brooks writes,Facebook and Twitter are different beasts. For marketing purposes, your Facebook status update should be updated a few times a day, max. Tweets should be used more frequently. If you tie them together you run the risk of annoying your Facebook followers with too much information; you don’t want to alienate your followers…”

To which I would like to add that I tried an experiment on Facebook and came up with quantifiable (to me) results that bear this out.

I decided to see what the tolerance is for daily posts on Facebook on a page which requires “likes”. Since liking a FB page is totally voluntary, and the users can opt out at any time, I figured paying attention to how many people liked a page versus how many dropped it based on the frequency of posts would be something valuable to know.

The page I was using had an average of a new “like” every two or three days.

I had been posting four or five times per day, and I noticed that for every two or three followers, I would lose one or two in a few days or a week. I decided to dial it down to three to four times a day, and noticed that the numbers leveling out a bit. The light had come on–there was still a two steps forward, one step back element going on.

Next, I played with posting three times a day but posting within the typical eight hour work day. No real change here. I didn’t start seeing a steady increase in numbers until I spaced three posts a day out to about six or seven hours between each post. I post around 5:30 AM, again at around 1 or 2PM, and once more at 9Pm.

THAT schedule has earned steady upward numbers with few, if any, ditching the page once it’s been liked. Is it a magic formula? No, you still have to have relevant, engaging content, but it is a system that certainly has worked for me–and one I now use as a default with new clients when appropriate. Naturally, you have to watch your audience on each individual account and pay attention to the nuances.

But if you’re looking for a posting schedule that seems to work, you could do a lot worse than starting off with that.

Joe Wallace is a freelance editor, writer, and social media manager for companies including Bank Administration Institute, VALoans.com and MilitaryHub.com. He is currently editing a book on voice acting and recently finished editing a video game script for military accuracy, jargon and American idiom usage. Contact him: jwallace (at) freelance-zone (dotcom).

Relationship Maintenance 101

Catherineby Catherine L. Tully

Being a writer means cultivating a variety of different contacts. You need to develop relationships with editors, other writers, and depending on what type of writing you do, companies, associations and other venues. The good news is that a writer who keeps these relationships in good repair will have a network of people to turn to for work and advice. The bad news is that all this takes time.

First of all, people can really tell when you are faking it. If you are going to drop an e-mail to a writer buddy to ask a question, don’t think they won’t remember that the last time you e-mailed you wanted something as well. Be genuine. Foster relationships with people you like and it will be a heck of a lot easier to care about what they have been up to in their writing career. Make it easy on yourself.

Editors also know if you are always coming to them with your hand out. Why not drop a line once in a while just to wish them a nice summer or share an article that reminds you of them. Stop thinking of everyone as a gateway to a paycheck and start thinking of them as a person. It matters.

Next. Relationships necessitate regular contact. Continue reading Relationship Maintenance 101

Top Twitter Tips For Writers

Twitter for writingby Catherine L. Tully

OK–tell me true–have you embraced Twitter yet? Writers tend to fall into one of two camps–the “tekkies” and the “old-fashioned”. (Yes–I know I’m generalizing.) Today I’m going to share some Twitter tips for each.

Old Fashioned

If you haven’t set up a Twitter profile yet, there’s no time like the present. You can get yourself up and running in just a few minutes. It really is pretty simple.

Typing a tweet (or “update” as they are also called) is not difficult either. Once your account is set up, try it and see how it goes.

Be sure you know the rules and best practices before you get going full steam.

Learn how to follow people and how to promote your profile.

Once you do these things, you’ll start to get a feel for Twitter, and hopefully, begin to like using it!


I don’t need to convince you that Twitter is cool–but I can give you some really terrific tips for using it better that you may not know about already. For example, did you know that it is a good idea to keep your tweets under the 140 character limit (this post says 125) so that people can re-tweet you more easily?

Need to find an old tweet for some reason? Friendfeed enables you to do that.

Want to share media on Twitter in real time? Use TwitPic.

Try running a poll on Twitter for something different. PollDaddy is a good resource for that.

So there you go writers…Twitter tips for everyone. If you have something you can share that will make Tweeting more fun (or cool) please do!

LinkedIn – On Notice

Amanda Smyth Connor1343803_rusty_chain_2

I’ll admit it. I don’t really “get” LinkedIn.

I’ve worked in social media  for about six years. During that time, I have grown to love and understand the intricacies of Facebook and Twitter. But when it comes to LinkedIn, we just never formed a connection. Our synergies never synergized.  We just didn’t click.

Dear LinkedIn. It’s not you…it’s me. Well, maybe it’s you.

Don’t get me wrong. I check LinkedIn frequently. I keep my profile up-to-date and active. I respond to requests for recommendations and connections very quickly. I have my Twitter feed hooked up and running and I obviously use LinkedIn to track what colleagues and clients are up to professionally. However, it feels like so many people are using LinkedIn for the wrong reasons.

I get spammy messages from people looking to rent out office space. I get jerky self-promotional mass emails from connections looking for new projects, and worst of all, I get requests for recommendations from people I have never worked with or have not worked with directly, which just feels really slimy. “Please recommend me even though you have no frame of reference for my work and have no idea what my work ethic is really like.”

So the question remains – is LinkedIn really just a glorified resume platform that occasionally yields a job connection, or is it a highly valuable professional social media tool that I have unfortunately not experienced in the best capacity? From a social media and professional standpoint, I just don’t understand how best to use LinkedIn – which begs the question – how user friendly is LinkedIn if someone like me is asking this question?

Until someone explains how LinkedIn should best be utilized beyond what I’ve stated above, as Colbert says: “LinkedIn – you’re on notice!”

Amanda Smyth Connor is a community manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business, 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.