Tag Archives: social media and freelancers

The New Hotness in Social Media: Twitter Vine

By Amanda Smyth Connorvine-twitter

My favorite pastime is researching and disregarding the new social media tools that pop up seemingly every day. More often than not, I find that they are re-purposed or re-skinned versions of tools I’m already using. I’ve got my social media favorites:

Hootsuite (for keeping all of my Twitter and Facebook accounts in one place.)

Radian6 (because I am a spoiled child who convinced her company to pay for this shiny and very expensive social media tool, although I maintain that this is Best in Class for social listening.)

SocialMention.com (It’s free and offers very quick sentiment analysis and mentions.)

But the latest hotness to come about is Twitter’s Vine app.

The new Vine app links directly to your Twitter account and creates a 6-second video, during which you can edit only so far as pausing the recording process. Check out some of the amazing videos users are posting already.

Why am I telling you about this new tool? Because this new social toy is becoming the new overnight hotness and much like Pinterest, it’s spreading like wildfire. If you are interested in furthering your social media involvement, or in adding a new line item to your resume of freelance skills, get creative and begin expanding your social media horizons with this new app.

Brands are already clamoring for ways in which they can engage users through this video feature. From stop-motion to straight videos, this is a landscape that companies are anxious to be a part of, so believe me when I say that it is in your best interest to, at the very LEAST, familiarize yourself with this awesome app. It’s going to be a great tool to have in your freelance toolkit.


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.


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.


Because expressing how dumb that was in words just doesn't work.

By Amanda Smyth Connor

The past few weeks in social media have been exciting for a number of reasons. SXSWi took over Twitter in full force while social media nerds the world over descended upon Austin for a week of tech updates and business networking. And in other parts of the country, both the American Red Cross and Chrysler posted tweets that were, in all honesty, epic failures.

The ARC social media specialist, Gloria Huang, posted the following tweet on the ARC Twitter account:

“Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head Midas Touch beer…when we drink we do it right. #gettngslizzerd”

The tweet stayed on the ARC twitter page for an hour before anyone from the company noticed – enough time for everyone else to notice. The ARC recovered, pulled the tweet and tweeted the following:

“We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”

From this, Dogfish Head Brewery then started a campaign asking people to donate to the Red Cross using the hashtag #gettngslizzerd. Huang was not fired, but did lose her Twitter privileges and at the end of the day, the ARC got a nice new wave of donations from the snafu.

In another part of the country, another rogue tweet was sent out from a Chrysler social media specialist.

“I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #MotorCity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive.”

Within 24-hours, the employee had been very publicly fired and Chrysler had issued a statement saying the employee’s actions had harmed the company’s brand positioning and management.

My question for you, FZers, is: Based on how each company handled these mess-ups, how would you have handled this situation? Have you ever made a mistake like this? How did you handle it?

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.

Twitter Vs. Digg: Social Media Wars

freelance-writing-advice-3I’ve always been a bit of a come-lately when it comes to the latest fad in social media, but it’s clear even to me that Twitter is taking over. Recent developments including Dave Allen of Pampelmoose.com announcing his migration (more or less) from Facebook to Twitter and a series of articles about Twitter’s increasing dominance over Digg and other platforms has me convinced–Twitter is THE next big thing.

I had an interesting chat with someone behind the scenes in the pro web pages game who tells me that from his perspective, it’s best not to act like a corporate shill when using social media to promote yourself.

That is a total no-brainer to most of us, but Twitter levels the playing field by making it very obvious who the “real” users are and who the carnival barkers and ad men are. It’s tough to appear real when you’re limited to a couple of sentences to get your point across. If your only point is, “Buy my crap!” it starts becoming more apparent all the time…

I use Twitter to promote my blog at CheapToday.com and one of the most important things I do is avoid talking nonstop about it. I like to just contribute to the conversation, mention the new blog posts when they come up, and be a regular guy. The rest takes care of itself.

Look for Freelance-Zone.com to hit twitter with the freelance goodies soon…we’ll drop a line with our link when its ready.