It’s true. The evolving technologies and transformation of web as a social tool means that people everywhere are talking, and it is critical for you to listen to what they are saying about your business.
The methods we’ll show you for tracking your business on social media are pretty simple, but they can provide a lot of insight as to how you can change your freelance marketing efforts to better suit the needs of your target market.
Let’s take a look at a few ways we can listen to what others are saying by monitoring social media.
A Shift in the Business Environment
There is a major shift in the way we conduct business. It’s not enough to simply create a profile and be active on different social media channels. It is also important to listen to the conversation and think about how the conversation impacts the bottom line of your business.
Who should you be listening to on social media? To start, you should listen to your existing clients or potential clients. You should also be aware of the comments of other freelancers.
Now that we’ve discussed the changing business environment, let’s look at two social media tools that you can use to monitor the conversation:
- Twitter Lists
- Bookmarking tools
Let’s begin by taking a look at Twitter Lists.
Start By Monitoring Twitter Lists
Many of you are probably already mentioned on lists that are created by your friends or Twitter followers. These lists need to be monitored carefully.
For example, if you are a web designer you want others to reference you as a web designer on their list. If you are using Twitter as a marketing tool it is critical that you are known for what your business provides, in this case, web design.
Let’s say that you are mentioned on 30 lists and 25 of them are lists with titles such as “random tweets,” “funny,” “writer,” etc. Do you see how this type of categorization could affect your brand?
If your business is web designing and you are being mentioned on the majority of lists for something other than what your business provides it could hurt you and your business. You may lose out on possible leads.
Remember, lists are seen not only by you and the person who created the list. They are also seen by hundreds and thousands of people who follow the person who created the list and by anyone who lands on your Twitter profile.
Always monitor Twitter Lists. It doesn’t matter how many lists you are mentioned in. It does matter how many lists you are mentioned in for what you do as a freelancer.
Now that we’ve discussed how to listen to the conversation through Twitter Lists, let’s examine bookmarking services.
Use Bookmarking Services to See What’s “Hot”
Numbers matter! Plain and simple. You can be the best web designer, the best writer, or the very best developer, but if no one is landing on your blog or portfolio your business is going nowhere.
This is exactly why you should monitor bookmarking services to see what is working on your niche.
Of course, sites that are already popular tend to get swarmed with votes on everything, but keep in mind they weren’t always there. Keep an eye out on these sites.
Monitor what is working well in your niche. Take an idea that worked before, rinse it a little and repeat it with a different angle to it so as to draw attention.
Make sure you use the time feature of the search. You want to see what’s working now, not what worked two years ago. Analyze results that occurred recently. For example, look for results from the past day, week, or a month.
Monitoring bookmarking services is as critical as monitoring conversation. Let’s talk a little about monitoring conversation.
Who’s Looking and What Are They Saying?
If you think that just participating in social media will bring you exposure, you are dead wrong. Listening is more important than participating because it gives you insight on how you should participate in the conversation.
There are countless platforms where people connect. The three big ones are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Lists, Fanpages, Groups, Updates etc. make these the core platforms for carrying out conversation on the social web.
Don’t just use these services to tweet, update and communicate. Use them as a monitoring tool to see what others are saying about you or the business you are in.
Now, that we’ve examined several ways to monitor the conversation, let’s discuss what to do about what you’ve learned.
Apply What You Learn
Keep participating, but don’t forget that listening is much more important than simply talking. Get out there and use different features to check what others are saying about you and your brand or monitor these channels to find jobs.
The most important reason for listening is so that you can apply what you learn to improve your business.
For example, here are Freelance Folder we are monitoring Twitter and Facebook to make Freelance Folder even better. We are taking suggestions and implementing them slowly, but surely. To make sure that you are heard, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We are much stronger as a community.
You can also use these tools to see what others are saying about your competitors. You can find their weaknesses by watching what others say about them. That weakness could become your selling point.
You may also find jobs by listening in social media. If you are a writer, you can check Twitter search to see if there are any writing jobs out there. You can do the same with a Facebook search. You will be surprised how many freelancing gigs you can find just by simply typing a keyword or a phrase.
We’ve explained that if you effectively monitor these channels, you can boost your personal brand, drive a colossal amount of people to your site (which also highlights your services), find work directly, and get leads.
Social media is here to stay and monitoring these different platforms for the benefit of your business is key. It’s all about listening first and making changes to adapt to what your potential clients wants or how you can create awareness by simply looking out and keeping tab on what’s going on.
Now it’s your turn.
Share your ideas about how social media can improve your freelancing business in the comments.
Image by dotbenjamin