Can Writers Benefit From Social Networking?
It seems like the bandwagon only bangs the drum louder with each passing day. You MUST be fully immersed in the world of social networking, and/or social marketing, immediately or else your business will fail and you will have only your stone age understanding of computers, the Internet, the cloud, and the 21st century to blame. You don’t have a Facebook page? Oh, no!
That is a slight exaggeration, but not much. Do any reading online or elsewhere and you are sure to find numerous recommendations that your business start using social networking immediately to increase sales, maximize profit, and even perform better customer service than ever before.
Of course, social networking cannot do all of these things. If it could, no one would bother with all of their other communications efforts. In fact, less than 2 years ago, the same bandwagon that now beats the drum of Facebook inevitability was banging the drum of Twitter inevitability. These days, Twitter gets plenty of love, but no one is calling it the next big thing anymore. Today, Facebook is the next big thing, and all of the things that were said about Twitter over the past 18 months are being said about Facebook now. Hopefully, that gives you some idea about what life is like in the Internet echo chamber.
Using Social Networking To Promote Your Writing and Earn Money
Just because posting on Twitter or creating a freelance writing Facebook page won’t make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, doesn’t mean you should ignore them. It just means that unless you are running a 6,000 employee corporation, there is no need for you to run out and hire a full-time social marketer or even to hire a social media consultant to help build your business brand name online. On the other hand, both Twitter and Facebook, and several other social networking websites can be a great way to help promote your writing and make sure that your articles, posts, and content are seen. In turn, that drives more traffic to your articles, webpages, and web properties that can be harnessed to earn more money writing for yourself online.
As a professional freelance writer, however, lots of free time to dedicate to building my writing brand online isn’t something that I am going to get. That means to build a successful social marketing campaign, I need to tweet, post, update, and friend as quickly and efficiently as possible without harming my brand or business image by engaging in frowned upon practices or outright spamming social websites just to get as many links as possible out there.
For me, the solution is HootSuite. HootSuite is an online application that started out as a way to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Over time it has developed into a full-fledged online social marketing service that lets you post, read, re-post, retweet, as well as tweet, update, and friend or unfriend across multiple social networking services all in one place.
I have a pretty strong technical background, but even if you are just a little bit technically inclined, you’ll be up and running on HootSuite in no time. As you get used to the service, you can add more accounts so that you can manage numerous Twitter accounts, multiple Facebook accounts, and even an army of Google Reader accounts. HootSuite also supports services like LinkedIn, MySpace, and more. Best of all, it’s all free.
I’m not sure how they plan to make money, or if they just plan to build something worth a bigger online company buying out, but for now, HootSuite is a one-stop social media manager that can let you build your online presence without robbing time from your writing business.