In today’s world, social media is a key factor in the success of a freelance business. As I said in a previous post, having an online presence will help you boost the interest of prospects and colleagues in your business and yourself. Personally, Twitter has grown on me – I wasn’t too keen on those 140 character-messages and didn’t see what benefit they could bring me. However, I was wrong. Twitter is great when you know how to use it and what to use it for. I have said it before and I repeat it : translators are a great online (and offline) community with lots of buzzing ideas. So why not start communicate more with your colleagues and potential prospects? After all, you never know where and how you’ll find your next client! If you choose to go down that road, there are a few do’s and don’ts you have to be aware of in order to improve your presence on this social media platform. Here are a few tips I have learned in the past few months:
- Be relevant: if you are a translator, tweet about translation. Sure you can tweet about other things that are related to it (marketing, business, writing, literature,…), but be careful. Nobody cares to know what you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day of the week.
- Be positive: when you are on Twitter, your personality must shine through. It is okay to let your followers know that you had a bad experience with so and so, or that you don’t want to reduce your rates like agencies would like you to. However, your tweeting a hundred times about this topic can have two consequences: either your clients will consider you a serious professional, or it will simply scare them off! Remember: positivity is contagious!
- Be creative: another way to show your personality – do not just retweet articles or other people’s tweets. Let your followers know what you are up to, share your blog posts if you run a blog, share your pictures, start a dialogue with your followers and engage them in it… People like knowing who they follow!
- Be friendly and humble: welcome people when they follow you, thank them when they retweet or share your content… They don’t have to do it, yet they do!
- Mind your spelling: just because your tweet will be 140 characters long doesn’t mean you can not care about how it will look. On the contrary, a spelling mistake will be even more obvious due to the shortness of your message. Now how will it look coming from a linguist?
- Create a balance: if you spend too much time on Twitter, people will start to think that you simply prefer to be active on social media than do your job, i.e. translate! It’s different from everyone, but do try to create a good balance – try not to be too active or not active enough. As always, the key is in the middle. While we are on that subject, if you don’t have enough time but would still like to be active on social media, you can try using great management tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite. They will help you schedule your tweets, which is a great way to spend less time on time-consuming activities such as social media and be more productive with your translations.
What about you? What do you consider an imperative to improve your Twitter presence? Any pet peeve?