How social media can be used to demonstrate an individual's expertise online. By Bryan
While most freelancers are wise to the benefits of using platforms like Elance to highlight what they’re good at, fewer are as effective when it comes to maximizing the potential of social media.
The irony of this scenario is that they’re probably active on social media, and are aware of the practices that businesses follow in order to improve their online presence and influence through this platform.
Instead, freelancers tend to use social media to share their own thoughts, while some will have a blog on a small business website, too. However, these can often have little impact on their overall visibility, as they haven’t done much to increase their audience in the first place.
Here are some ideas that will help you display your expertise through social media platforms.
A lot of social media content takes the form of questions. By searching for these, be it on Twitter, LinkedIn, or another social networking site, and being the first to answer them, you’ll quickly establish yourself as an expert in your field, particularly as people begin to share your responses and show everyone else the level of expertise and knowledge you bring.
Don’t just think fast answers are the way forward, however, be ready to point people to authoritative links, not just from your own site, and continue to have a conversation with them; one great answer to a question will often lead to another one being asked.
Adding your voice to groups relevant to your industry or expertise, especially on the predominantly group based social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, is a great way to gain a new audience. However, make sure you go about it the right way; you can’t just join a group and then start preaching as if you’re the undisputed global thought leader.
Introduce yourself, explain what you do, and you’ll find that people warm to you and actually begin to ask for your opinion, rather than feeling like you’re imposing it on them.
By sharing your expertise and pointing people towards your work, you’ll quickly build up a handy creative portfolio through your use of social media, which will contribute massively to your overall online presence.
We’ve all seen the business accounts and individuals who just mindlessly post updates that have clearly been pre-meditated and as such have little to no meaning. Make sure you’re not one of these. Instead, whenever there is a big news story in your industry or area of expertise, take the time to comment on it.
The biggest thing to remember with social media commenting is that you don’t have to have an opinion on everything; if you can add something of value, then do so. If not, then it’s best not to say anything at all.
It’s okay to talk about your favourite sports team or something else more personal once you’ve established yourself and started building relationships with people. If anything, showing your human side will bring you a greater audience, and make you seem more approachable to people who want to seek out your expertise.