Last week, we gave a webinar on mastering social media for translators. In this post we're summing up the most important questions you asked, and we answered, during the webinar.

Not that this is a really short summary of the webinar. If you want to get more insights, make sure to watch the webinar in replay on Crowdcast!

How many social networks should I use?

There is no direct answer for this question. Some marketers suggest to use as many networks as you can to cover large audience, others suggest to focus on one social network. However, I would recommend to start with 4 networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) and then identify the best channels using the above-motioned cycle. This way you can select the most efficient channels and focus on them only.

Which social media platforms are the most useful for freelance translators?

Everything depends on your target audience. You should select networks based on your potential customer profile. Let’s take three areas where people and companies may need translation: tourism, software development, legal advice. Tourism: tour operators use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and probably Twitter. These networks offer a great opportunity to attract visitor using visuals content such as images and videos. Software developers: you should definitely use Twitter and Facebook to reach them. Take a random software developer company and I’m sure you find their Twitter profile at least. I know many software companies who use social media to render support services to their users. Law firms: LinkedIn, Facebook. More conventional industries that existed before the Internet tend to use professional networks such as LinkedIn. Facebook sometimes is also used to inform their customers about company updates or something similar.

What are people looking for on different social media?

LinkedIn: an audience of professionals. Think about how your piece of content can add value to the professional lives of your audience. Facebook: an audience is looking for entertainment and value. Think, about “shares” first. What will make your audience want to share your post? Try to attract interest with captions and headlines. Twitter: an audience is looking for news, tips, how-to’s, interesting articles, and what’s trending. Focus on short and eye-catching titles for your Twitter posts.

Personal vs business account. Is it worth to have both?

Yes, it is worth having both. And acutely you should have both on Facebook. This way you can control your privacy and separate business matters from friends, family, and entertainment. It also depends on the network. In the case of LinkedIn, your personal profile is already a business profile, where you place information about your experience, achievements, skills, projects, videos, etc. You can even use LinkedIn publisher tool to share posts right at LinkedIn. However, you can also create a business page that offers better analytical and promotion opportunities in comparison to a personal profile. In the case of Twitter, I don’t think it’s a good idea to distinguish between business and personal profile. But if you’re a Twitter lover and post several times a day about your daily routine, it is better to create a new profile for business. To manage multiple accounts you can use Twitter Deck service.

How to attract direct clients on Facebook without too much engaging in paid advertising?

Let me be honest, it is not easy to achieve good results on Facebook without paid ads. I guess this is a Facebook policy – they need to make money from ads. They frequently change news feed algorithms and the post coverage depends on many factors, including the number of fans on your page. Before you reach 1K fans about 1/3 of your subscribers will see your updates. As soon as you reach 1000, only 1/4 or even less of your page subscribers will see your updates. The larger the audience, the fewer people will see your updates. How to improve that? The only possible way to increase organic reach is to post high-quality, useful and engaging content. The approximate scheme for content sharing is as follows:

  • 20% of promotion content (you advertise your services),
  • 60% of curated content (pictures, tips & tricks, videos)
  • 20% of your own client-education content (blog posts, videos, presentations, infographics).

How to promote yourself via Twitter or Instagram?

First of all, you need to determine the goal. Why do you want to promote your Twitter or Instagram profiles? Who are you going to target at? The best simple tactics to promote your Twitter and Instagram profiles from the day one is to follow other users, like or retweet their content. These networks seem to work on mutual likes and followers. Twitter and Instagram suggest new contacts, you can follow 1-3 new people daily, share and like their updates, leave comments and you will see how your followers count increases day by day. Of course, you should carefully select whom to follow. As I mentioned above, the number of followers means nothing without engagement.

Number of followers means nothing without engagement. Learn how to optimize your SMM efforts!

Also, the following methods can be applied for any of social networks.

  • Include a link to your social profile in the email signature.
  • Add links to your social profiles on your website.
  • Invite your existing clients to follow your profiles via email newsletter.
  • Cross-post invitation on different networks: ask you Twitter followers to join your Facebook page and vice versa.

Which social media manager would you recommend?

I have tried HootSuite and Buffer. The first one is a really complex tool designed primarily for SMM managers and companies, rather than for individual use. Buffer, on the other side, offers a good balance between personal and company plans both in terms of free and paid options. I did not like HootSuite due to overloaded interface and multiples features I actually don’t’ need. Therefore, I decided to stay with Buffer and now I’m using a paid plan called “Awesome”. It costs about 100 bucks per year. If you are limited with your budget, you can start with a free plan that offers 5 platforms to connect and 10 posts to schedule per profile. With the “Awesome” plan you get 10 platforms and 100 posts to schedule at a time. 100 posts it is about a full month of SMM calendar with 3 posts per day — more than enough for a personal small business.

Want to know more? Watch the webinar in replay!