AOL Small Business: Twitter Freelancers: Can You Really Get Paid To Tweet?
“Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become cheap, effective ways to advertise and build personal connections with customers — and for many businesses, tweeting and blogging are no longer optional tools for generating buzz. As such, the rising importance of social networking as part of any marketing plan has brought about a new demand for online-savvy freelancers who know how to effectively write and distribute business communiques at a rapid pace.
Because of its speed and simplicity, Twitter — the popular microblogging service started by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams and Biz Stone in 2006 — has become a preferred option for many companies. While some hire social-media gurus in-house, others are enlisting the help of a growing corps of freelancers who have taken advantage of an emerging market for independent “tweeters” and have built lucrative businesses on the art of the 140 character burst.
Ruby notes that the market for freelance social media experts is so strong because Web 2.0’s cheap, highly personalized marketing techniques have made traditional marketing plans obsolete. “Social media has evolved into a cost-effective strategy in reaching out to targeted audiences and beyond. The key to social media is to identify your target audience beforehand and engage them in an industry-based dialogue.” Ruby’s goal is to work with companies to get audience attention through tweeting and other strategies and interact with their customers. She also provides advice for company leaders about how to rethink their marketing plans and embrace the power Twitter and other social networking sites have to build brands.
So what advice would Jaehnig and Ruby offer other prospective freelance tweeters and social media experts? Ruby feels ethics are critical to anyone who wants to ghostwrite for a company: “If a company hires me and does not provide me with an internal contact to tweet with and receive corporate information from on a daily basis, I will most likely turn down the business, as I don’t want to misrepresent the company,” she says. “But I realize that a consultant can only know so much about what is going on inside a company without being there on a daily basis. I think this is one of the biggest problems that will arise with companies outsourcing tweeting if they are not careful. There need to be strict guidelines in place for this, because we are essentially representing their brand online.”