More Characters on Twitter?! New Retweet with Comment Feature

Twitter announced this week that they are testing out a new feature for the platform – Retweet with Comment. This new feature gives you more characters on Twitter to use at your disposal – providing you are adding commentary to a post you are retweeting.

Essentially, Retweet with Comment allows you to preserve the original Tweet in a Twitter Card. For those who don’t know, a Twitter Card is a feature that allows posts on Twitter to be media-rich. If someone uses a Twitter Card, they will link to a website in a post and Twitter will show a preview of the post or the main image below the Tweet.

Via Tech Crunch

If the feature is released to all users, you can choose to Retweet with Comment, keep the full original Tweet in a media preview (or Twitter Card) and then add your own comments with the RT. The benefit – you get a full 140 characters to express your thoughts.

The goal behind this feature is to start meaningful conversations on Twitter. Users currently can have one-on-one conversations by replying to each other. Anyone who wants to join in can view the full conversation, but rarely does this happen unless you are participating in a Twitter Chat. Likewise, many users need the full 140 character to express their thoughts or explain their link. This leaves users who want to RT their content and add their commentary very little room to do so.

Via Tech Crunch

There have been so many times where I want to add commentary to a RT only to cut down my thoughts, remove my hashtags, or alter the user’s content I am RT. I hate doing all of those things. With this new feature, I can preserve the entire original Tweet without feeling guilty about altering their voice or style and still say everything I want to say. More people can view the conversation easily and join in.

The 140 character limit is what makes Twitter special and causes people to get more creative with their posts. But often it is a limitation. With more features like this, Twitter can evolve into a more thoughtful conversational host.

Image Credit: Tech Crunch Original Article

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Why You Need to Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

Back when email was on the rise and everyone was head-over-heels in love with this quick new form of communication (after you waited for AOL to log you in using dial-up for about half an hour), many businesses scoffed. “We don’t need this email. It’s a fad that will pass. Customers would rather call us on the telephone!”

Those businesses learned very quickly they do need email to reach a large portion of their customer base and those who did not perished. History repeats itself and this time social media marketing is the new “fad” businesses are reluctant to pick up.

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Some businesses outright refuse to add social media accounts for their businesses. Others hastily create accounts and pages and often do them wrong (such as creating a Group instead of a Page on Facebook).

There are also many businesses that realize they do need to have a social media presence, but try to do it in-house to save money. Here is where the majority of businesses go wrong. It may seem easy to create a business profile and update it every now and then. You do it every day on your own Twitter and Facebook accounts, why should your business be any different?

You feel confident at first, filling out some basic About Us information and sharing your first post. You might think it’s a good idea to link your Facebook and Twitter posts to save time. You might decide to update once a week or every few weeks with text updates on sales or sharing funny cat videos you find online. When you don’t have time to post, you let your employees take over. People start liking and commenting, which you love looking at. Every now and then a customer might complain in a post on your page that is promptly deleted so your business doesn’t look bad.

It seems things are running smoothly on the social media front. However, your business is not growing at all. Your time on social media seems like a waste and you don’t know how other businesses are accomplished on these platforms. This is because you don’t understand everything you did wrong like I just did.

Nicole Yeary2

Via Flickr Nicole Yeary

As a social media marketer for a huge variety of different business industries, both big and small, I can look at your profiles for five minutes and understand all the mistaken steps you took. I will start brewing ideas on how to fix them and optimize your account.

Many customers prefer to communicate through social media and get updates from their business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. When you ignore these platforms or use them incorrectly, you come across as inauthentic, inconsistent, and uncaring about customer needs. Hiring a professional social media marketer allows your business to become a likeable brand on the internet. Your customers will turn to you for their questions, concerns, and investment in your industry.

Professional social media marketers have studied the nuances of every platform extensively. They know the exact formula for posting on each platform and the language preferred by those users. They understand how each social media site is different in expanding a business’ reach, what kinds of posts get the most engagement, and how to create and time messaging. They can also analyze your account and audience to find out when your customers are online and most likely to see your messages.

Social media experts will interact with your audience as a business and customer service representative to increase your customer loyalty. Marketers will learn everything about your business to create a brand personality for your social media presence that is likeable and engaging. They will collaborate with you to get the most out of your website, blog, special offers, sales, events, and more. On top of that, social media marketers are constantly analyzing your platforms to see where improvements can be made.

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? For social media marketers, it is another day at the office. For you, it takes a lot of research and all of your free time, if not more.

This work is not as expensive as you might think. No matter how big or small your advertising budget is, you can find ways to afford social media marketing. At the very least, you can shell out a one-time expense to get consultation on the basics of social media marketing.

I have base prices for my services and different package options for all kinds of businesses. However, I can also take any monthly budget you set and tell you exactly what I can do for you with that amount. I also offer consultation on the basics of marketing tailored for your business needs and goals. You can view my social media marketing service options on my website. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or to email me at h.s.hobbs@gmail.com!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

 

The 4 Major Trials of Being a Freelance Writer

I live in Kansas City, MO. Our big theme park is called Worlds of Fun. The city and suburbs are buzzing about a new ride the park bought – Steel Hawk. Not because everyone is clamoring to ride it, however. Apparently the park bought the ride really cheap from another theme park because of its issues and multiple deaths associated with it. Some daredevils are willing to risk life and limb to ride it and prove how brave they are. Most are upset the park chose to buy a ride that is unpredictable and unsafe.

That is what being a freelance writer is like. You are willing to risk everything to get the benefits of freelance writing and only truly understand the danger once you are on the ride. The rest of the world doesn’t get why you would ever want to jump on that ride without any security.

I became a freelance writer for a number of reasons. I majored in English with the hopes of having more open career options and to learn the craft of writing as a skill. Employers didn’t see it that way and finding a job in my field where I live proved to be impossible. I wanted to write for a living in some capacity, but at the time no one was hiring writer straight out of college with no field work experience. So, after many different career changes, useless further education, and times of complete poverty, I started to get into freelance writing. It took a year to find a modicum of full-time success and even then work is still an insane roller coaster.

Starting Out

Via Pixabay kropekk_pl

Via Pixabay kropekk_pl

Choosing to become a freelance writer is not easy. You start off spending hours joining job search websites, building profiles, creating websites, working on blogs, pulling together some semblance of a portfolio, and more. After you have started getting jobs (ever so slowly while the bills pile around you), life as a freelance writer only gets harder and crazier.

Striving for Security

Via Pixabay PublicDomainPictures

Via Pixabay PublicDomainPictures

It is very difficult to find clients that stick with you, no matter how great your writing is or how much they love your work. Many of my past clients have posted they need blogs every week only to slowly reduce that number to zero in favor of cheaper writers or different business goals. The only clients I have kept long term are not even related to article or blog writing. I work as a Content Manager, Social Media Manager, and Marketing Strategist for my long term clients and rarely get the opportunity to write anymore. Finding clients that will guarantee payment is extraordinarily difficult, which I outline in my next point.

Working with Unpredictable and Unclear Clients

Via Flickr db Photography  |Demi-Brooke

Via Flickr db Photography |Demi-Brooke

I cannot even tell you how many clients I have gained in the past that fell in love with me and said they wanted more more more of my time. Inevitably, I get excited about their projects and their enthusiasm, put prospects on the back burner, and commit all of my time to them only to be disappointed. I have reserved my time to receive much less work than promised and also have clocked many hours only to never receive payment. This is one of the terrors of being a freelance writer and sadly all too common.

Unclear clients are another huge peril in this career choice. I recently lost a huge client who taught me so much and I really loved working with due to communication barriers. I would give my available times to work only to not receive work or receive panicked messages hours before I was available about why I wasn’t around. I was thrown into an extremely complicated process with zero training and then constantly drawn into angry conference calls about things I did wrong according to the company’s policies. I was also given 4-8 hour tasks without ever being given a due date, only to be messaged angrily an hour after receiving the assignment why it was not complete yet and how I could never accomplish a due date.

The point – even when some opportunities seem spectacular, a huge growth opportunity, and a blessing for your finances, most opportunities are not what they seem. I am trying to come up with a better screening process, but have yet to find something that works. In this field, however, it is impossible to be both cautious and an entrepreneur.

Battling the Worst Timing

Via Pixabay Collage Arts

Via Pixabay Collage Arts

It seems no matter what, I can never get my timing right. And I don’t mean I can’t organize and get all my work done, that part is easy. I mean there are weeks where I have a packed due date list and then I have people headhunting me and reaching out for my services. I often say, “I don’t have time,” and don’t spend as much time with these prospective clients so I gain their business. Then, a week or two later, my clients hold their work or are done with my services and suddenly I have no income and no prospective clients. This causes me to go back to square one and the deadly cycle repeats itself.

This job is not for the faint of heart or those who need financial security. There are so many hurdles and danger to this career choice. But what keeps us freelance writers going is passion for the job. We miss out on having coworkers, grabbing drinks after work, dressing up cute everyday (for my female writers!), financial security, healthcare, a great retirement plan, and even more. But we get to do something we love every single day and that is what is important.

Welcome to the Rebranded, Revamped HS Writing Blog!

Hello followers!

Pink Sherbert Photography 7

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

I am so sorry for my long, long absence. I gained a client that took up my entire time, which caused me to abandon the blog in the first place, then budget cuts left me with scrambling to find new clients. Currently, I am playing the waiting game for multiple clients and projects to see where I land – a very exciting (and nervewracking!) time for me!

This afternoon, I made time for my blog and came up with this! The rebrand, as you can see, is much simpler than the previous design and name. The main focus of the blog will still be social media marketing (hence the presence of my Twitter banner I am very proud of creating), but I am also branching out to talk about the tips, tricks, and trials of being a freelance writer. Expect a post tomorrow about the world of freelance. I am excited to include this topic since I have never written about it before!

I want to hear what you think of the new blog and want your suggestions on post topics. Now my blog is more accessible for a variety of topics. I am no longer restricted to certain topics to post on certain days, so anything you want to know about I will write for you!

Don’t forget to check out my Contribution Page on my blog! If you want to write a post for the blog, I will include your name and give you full rights to show it off to clients, friends, family, your dog, whoever! I also offer sponsored posts if you want to promote a product, app, software, website, etc.