Figuring out a social media marketing strategy can seem overwhelming.

Never fear, freelancers: I invented a hashtag acronym (hacronym?) for you to unleash onto an unsuspecting internet, #COINED. It’s a simple way to remember what you have to focus on in social media.

It may be troubling that most of your life exists in an omnipresent cloud, but there are some distinct advantages of this -- especially when trying to market and grow your freelancing business.

CONTENT

It is important to both create and curate the content you put on your various social media platforms. Make sure that the content is interesting and useful to your client base and that it is line with the platform. The audience on each platform is different; tailor your content appropriately.

What content should I post on each platform?

  1. Check out this great content cheat sheet:
  2. We’ve written extensively about what content is appropriate and client-attracting on Twitter.
  3. We’ve broken down content strategy by platform here.

ORGANIZE

Successful websites and social media profiles belong to those who keep a schedule, have a plan of attack, and update often. Additionally, keeping an eye on the success of your social media marketing using Google Analytics will allow you to further tailor your overall strategy.

Be the (wo)man with the plan:

The most effective way to organize yourself is by making a Social Media Tactical Plan like the sample one here.

IDENTITY

Creating a strong brand identity is essential to any successful business. Your brand should be consistent throughout all of your platforms and distinguish you from other businesses and individuals.

What is my social media identity?

  1. Consider these personal branding tips when identifying your brand.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be a dork. Be passionate about what you do.
  3. Whatever your unique brand value, highlight reliability and professionalism in your brand image.

NEWSJACK

Newsjacking and real time marketing is a new way to capitalize on the popularity of a current news story or twitter trend to bring attention to your brand. Let us never forget the time that Arby’s of all companies won the internet. (Just don’t overdo it.)

Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs

— Arby's (@Arbys) January 27, 2014

ENGAGE

The internet is a vast and often time impersonal tool for communication. However, engaging with your audience through your various social media platforms can be a great way to build relationships with potential clients as well as get a sense of what kind of people they are and what they want.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you providing your audience with relevant content?
  2. Are you responding to all of your messages and mentions in a timely manner?
  3. Are you finding new and exciting ways to engage, for example with contests or other promotions (giving away a print, offering free advice, etc.)?

DIVERSIFY

Not only should you be on a variety of social media platforms however, you should diversify your content within those platforms to allow for maximum impact. Recently Facebook changed their algorithm, which has severely impacted what posts show up in newsfeeds. One way to combat the algorithm blues is to alternate between text, media, and link-based posts.

Don’t get monorailed:

  1. Learn how to get started on all the different social media platforms here.
  2. Follow Mashable, Social Media Examiner, or another trusted social media news source to stay up-to-date on stuff like algorithm changes.
  3. Get all your social media question answered on this great frequently asked questions list.

Freelancers, what is your best #tip for social media marketing?