A recent report by Intuit suggests that by 2020 (that’s just a few years away folks) more than 40 percent of the American workforce – approximately 60 million people – will work as freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees.
With an increasing number of people jumping into the freelance talent pool, LinkedIn recently expanded its professional services marketplace dubbed ProFinder.
The service, which LinkedIn began piloting a year ago, but only recently made available nationwide, allows those who are looking to hire to cast a wide net by simply answering a few questions. It starts by asking “What service do you need?” Categories range from accountants to lawyers, graphic designers to public relations consultants. The questions further drill down into more specifics to help you find the right person. For example, if you’re looking for a writer do you want a technical writer, a grant writer or a blogger?
Once you narrow it down, click on the “Get Free Proposals” button and you’re off.
LinkedIn looks to find the best person suited for your request from area freelance professionals, like myself, and sends the recommendations to you.
For those who are looking to get hired, Profinder also helps you to get clients. Click here to get started.
The competition for social engagement is heating up with the announcement from YouTube that it is launching YouTube Community.
YouTube calls it a “simple way to engage with your viewers and express yourself beyond video.”
Brands soon will be able to text, post live videos, images, animated GIFs and more in real time. Viewers will be able to see the posts in the subscriptions feed on their phones and can opt into getting a notification anytime a post is made. It looks sort of like a hybrid of various social media channels all in one place.
In its beta stage, the new tab is only available to a select group of YouTube creators right now, but YouTube says plans are to make the Community tab available to everyone in the months ahead.
To see how it works, you can check out the vlogbrothers an Internet-based show created and hosted by novelist John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) and Hank Green (co-creator of VidCon) or singer and producer Peter Hollens.
Ironically, earlier this month YouTube notified the vlogbrothers that some of their videos were not approved for monetization because the content was not advertiser friendly. The company giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other.
The idea is to allow YouTube creators to interact on a more personal level with their viewers than just posting and responding to comments.
With so many social media options, one has to wonder how valuable this new community tab will be. What do you think?
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience. In addition to public relations, she provides web content writing, press releases, social media, photography and videography. She has two daughters, three golden retrievers and two cats, but just one guinea pig who is happy not to have to share his cage or his daily stash of veggies with anyone.
My daughter loves to watch YouTube videos of young women talking about their “hauls” or in the language of us older folk – the things they recently bought at their favorite store(s). From the hottest shade of lipstick and nail polish to the newest fashion craze to what’s hot in music – she’s on top of it.
In fact, these videos even inspired her to launch her own YouTube channel, which surprisingly has nearly 500 followers with one of her videos reaching 8,500 views! Not too bad for a 14-year-old.
Back in the “old days” our purchases were influenced by friends, classmates, TV commercials, magazine ads, and even who was on our cereal boxes. But today social media influencers are pushing those traditional forms aside, at least that’s the conclusion of a new study conducted by Twitter and analytics firm Annalect.
The study found that 40 percent of those people asked said they purchased an item online after having seen it used by a social media influencer on YouTube, Vine, Twitter or Instagram. It went on to find that 20 percent of respondents shared what influencers were promoting -- nothing like word-of-mouth to boost sales.
Among other findings:
These days just about everyone – from your teenage daughter to your grandmother – is on social media. They think that posting photos to Facebook or messages on Twitter makes them an expert. But, it’s a totally different scenario when you are talking about managing social media for your business.
You would not hand over the keys to your office to someone who you just hired and whom you know nothing about. Why would you hand over your usernames and passwords and let them “have a go” at handling your company’s social media? Yet, it does happen.
Your company’s social media is its calling card. It presents its image or brand. Handing over your company’s social media responsibilities to someone who was not hired specifically to handle social media can (and often times has for many companies) become a recipe for disaster.
First and foremost, the person who you put in charge of your social media needs to understand your business and how you want it to be represented to the public. They need to know what products or services you provide, who your target audience is, who your competition is and how you want to deal with those who engage with your company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
These days it’s hard to find someone who isn’t using some kind of social media – either for business or pleasure. We have Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts, Instagram and LinkedIn … to name a few. We are a generation of people who communicate not with each other, but to our electronic devices and – in some ways – this scares me.
Don’t get me wrong; social media has its place. I use it throughout the day as part of my public relations and marketing efforts for my clients and myself. But as the parent of a soon-to-be teenager and an 11-year-old, I am struggling with the “How much is too much?” question. Last year, Pew Institute published some interesting statistics about where and what teens were posting. It’s very telling.
A few months ago, after much discussion, I allowed my older daughter to sign up for Instagram with the caveat that there will be rules AND that mom gets to monitor her. She’s smart enough to know what she can and can’t post and knows she will lose the privilege and her account if she breaks the rules. (We even drafted a written contract).
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.