Do freelancers need Social Media? – A survey among independent IT-experts

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In former times, freelancers and contractors were using non-digital sources and instruments to ping a clients’ attention and land gigs, such as cold calls, personal networking or even letters. But things are changing fast and nowadays freelancers find themselves in a world full of new digital instruments, sources and channels for their marketing activities and project acquisition.

One of these “new-fashioned” channels are Social Media Networks and Business Networks. And it almost seems that today’s life can’t be thought without Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Co. anymore. Although every 6-year old child already knows how to post on a facebook timeline or how to tweet, it’s still difficult to say how Social Media can and will be used in the future to succeed as a freelancer. As IT-experts are on the “navel of the IT-world”, we have conducted a survey among our worldwide users at freelancermap.com, asking them how they use Social Media as a freelancer for business purposes. Here are the results!


Social Media? No thanks!

Surprisingly it seems that IT-freelancers are not the biggest fans of Social Media, at least for business purposes. The majority (56.4 %) of the survey participants confirmed not to use any Social Networks within their working life, neither for making contacts nor for self-presentation. Only less than half of the interviewed IT-freelancers (43.6 %) are using Social Media as a Marketing tool. But the exception proves the rule! In fact, 13.7 % of the consulted freelancers confirmed to use Social Media to acquire projects or to find a new job. This is not surprising at all since a lot of companies and job boards nowadays do not only publish their vacancies on their homepage, but on their social profiles, communities and public interest groups as well. Further 12.9 % of the IT-experts stated to make contacts and maintain business relations via their social accounts. Furthermore Social Media is used by 8.6 % of the interviewed IT-freelancers to inform about the latest trends and news in the IT-market. Another group of IT-experts (8.4 %) consider that it is advisable to present their skills, references and experiences in form of a profile in their elected Social Network.
 
Country-specific differences
It´s also interesting to note that there are obviously different habits in using Social Media for business purposes according to the origin of the freelancers. Whereas freelancers from the US or India seem to be more open to the idea of using Facebook and Twitter to acquire jobs and new clients, freelancers in Germany don’t attach Social Media a significant value in their working life. Only 32.5 % of the interviewed German IT-experts ever did use Social Networks for business purposes. In comparison, the worldwide group of professional Social Media users is more than twice as high (72.5 %) as the number of German freelancers. It is, however, questionable in this context where the great difference between the nations comes from?
 
Find jobs and get found via Social Media!
 
A lot of job sites, companies and recruiters nowadays provide job postings and project leads via Twitter feeds, LinkedIn groups or Facebook pages, e.g. freelancermap.com publishes daily updates on the latest remote project offers on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/freelancermapInternational) , Twitter (https://twitter.com/freelancer_INT) and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/communities/115484467931850176818?hl=de). Follow your favorite job sites and companies or simply search for keywords and job titles to be informed about potential vacancies.
 
According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com (source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/16/how-social-media-can-help-or-hurt-your-job-search/), many recruiters and employers nowadays use Facebook, Twitter and Co. to screen applicants and potential candidates. In reverse you as a freelancer must decide if you want to be found by this group of recruiters and companies online. If you decide to take part in the Social Media job carousel – do it 100%! Build compelling and professional profiles, keep them up to date and mind that all the things you do online can be found by potential employers and used against you. For detailed tips on how to use Social Media like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter please visit our freelancer tips at: https://www.freelancermap.com/freelancer-tips.

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© Author: Doreen Schollmeier – freelancermap.com team 
© Pic: Doreen Schollmeier – freelancermap.com
Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

By Natalia Campana

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