Updated: Mar 3
On my first day of studying my Journalism MA my lecturer addressed the room of jittery, budding journalists with a final piece of advice: “if you don’t already have a Twitter account, make sure you set one up soon!” After years avoiding the amorphous threat of any “Twitter discourse”, I resigned myself to the fact that, for the foreseeable future, creative endeavours were linked to online self-promotion.
A little research would reveal the same thing, but we at MUSTA, are determined to offer creatives the best-researched arguments, designed to enhance their professional lives. So, is social media a necessity in the life of the freelance creative?
Argument: No, social media is designed to be a social platform not a professional one.
Deciding to professionally invest in your online person can sometimes be more stress than its worth. Many creatives elect to set up separate social media accounts, designed to network effectively. Unfortunately, that can often lead to more time spent online, wasting time rather than effectively seeking out job opportunities and connecting with fellow creatives. As Maddyness argued in their piece ‘8 reasons why social media isn’t the right place to hire creative freelancers’ – “It’s important to keep in mind that social media encourages quick and impersonal interactions.”
Ultimately, most creatives don’t understand how to effectively wield social media, frequently misunderstanding the science of these platforms. Unaware of how best to present themselves.
Argument: With the right help, social media is an effective way to make professional connections.
The impact of social media is undeniable. According to a Linkedin survey, 37% of employers that were asked, admitted that they searched social media for job opportunities. Furthermore, Statista claims that as of 2021, 81% of Americans have a social media account. As such, social media is the quickest, easiest way to connect with likeminded creatives, with the quantity of people online it acts as a constant, high-profile networking event. Finessing your social media presence requires focus and knowledge, but as Paul Aitken pointed out in an article for Relevance, social media is “an office for the next generation.”
Personally speaking, I am grateful for the encouragement to get a Twitter account, to seek out work opportunities on social media. Even when it has not yielded the most fruitful results, it has proved an engaging, entertaining way to encounter other peoples’ artistic interests and pursuits. If nothing else, you will have countless articles, books, films, albums and TV shows recommended, gradually they will inform each step in your career developments.
If you need help with effectively wielding your social media account reach out to MUSTA for assistance!