Social media campaigns can take up a lot of your time. The thing is, successful campaigns aren’t created with a “set and forget” method--they require monitoring, interacting, and potentially making changes based on feedback.
For any business owner, this can be a difficult prospect, especially when you consider everything else you need to do to run your business. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, virtual assistant services can help.
Here are some of the ways a virtual assistant (VA) can help you with your social media channels.
The Benefits of Using a VA for Your Social Media Platforms
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of using online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help in your business development--to build relationships and interact with your potential and current customers. It’s a way to connect with your audience on a personal level, which can increase brand recognition and sales.
In order for online marketing to be effective, it needs to be strategic. That means having a plan in place for what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there.
What Is the Difference between a Social Media Manager and a Social Media Virtual Assistant?
To be clear, a VA is not a social media manager. That is an entirely different job role, usually with a very particular skill-set honed on social media. Virtual assistants know social media, but they’re not social media managers.
A social media manager is responsible for creating and managing social media accounts. This includes creating content and developing strategies.
A social media virtual assistant, on the other hand, is responsible for carrying out online marketing tasks. This could include crafting social media posts, scheduling content, responding to comments, and performing content research.
While a social media manager oversees the entire strategy, a VA focuses on the details that keep the wheels turning.
This means that a virtual assistant can be your right hand when it comes to taking care of social media tasks that keep your strategy in motion.
How Can a Virtual Assistant Help with My Social Media Presence?
Given that a virtual assistant’s role is to implement rather than strategize, you may be wondering about how that will work. What tasks can social media VAs do within those parameters?
Actually, they can do a lot of the time-consuming things that otherwise eat into your day.
Let’s look at some examples of how a virtual assistant can help with your social media campaigns:
Social Media Virtual Assistants Can Monitor Your Campaigns
First, let’s talk ad campaigns. These can be a brilliant and relatively cost-effective way of bringing you more engagement on social media, but they need to be set up and managed well.
This means following your strategy to put the social media campaign in place, then monitoring it while it is active.
Your virtual assistant can:
- set up ad campaigns based upon your directions
- source images for campaigns
- track and report on campaign results
- potentially help with social media campaign ideas
Another important thing to monitor is any comments that these ad campaigns bring in.
Sometimes, there may be comments that need responding to, while other times there will be some that need blocking or deleting. Unfortunately, there are often trolls who target ad campaigns! Your social media VA may be able to respond within your guidelines.
Social Media Virtual Assistants Can Engage with Your target Audience
A huge part of social media is that it’s meant to be “social.” This means that if you don’t get around to responding to any engagement, it’s easy to lose it altogether.
A good social media VA can be trained to respond to your target audience within your guidelines. You don’t ever want to get into the sort of situation where negative comments go unanswered or escalate, then things can really blow up! (As Qantas and Nestle, among other large companies have found!)
To do this well, the virtual assistant will need to have a great understanding of your preferences and brand voice on your social media platform. They’ll also need to know when it might be appropriate to escalate an issue.
For product or service-related questions, you could help them out by devising a knowledge base or list of FAQs from which they can draw answers.
social Media Virtual Assistants Can Do Research and Draft Content
Your virtual assistant can research and source relevant content based on your requests. They can:
help with brainstorming topics related to your niche
research those topics (within guidelines that you set)
draft the social media content in a Google Doc or similar
Once the piece is drafted, they can even help with sourcing images, creating graphics, and scheduling the post. This means that all you or your social media manager needs to do is hop into edit mode, finesse the piece, then hit publish! How easy is that?
Social Media Virtual Assistants Can Manage Your Calendar
A social media virtual assistant can be an absolute godsend when it comes to managing a content calendar. This can ensure that:
you’re always aware of what’s scheduled to go live and when
you have time to review anything before it goes live
posts are going up even when you’re out of the office or on vacation
This is a huge weight off of your shoulders, as you no longer need to worry about what’s happening on your multiple social media accounts while you’re away. You can simply enjoy your time off and leave the content in capable hands!
Social Media Virtual Assistants Can Help to Manage Your Network
A key strategy for social media is to follow and connect with the right people. This is something your virtual assistant can help you to manage.
The aim is to have a strong social media profile. You don’t want to find yourself following a bunch of spam or inactive accounts, and you want to be able to find the people that best fit with your message.
Your virtual assistant can use a tool such as ManageFlitter to efficiently take care of your Twitter account, using the filters that you decide to be appropriate.
A social media virtual assistant could also research groups on platforms such as LinkedIn, bringing you ideas for people to connect with and groups to join too.
Social Media Virtual Assistants Can Set up Plugins or Apps
There are dozens of social media plugins and apps available to make your life easier. A social media virtual assistant can help you to:
research which ones might be most suitable for you
set them up
troubleshoot any issues that may arise
The best part is that once these are set up, they should save you time in the long run!
Social Media Virtual Assistants Can Help with Reporting
Finally, a social media virtual assistant can help with reporting on your campaigns and activity. This includes gathering data. compiling it into a report, and presenting it to you in an easily digestible format.
You may request that this happen on a weekly or monthly basis, or even just after a campaign has ended. It really depends on your needs and preferences.
This can help you to understand:
which existing content pieces are performing well and why
when might be the best times for posting content
who your audience is and where they’re from
This data can then be used to inform future social media marketing strategy, helping you to get even better results over time!
"A virtual assistant isn’t a social media strategist, but they can help with implementation."
What Are Some Tips for Working with a Virtual Assistant to Manage Your Social Media?
Now that you know all of the ways in which a social media virtual assistant can help you, it’s time for some tips on working with one!
Be Clear about Your Objectives
Before you start working with a social media virtual assistant, or any virtual assistant for that matter, it’s important to be clear about your objectives.
After all, they can only help you to achieve what you want to achieve if they know what that is! So take some time to sit down and think about your goals for your social media accounts. This could include:
- increasing brand identity
- driving traffic to your website
- generating leads or sales
Once you have these objectives in mind, you can then start to look for a social media virtual assistant that can help you to achieve them.
Document Your Social Media Strategy
Documenting your social media strategy is important, not just for the benefit of your virtual assistant, but to help set the direction for your own activities. A social media strategy is just one part of an overall digital marketing strategy—this should form part of an overarching brand strategy.
Remember, a virtual assistant is an implementer, not a social media strategist, and their rates generally reflect this fact. If you need help with devising your overall strategy, hiring someone with specific social media management expertise would be your best course of action.
A key reason that most small business owners end up failing with their social media channels or feel overwhelmed by them is that they don’t have good structure and strategy in place. Social media is “doing them” rather than the other way around and far too much time is wasted. A virtual assistant can certainly help with this overwhelm, but they’re in a better position to do so once your strategy is clear.
Strategy involves several aspects, including setting specific goals and clearly defining your target audience. You should also understand what success looks like—how will you measure it?
Document Procedures for Your Social Media Virtual Assistant
Where does your virtual assistant fit into your social media campaign strategy? Get this down in black and white too.
For example, you should consider:
- What regular tasks will the social media virtual assistant perform?
- What process should they follow to complete those tasks?
- When should they escalate any issues to you?
- What level of access will you give them to accounts?
- How will you orientate your virtual assistant to your thought processes with your social media channels?
Select the Right Virtual Assistant
Not all virtual assistants are created equal! When it comes to social media, you want to make sure that you select a virtual assistant that has experience and expertise in this area.
Look for someone who:
understands social media algorithms
knows how to create engaging content
has a good eye for design
is up-to-date on the latest trends
These are just a few of the things to look for in a social media virtual assistant. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that they fit with your budget and are available when you need them.
Social media is a key part of doing business for most companies today. However, doing social media well requires time and effort—things that can be in short supply for small businesses!
A virtual assistant is not a social media strategist, but they are great at helping with the implementation of your social media campaigns and strategies. Set them up for success by clearly documenting your strategy and processes. Your virtual assistant can help you take back big chunks of your time once they’re up-to-speed with your social media accounts!
Looking for more ways that a virtual assistant can help you with? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Virtual Assistants. This guide will walk you through all the types of work that a virtual assistant can do for you along with showing you the steps necessary to make your virtual assistant excel.