Does this sound at all familiar? You set up your social media accounts, knowing that having a social media strategy is an essential part of driving visibility for your business.
You start out well, posting regularly and seeing some engagement, but managing those accounts takes a lot of time. Time you don’t really have.
Social media is now on the “we should do this better” list.
Soon, your activity fizzes out on your social media channels because you don’t have the time or resources to manage them well yourself. Maybe you’ve looked at some of the social media tools available, but you still need to have the time to actually use them! You know you should be doing more, but then you’d have to take time away from other vital activities. Social media is now on the “we should do this better” list.
This is the story for many small businesses: with so many things to manage, it’s little wonder social media goes to the backburner. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to upscale your social media strategy.
Here’s how a virtual assistant can help to get your social media accounts running effectively:
1. Follow-through on social media strategy
Virtual assistants are great implementers - sometimes you’ll even find one who will help to contribute to your overall social media strategy. Importantly though, they’re there to ensure that the strategy you have in place is followed-through.
For anyone who has ever had great plans of “we’re going to have five Facebook posts each day, 10 tweets, and we’re going to be engaging in community posts,” you can soon find that you need to be managing those accounts almost full time (which is why many companies employ a social media manager!).
You may not be in a position yet to devote a full-time team member to marketing and social media, but you can have your VA there to keep the wheels turning on your current strategy. Some of the keys to doing social media well are to post regularly, solicit engagement, and be responsive - all things a VA can do. The bottom line is that a VA helps you to maintain a social media presence.
2. Source and schedule posts
The piece of managing social media for business that tends to take up the most time is actually sourcing the material you are going to share in posts. Ideally, you want to maximize your time, so sitting down and planning a heap of posts in one hit, then scheduling via a social media tool can be most efficient.
For most businesses, this is an activity that can take several hours at a time, which is why this important task can fall to the “later” pile. The problem is that later never quite arrives and you quickly experience a fall in social media engagement when you’re not posting regularly.
Fortunately, a savvy VA can take over the sourcing and scheduling of posts, keeping your accounts regularly updated.
For example, we ask our VAs to:
- Gather and edit images - perhaps adding a quote for posting to accounts.
- Take snippets out of our content for posting on social media.
- Research and find interesting and relevant articles, videos or graphics to post.
Some people worry that by handing social media posting off to another person, they might lose their way, or their own “voice” on their channels. This doesn’t have to be the case though - keeping a VA involved with overall strategy will help to clarify what you need so that they can deliver it for you.
3. Respond and engage
By nature, the point of using social media for business is to be social. This means being responsive to comments and messages, engaging in conversations, and doing so in a timely manner. Many businesses, including the big brands, do a poor job of this, yet it can make all the difference in social media success.
Consider the following statistics, rounded up by Sprout Social:
- 89% of social media messages to brands go ignored.
- The average response time for a brand to reply on social media to a user is 10 hours, while the average user will only wait 4 hours.
- The top choice for a customer care channel is social media.
Of course, customer preferences will vary depending on who your target demographics are, but you get the point. Customer expectation is increasingly toward fast response times and availability on social media. You are creating an impression of your business every time you post, and every time you are slow to respond, or fail to respond altogether.
This is another area that a VA can handle. They can respond to messages and engage with comments in posts. You can come up with standards which they observe, including if or when an issue might need escalating. At the very least, if you receive a message that demands “customer care,” a VA can acknowledge that their message has been received and that someone will respond as soon as possible.
4. Ads and marketing campaigns
Your social media marketing strategy should always involve some amount of paid advertising to reach your target audience. Platforms such as Facebook provide excellent targeting tools to help you narrow down your audience, but setting this up, along with putting your ads together, is another time-consuming task. This is another area in which VAs are excellent implementers. You just need to strategize and know what you want, and they can set it up, right down to creating your target audience profiles.
Another important part of social media marketing campaigns is to monitor results and make small changes, if necessary. Usually, you would run an ad for at least a week before looking at whether it is performing to your expectations. Your VA can help with this monitoring, including making those small changes to find out what will get you results. Don’t allow ineffective ad campaigns to continue running unchecked - you don’t want to waste your money!
A Virtual Assistant company can be the answer to helping out with performance management and other HR issues. For example, a VA who comes to you via The Virtual Hub is an employee of our company, hired to serve yours. The entire HR side including quality assurance and performance is managed by our company.
5. Testing and monitoring results
Most social media platforms also provide analytics so that you can gather insights into your audience, understand preferences, and get a good idea of what types of posts or content are the most popular. If you are using scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, they also have analytics available, particularly around engagement.
There’s a saying “what gets measured gets managed,” and this is important for your social media strategy too. If you want to see results and make improvements, then you need to be watching those analytics and using them to help you manage your account.
Yep, that’s another potentially time-consuming task, but your VA can take care of this too. To ensure you get the information that will help to guide decisions on social media, choose which metrics are the most important to monitor. Your VA could then set up a monthly or weekly report, condensing data to only the most relevant information. This helps you to make smart decisions quickly, without having to sort data and pore over the analytics section yourself.
Social media can be an excellent tool for driving visibility and engagement for your business, but it can also help to give the “wrong” impression if you don’t keep up with it. The trick is to be posting regularly and to be actively engaging with your audience - both of which take up a lot of time!
What gets measured, gets managed.
If you’re ready to upscale your social media strategy, then a VA is the perfect person to help you do it. While a VA is not necessarily a “social media manager” or strategist, they are great at implementing your strategy. This will help to keep you consistent.
Ready to find out more about what a VA can do to help you and your business? Book a consultation with our Virtual Hub team today - we’re happy to chat with you!
You can also read our Ultimate Guide to Virtual Assistants which will guide you through everything that you need to know about when it comes to having a virtual assistant with topics such as how you can hire one, how you can manage one effectively, and how to overcome the challenges that you might face when you decide to have one.