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.
To be clear, a virtual assistant 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 strategists. Want to know what they’re great at? Implementation of your strategy.
This means that a virtual assistant can be your right hand when it comes to social media campaigns, taking care of tasks that keep your strategy in motion. Here’s what to know about building social campaigns and where virtual assistants can help.
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 business owners end up failing with social media or feel overwhelmed by it 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 audience. You should also understand what success looks like — how will you measure it?
Document procedures for your 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 VA 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 VA to your thought processes with social media
How a VA can help with social media campaigns
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 a VA 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 VA can help with your social media campaigns:
- VAs can monitor your social media campaigns
- They can monitor and engage with your audience
- They can research and draft content
- They can help manage your network
- They can create reports
- They can set up plugins or apps
Monitoring social media 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 VA may be able to respond within your guidelines.
Monitoring and engaging with your 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 virtual assistant can be trained to respond to your audience within your guidelines. You don’t ever want to get into the sort of situation where a negative comment goes unanswered or escalates, then things can really blow up! (As Qantas and Nestle, among other large companies have found!)
To do this well, the VA will need to have a great understanding of your preferences and voice on social media. 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.
“A virtual assistant isn’t a social media strategist, but they can help with implementation.”
Researching and drafting content
Besides having clear guidelines, consider creating a content plan template. This should outline each day of the week, the type of post to share, and the channels through which to share them.
Your virtual assistant can then research and source content based on your requests. They can draft posts, and it’s up to you whether you prefer to check those posts first, or if you’re comfortable that they can go ahead and schedule them. Many virtual assistants will happily create images for your posts too.
Helping 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 virtual assistant could also research groups on platforms such as LinkedIn, bringing you ideas for people to connect with and groups to join too.
Gathering data and preparing reports can be a significant time commitment, but it’s a valuable practice for tracking your progress and gaining insight into any trends. A virtual assistant can track and measure key metrics that support your overall goals.
It’s up to you how often you need reporting, but for many businesses, a monthly report and chance to review strategy works out well. It can be overwhelming to get reports too often, and realistically, there’s not a lot of data to examine over a week as compared to a month.
“Social media reports help you track your progress and gain insight into any trend.”
Set up plugins or apps
If you use Facebook for your business, there are a number of plugins or apps available to give you extra features on your page. Some of these can be a bit time-consuming or fiddly to set up. This is something a virtual assistant may be able to help you with (unless there is complicated coding involved). For example, there are plugins or apps for other social media channels, competitions, and more.
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 busy business owners!
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.