Businesses today rely heavily on social media to grow and succeed. A strong social media presence helps you reach more people, regardless of whether you are running an online business or a bricks-and-mortar business. Sixty-three percent of small business owners and proprietors surveyed by BIC Agency said they spend between one and five hours per week on social media. However, for some business owners, social media consumes more than twenty hours a week.
For some entrepreneurs building their social media presence can seem daunting. If that is you, you might want to consider hiring a social media virtual assistant to help you with your social media marketing. Virtual assistants are experts you can hire at an hourly or daily rate who work remotely and are a cost-efficient way of bringing in skills and expertise. Planning and executing a good social media marketing strategy takes plenty of research and time - and time is something many senior executives lack. In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about social media virtual assistants, why they might be useful to you, and what tasks you can assign them to do.
Social media virtual assistants do everything a full-time employee can do except they work from a remote location. These tasks include:
Some social media virtual assistants may also be able to manage other tasks for you, such as account management, managing feature requests, project management, dealing with customer service issues, and other tasks.
Employing a virtual assistant means you don’t have to worry about adding people to your payroll and all the complications around that - it keeps things simple. A virtual assistant will work as many or as few hours as you need.
Virtual assistants have niche skills and are specialists in their field. You should be hiring someone who knows their market inside out. The most in-demand virtual assistant skill in 2019 was social media management and there are plenty out there to choose from - take your time to make sure you are bringing the right skills on board.
Even if you have an existing marketing strategy, a social media virtual assistant can help you manage your social channels, provide a deeper understanding of how your brand is performing, and how you can improve reach and engagement. There will be an element of trust. You will be granting them access to your social media and trusting them to make the right decisions. For this reason, it’s important to hire someone with a good track record and who you feel you can work closely with.
Research is vital if your social media campaigns are to be effective. Researching your market, your audience, and your potential audience helps you connect to the right people at the right time. A social media virtual assistant can help with this.
Content is the hook that engages people - they want to see something interesting and relevant to their aims and interests. A good virtual social media assistant will create ideas and content that your audience will want to engage with and respond to. They should be able to design and write content and schedule it across your social platforms using tools like Hootsuite or Buffer or SMM raja.
With a content calendar, you can see what content or posts you will produce for the next week, month, or even the entire year in some cases. This isn’t set in stone - you will make adjustments as needed, but it’s a good place to start. There are plenty of tools to help with this, such as Trello or Later, and your virtual assistant should be familiar with these.
Editing images and creating video content is a great skill to have but not all social media assistants can provide this service. If this is part of your social media output, make sure you hire someone who is up to speed with these skills and can produce great-looking images and video sequences.
A well-written blog can be crucial to getting organic traffic to your website. Many writers do however struggle with creating a blog that reads well and also incorporates well-researched keywords so that the blog is ranked well on Google. This is a real skill and you may want to consider hiring a specialist virtual assistant that concentrates specifically on producing well-written, SEO-friendly blogs.
A social media assistant's job also includes proofreading and editing content - blog posts for example. Things like spelling and grammar errors reflect badly on your brand. It’s worth spending time getting your content professionally proofread and edited.
As you begin to grow your audience, you will get more followers commenting on your social media posts. This sort of feedback will help you identify the type of content your audience likes and shares. More shares mean more followers and more website visitors. If you are sending out emails as part of your marketing activities, there are a number of email clients you can use - Mozilla Thunderbird has proved popular but there are a number of useful alternatives. Your virtual assistant should also be familiar with social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite, Buzzsumo, and Mention plus the growing use of artificial intelligence means you can use increasingly intelligent chatbots to enhance the customer experience on your website.
Finally, it’s important to monitor and analyse the results of your marketing campaigns. This will identify if your campaigns are set up correctly and are reaching the right people. A good social media assistant will carefully analyse how your campaigns and posts are doing and report back to you. Have you hit your targets in terms of new followers or increased page views? You need to know. This feedback and analysis will inform and improve future campaigns.
There are a couple of options:
For some companies, hiring a social media virtual assistant makes sense and is a cost-effective solution. It means you can concentrate on your business and outsource the social media function to an external expert. The secret to making this work is to take your time and ensure you engage someone who understands your organisation and has the skills to make your social media content stand out from the crowd.
by Crispino | 24 Jan 22
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