"I'm an Entrepreneur not a Social Media Expert !" - then hire a VA to do it for you !
Social Media Tasks for Your Virtual Assistant to Handle
First things first, if you've hired a VA to handle your social media you'll need to make sure that you’ve got your VA setup with access, it’s important to give them a clear understanding of how you handle social media yourself and what you would like them to be responsible for going forward. This will allow your VA to gain some insight into your thought processes and he/she will be able to take this into account when carrying out tasks.
To make this as easy as possible on both you, and your virtual staff, I’ve kept things simple here (using some of my own personal experiences to help), but I have been sure to include the most important social media tasks you should be engaging in on a regular basis.
Hand these over to your amazing VA !
1. Researching and Drafting Content – Social media is a content-driven environment. People expect you to churn out value, even at 140 characters. This is the reason why links and quotes are so popular whether on Facebook, or LinkedIn. They’re just so easy to digest.
Finding quotes, links and images that you can share can be quite time consuming. Enter the virtual assistant.
"At Your Office Genie we come up with a list of prospective posts per week for each client, sort of like a calendar, and the client approves it."
Once your VA has the final posts, she then schedules them on Hootsuite at pre-determined times.
Important note on Facebook posts: I suggest that you ask your VA to use Facebook’s internal scheduling feature instead of Hootsuite. Facebook can have issues with third party apps, where posts scheduled using such tools actually get less exposure – so keep that in mind for the ‘big brother’ of social media. We've also tried this with Recur Post too and Facebook's own scheduler deffinitely ensured more exposure of posts !
2. Monitoring and Engaging with Your Audience – One angry Tweet left unanswered can turn into a PR shitstorm. That is why public personalities and brands spend a lot of time and money on managing social media.
This is where it’s really handy to have a VA as your wing(wo)man. They can help you set up alerts and feeds to monitor mentions of your name, your products and services, your brand, etc., across the internet. You can use Tweetdeck, Google Alerts or even the cool service, Mention.net.
I love this service, as it sends an email to you (or your VA!) every day telling you who’s been mentioning you across the web. You simply click on the links to see what they said, and can react accordingly – if it’s a simple ‘thanks for mentioning me’, or ‘hey, lets talk and sort this out’. Excellent tool and free to get started with – although it limits the number of the mentions it tells you about, until you upgrade to the pro version.
If you’re using Hootsuite, create streams/feeds for certain keywords and @mentions and your VA can monitor things directly from within the dashboard, and handle things accordingly.
3. Building & Managing your Network – Ask your VA to follow / friend / connect with new people based on criteria. On Twitter, your VA will also need to unfollow people who aren’t active on Twitter, or appear to be spam.
One tool that can help your VA do this efficiently is ManageFiltter. This service allows you to unfollow people you’ve followed who; do not follow you back, are inactive, have no profile image, don’t speak English and much more. It also allows you to follow several people with just a stroke of your hand, as well as filter and copy another person’s followers. You can also use the service to automatically follow people who followed you.
A client of Your Office Genie recently did a huge purge on their Twitter account, and ended up with a much stronger looking profile from a social proof standpoint. Not only that, but now their Twitter newsfeed only lists tweets from those that they really want to follow for whatever reason.
Your Office Genie VA's used ManageFiltter to handle that task, and it took less than a day to complete!
Interaction is hugely important when it comes to social media, and sharing and commenting on content which is not your own is key to developing your network. Promote industry leaders in your niche (thus elevating and promoting your own profile). The Genie's recommend keeping to a 70/30 rule and only link back to your own site three out of every ten shares. An overly promotional approach won’t go down well with your followers. This is where pictures, videos and quotes come in handy.
There are lots of different ways to encourage social interaction online, here are some ideas to get you started, all of which can be handled by your virtual assistant:
Post a ‘question of the week’ poll encouraging interaction.
Add a video from Youtube and comment.
Share relevant article or link in your niche.
Occasional simple status updates.
Interaction on complimentary pages/comments/news feed monitoring.
Like pages in your niche.
Like and interact with the biggest names in your niche.
Inspirational and Funny Images and Quotes.
Thank new followers.
Interact with re-tweeters and replies/
4. Create a Monthly Report on Metrics – For many small business owners, social media ROI is hard to measure, and I do agree. This is why you have to have goals, even when it comes to social media. You need to define your goals so you’ll know whether or not social media is working for you. Here are a few examples of social media goals that you can put in place and have your VA measure and keep track of:
Increase your Facebook likes by 40% in the next 3-months.
Get to 1000 Twitter followers by the end of the month.
Focus on building awareness of a landing page via twitter, with regular tweets through the month.
Have a certain Google+ status +1’d a minimum of 25 times.
To monitor your progress, you’ll need a metrics report drawn up by your VA every couple of weeks, or every month. It’ll track likes, followers, RTs, @mentions, and link-backs, among other stats that you want to have handy to figure out where your social focus should be.
5. Managing Your Social Media Profiles – All social networks update their design. Facebook is now beta testing a Page design where the About section is overlaid on the cover photo. Twitter updated the profile design last year. YouTube just recently changed channel design to include cover art and a channel trailer. These changes can pass you by if you’re not looking out for them.
You won’t have to “miss” these updates if you have a VA on top of things. I have talked about personal branding before (and will again!) and the importance of having a similar image across all networks so that people instantly recognize you and your service. Make sure this is complete for all social networks and the about pages are up to date.
6. Taking Control of Your Facebook Ads – If you are planning on expanding your audience with Facebook Ads, then you can have your VA set up the Ad campaigns based on your criteria. Facebook allows you to drill down who you want to see your ads and it’s a powerful tool for connecting with your target audience. Your VA can also track and report the results of the Ad campaigns. When working with paid advertisements it is important to split test with images and anchor text to determine which adds report the most impressions and generate the most leads/sales.
7. Creating New Pages and Accounts – You can have your virtual assistant create a Facebook page for your business, or side projects. Many online entrepreneurs have more than one hustle (imagine that!!!), and this can mean a need for more than one account with different social networks. These take time to set up and new Twitter accounts also require you to set up, with a new e-mail address.
Why waste time doing this when you can have your VA do it?
8. Maintain a Social Media Weekly Planner – Keeping a weekly planner in place for your every day status updates is a good way to make sure that ‘something’ is going out on a daily basis. This doesn’t need to be too complex. Just pick the social platforms you are most active on (for me in Facebook, Twitter and Google+, as you can see below in the example image), and have your VA put ideas together for you. You can then have your VA gather the information and discuss it with them on a weekly, or monthly Skype chat.
9. Installing Apps on Your Facebook Page – If you want to spruce up your page, there’s an app for that! Facebook Apps can be a bit of a pain to install. Have your VA search for the apps you would like to have on your page and install them. You can have YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more! I suggest having a Web Developer VA handle this task for you, if possible.
10. Run and Manage Social Competitions – This is a great way to get people sharing your content and connected to your social network. Make it something that will get people excited. Even a Kindle giveaway would generate a lot of hype for your brand. Try to make the contest involve something that engages people and go through how you want things promoted with your VA, so they know what to do, and what not to do (and promise!).
11. Handle Your Competitive Analysis – Keeping tabs on your competition is a big part of any successful business model and you should be gathering valuable information on what it is that your competitors are doing on social media.
Have they been growing faster than you? What are they sharing? Are they hosting competitions? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself. If your competitors are progressing more rapidly across their social media accounts, then you need to determine what their social media strategy is and replicate it better then they are doing. You can have your VA take screenshots of the biggest competitors in your niche and compare their growth with yours on a monthly basis, along with what it is they have been doing.
You can’t begin to imagine the freedom you will have when you stop spending hours on social media every day.
The problem with social media is that it sucks you in, like I said earlier. You can’t honestly say that every time you log into Facebook, you don’t get side-tracked and start browsing. People spend far too much time being unproductive when on social sites. This is not good business sense in the 21st century and the best way to solve this problem is to have your VA manage your social accounts, so you can focus on the money making aspects of your business.
Everybody’s strategy will be different when going virtual with their social media management. If you profit from Facebook Ad campaigns, or sell affiliate products via Twitter, then you are going to have a much more aggressive approach than someone who is building their brand for selling eBooks and info-products.
Clearly define exactly what it is that you are trying to achieve with your social media campaigns and then set goals and guidelines accordingly. You’re not paying your VA to potter around on social media, it is a part of your business strategy and should have measurable results.
Have your VA keep track of the statistics and watch your online presence grow with more engagement happening, as well as additional leads and potential customers coming through the marketing funnel at you.
What social media tasks are you handling right now that you could easily have virtual staff handle for you? Let me know below if you have any questions, The Genie's would love to help you gain a little more freedom in your day-to-day business activities.