Social media is now a vital sales and marketing channel. But it can take over your life and significantly reduce the amount of time you actually spend on your business. You’ll be amazed by how refreshing it is to have someone take the burden away from you – someone who can strategically and professionally manage, grow and bring a real benefit from your accounts – your social media hero.
Marketing your business through social media
Social media – even if you use it personally – can be a bit of a black hole as far as your business is concerned. Which platforms do you use? What do you say? Who should you follow? How often should you post? What works and what doesn’t?
You can waste a lot of time on social media trial and error, and still not get things quite right. And you need to be completely on the ball, so that you’re responding to people who interact with you, and dealing with both bouquets and brickbats in a timely and effective manner that reflects well on your business.
This is why more and more businesses are saving their sanity with virtual assistants – experts who understand social media and can manage it all for you so that you can concentrate on running your business.
Developing a social media profile
Passing your social media management on to someone else might sound a bit worrying at first. They will be posting and interacting on your behalf, so you need to be absolutely confident about how they are going to handle this part of your marketing strategy. But actually, there’s no need to worry. You can start by talking to your potential virtual assistant about the best platforms to use. If you decide to have a fully-managed service across all your channels, then your social media virtual assistant will talk to you about:
- Developing your profile – ensuring you choose the best platforms for your business; the ones which will reach your target audience.
- Building your online brand – ensuring that your profile pages reflect your brand, using your logos and colours, having good quality pictures and relevant descriptions of your business. See our blog, “Improve your social media profile – tips to make you stand out online“
- Agreeing a tone of voice – setting out the things you would and wouldn’t say, to ensure your brand looks and feels professional and is consistent with your other communications, and with what customers experience when they deal with you.
- Look at scheduling software – the easiest way to manage posts on your social media feeds is to schedule them in advance. This is efficient and effective, and allows you to plan ahead so that your social marketing strategy fits with your other marketing and sales plans. Your social media virtual assistant will look at various scheduling options, including well-known services such as Buffer and HootSuite, as well as in-house scheduling from the platforms themselves, where this is appropriate. Most of these services are free, so will come as part of your package.
Once you have taken the decision to let someone help you run your social media, you’ll need to agree what they will be responsible for. In most cases, it’s easiest to let them do what a virtual assistant does best – get on with the job on your behalf so you can concentrate on your business. A good virtual assistant service will work with you on:
- Agreeing a strategy – like all marketing channels, you need a social media marketing strategy. This will help you to define what you want to achieve, who you want to talk to, how you’re going to do it, and what results you want to see. See Social media strategy planning – our guide to success for further details.
- Content provision – using tools like Buffer or Hoot suite, your social media virtual assistant can post content from relevant sites quickly and easily. They may also provide a virtual content marketing management or blogging service to add fresh content to your own website which in turn could also be used to promote you on social media sites. See also our blogs Social media marketing ideas – how to keep content engaging, Generating marketing content online – how to overcome writer’s block and Content marketing blogs – how can a virtual assistant help you with yours?
- Uploading across platforms – users expect different things from each platform, so it’s not enough to write a single post and copy it across all the sites you use. Instead, your social media hero will write specific posts that catch the attention of your target audience.
- Monitoring and interacting – this is one of the most important things you can do on social media. It’s called ‘social’ for a reason – and that reason is because people want to interact with you, build a relationship with you and get a feel for your business. That’s why it’s important to respond to messages, chat to followers and certainly to resolve any complaints or issues as quickly as possible.
- Building a following – there are many ways you can add to your followers, including dedicated campaigns and research on where your key followers are, what they are interested in and what other accounts they are following. A good social media strategy will result in increased followers, more engagement, higher profile and ultimately, more business.
- Advertising – social media sites are now key channels for advertising and, when selected and managed properly, this can be a cost-effective way to get your message in front of your audience. You might want to chat to your social media virtual assistant about an advertising strategy once you have developed and set up your profile.
Where’s your social media hero?
When businesses get big enough, they hire an in-house social media hero – or a whole team of them – to manage this side of their marketing. But for social media marketing for start-ups, that isn’t an option, so it makes sense to outsource this role to an affordable, professional and experienced assistant who can work on behalf of your business to help you get things right. To get you started have a look at our blog – Small business and startup social media strategies.
If you’d like help with managing your social media channels – from setting them up to a fully-managed social media marketing service or any would like to know about our other virtual assistance services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.