Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant to Help Manage Social Networks

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Everyone is on the social media bandwagon, except you. At least that what we’re sure you’re being told by those who have already found value in new channels to communicate with customers. It isn’t that you don’t understand the concept of social media (well, maybe that’s part of it). It’s more that you don’t have time to learn how to run the Twitter or do Facebook or whatever else people seem to be doing.

But it is increasingly apparent that a growing number of people reach out to businesses online, instead of traditional face-to-face or telephone calls. While online social networks will never be able to supplant traditional face to face or print media outreach, like networking events and printing postcards from reputable retailers like OvernightPrints.com, businesses across all industries are finding more and more value in utilizing online social networks. Businesses can also use these new networks to show off their products and services in new ways, from an interactive Facebook page to galleries on Pinterest or Instagram.

If you’re new to this world, Pinterest and Instagram are social networks that are light on words but heavy on photos that you add or comment upon. Check out the Instagram page for Truecar to see a good example of a site that doesn’t require a lot of writing, and focuses on pictures of cool cars.

Even if you’re willing to dip your toe in the social network pool to make something creative, you still may not have the time to post frequently. Or you may be hesitant to turn a productive employee into a full-time social media person. Some businesses consider asking younger employees or interns to help with this task, thinking that they’re the most experienced with electronic media. However, social media experts don’t recommend this approach.

The 60 Second Marketer said interns may be less familiar with using social media professionally, and uncertain of your company’s talking points and philosophy of customer service. But they’re in control of a big chunk of your company’s outward interactions plus a prime marketing platform.

Out-sourcing social networking duties to Virtual Assistants is becoming more popular. These flesh-and-blood consultants focus exclusively on growing your company’s online presence. Like any specialist, you need to give them defined parameters and occasionally check in, but they potentially can use their expertise to get many people interested in your business.

What is required to hire one of these experts?

  • Clear communication — You’ll get better results if you give precise instructions vs. “do all that social stuff.” Identify sites to target, expected number of posts/Tweets per day/week/month, and proper focus. Can he or she decide what to post or should all communications be reviewed? Can they spend money for a wider distribution?
  • Check-ins — Contemporaryva.com suggests talking with your virtual assistant at least once a week. This keeps everyone on the same page, and lets you be aware of any problems, opportunities or requests for assistance. He or she can provide analytics of number of visits, likes, or interactions and offer any recommendations if your current strategy/outreach needs modification.
  • Understand their schedule — One advantage to using a Virtual Assistant is that he or she may focus on outreach at different times of the day, especially after hours when your other employees will be at home. WiseGeek.com said posting in the evening is especially useful, since that’s when many people check in on social networks that they may have been too busy to look at during the day.
  • Discuss extra duties beyond basic posting/analytics — WiseGeek.com suggests this could potentially include blog posts, or text and photos for a site. Assistants can also seek mentions of your business on other people’s social networks, focus on engaging other users or even reputation management.

Author’s Bio

Katie Nice: Katie is a marketing maven, with an obscenely intense public relations background, and a penchant for Coach purses

Posted on October 23rd, 2013 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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