In today’s fast-moving, modern business world, many companies are looking to outsource their social media tasks. Social media is not a highly skilled function within a business that requires the attention of full-time staff. And yet, with 59% of the world online, it is more important than ever for businesses to connect with potential customers via social media. This is where a skilled social media associate can make the difference for a company.
A Wing social media assistant is trained to complete a variety of digital marketing functions, including content creation, captioning, scheduling posts, reporting on social media performance, cross-channel posting, and more. All Wing VAs speak English, have college degrees, and can take on responsibilities in the important social media marketing channel.
What are the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant for social media?
Hiring someone to handle your social media profiles gives you plenty of advantages. Wondering whether a virtual assistant is worth it? Here are just a few reasons why!
Become more productive
With a social media associate, you can delegating tasks that would take at least several hours a day to complete. The hours you spend monitoring social media profiles, replying to comments, and posting updates could be used for tasks that directly contribute to the company’s bottom line.
Save on hiring costs
Perhaps you’re convinced that you need someone to handle your social media, but are unsure whether a remote assistant it’s worth it. A virtual assistant for social media is your best bet if you’d like to save on costs. Hiring a VA means not having to spend on equipment or an office rental. Since this type of assistant is an independent contractor, you don’t need to handle things like mandatory benefits or paying income taxes.
Pay for hours worked
Virtual assistants have hourly rates. If you have a well-defined social media strategy, you can easily account for the number of hours it will take to finish tasks. Hiring a remote assistant ensures that you only pay for hours that your assistant works, making your spending more cost-efficient.
Besides content creation and social media monitoring, you could also delegate administrative tasks to your virtual assistant. No matter their specialization, VAs are trained in calendar and inbox management, receiving phone calls, travel planning, and more.
Why is social media an important marketing channel?
According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of American adults use some sort of social media platform. These days it is hard to have a thriving business without also having a thriving social media presence. No matter which platform you choose, social media is a good, easy way to connect with customers.
Considering that these sites are free to use, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this opportunity to expand your business’s reach? But the algorithms running these sites all require companies to continually post to remain relevant in search rankings. Let’s take a look at the different opportunities each platform presents and how a social media assistant can contribute to your success in each circumstance.
Audience on Facebook
According to Meta, 3 million businesses currently advertise on Facebook, with 70% of them being outside of the United States. Add to that the fact that Facebook Marketplace has over 1 billion users and you begin to understand how crucial it is to have a presence on the platform.
A social media assistant can keep users updated on the status of the company as well as conduct sales directly via Facebook marketplace for a nominal fee. You might also need help managing the customer community around your product, which is another area where a skilled VA can make a difference.
Audience on LinkedIn
There are over 55 million companies on LinkedIn today. Not only is this platform a great way to connect with people who may buy your products or services, it is also a phenomenal recruitment tool for finding new talent.
A social media associate can manage your business’s presence on this platform, regularly publishing news of successes, new product launches, and even job postings. Your brand will remain relevant among active job seekers who can readily review information like benefits and company culture through detailed posts.
Audience on Twitter
At 192 million daily active users with a 27% YOY increase, Twitter remains one of the leading social media platforms for businesses. According to Statista, 67% of B2B marketers used Twitter to reach consumers in 2018. Twitter provides a quick way to connect with potential customers on a personal level.
At 280 characters, tweets are bite-sized pieces of information for your brand. VAs can easily craft these communications with minimal background information on your business. Wing VAs frequently craft tweets for our clients and are able to schedule them and provide analysis on results based on Twitter’s analytics.
Audience on other platforms
Whether it is TikTok (689 million users), WhatsApp (2 billion users), or Snapchat (498 million users), or any of a host of other social media platforms, VAs can make a meaningful contribution to your team by managing your business account. Each Wing assistant goes through 4 to 6 weeks of rigorous training during which they learn about using social media platforms for marketing purposes.
How many hours does it take to manage social platforms?
In a recent survey, small business owners reported spending an average of 6 hours per week on social media marketing for their business. That’s over an hour a day spent crafting content, publishing, and responding to feedback (this does not include analyzing this feedback and revising social media strategy). And this time adds up. Over the course of a normal year, that amounts to 300 hours that could easily be spent on more important work like strategizing and developing leads.
If you’re a small business owner, ask yourself what you would do with an extra hour a day, and you’ll quickly realize how a social media associate can help boost your team’s productivity. But what social media tasks can you offload to a virtual assistant?
How to hire a social media associate
There are several ways you can hire a virtual assistant for social media. You could get a freelancer, hire through websites like Upwork and Fiverr, or get an assistant through managed service providers like Wing.
Hiring a freelance social media assistant
When you hire a freelancer, you’ll be able to hone in and carefully select whom you’d want to hire. Because you’re putting up the job post, sifting through resumes, and interviewing candidates, you can be as specific as you want. However, since you’re hiring the assistant yourself, you’d also have to put in a lot of effort upfront. So, this might not be for you if you need a quick solution.
Hiring through third-party platforms
You could also hire a social media assistant through websites like Upwork and Fiverr. These platforms connect freelance VAs with clients looking to delegate tasks related to the management of their social media pages. This could be a viable option if you don’t have time to screen candidates yourself.
But hiring through these sites could also present challenges. For instance, you can’t really specify the vetting process you want, or relay your goals to an account manager who could help you find the best candidate for your needs.
Hiring through a managed service provider
Another option for busy executives and entrepreneurs is hiring an assistant through a managed service provider like Wing. Managed services take care of everything, from sourcing and vetting candidates to filling the position and replacing assistants if there is a need to do so. They may even provide training programs for skills that you’d like your assistant to have, like using Canva or handling social media analytics.
Tasks you can offload to a social media associate
There is no doubt that a social media associate can be helpful. But what social media tasks can you assign to a virtual assistant? In the following sections, we’ll take a look at a few tasks you can offload.
Use a VA for simple content creation and editing
Digital assistants do much more than scheduling meetings and managing phone calls. A skilled, trained virtual assistant for social media can be your content creation secret weapon. He or she can come on board to do simple content creation for your business with minimal training on your part.
Some of the simple content creation skills a VA might have include:
- writing blog posts
- writing web copy
- making social media updates
- creating images and videos
Remote assistants can monitor your social media activity and report on their findings. This will give your business actionable insights and help full-time team members develop a strategy to expand reach.
Here are a few reporting tasks a virtual assistant can do to help your business:
- Best performing posts
- Best time of day for audience activity
- Most engagement and farthest-reaching posts
Use a VA for cross-channel posting
A good social media strategist knows that you can and should reuse content. This means cross-channel posting online on forums and social bookmarking sites like Reddit and Pinterest. With a few light revisions (sometimes not even), you can reuse important business content and maximize your efficiency.
For example, if your business has a Facebook account, an Instagram account, and a Twitter account, your digital assistant can share news across all three platforms by first crafting a detailed Facebook post, then cutting this down and modifying it for Instagram and Twitter. This saves time and ensures that your company remains an authority in your area of expertise by regularly posting.
Use a VA for community management
As your business begins publishing more content online, you will need to deal with the consumer response. Whether it is replying to user comments, responding to reviews, answering basic questions, or engaging in online forums, there are many opportunities to expand your reach even further and get the most ROI for your investment in content development.
Online community management can be critical to expanding your digital reach. A social media associate can easily take this on as part of their portfolio of social media responsibilities. This makes even more sense if you’re already contracting an assistant to create the content. Since they are closest to the content, they are best suited to answer questions and comments with authority.
Tools that social media associates use
There is a different set of tools for each social media task, from graphic design and content curation to scheduling and analytics. A qualified social media associate will need a working knowledge of a suite of tools to be effective in the role. Let’s review a few different areas of social media marketing and some tools that are relevant to each.
Graphic design tools for social media marketing
Effective digital communications rely heavily on imagery. From logos and iconography to graphics and product images, graphic design is a necessary skill for any fast-growing business.
Designs must be clean, accessible, and coherent with the brand. While a virtual assistant cannot design your brand’s new logo, he or she can slightly modify designs for cross-channel posting. As you add more social media channels and expand your marketing strategy, this type of offloading is essential for effective time management and frees up team members for more rewarding work.
Social media assistants learn the basics of using Canva, Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Photoshop on social media platforms so they can contribute right away and become the best social media associate for your brand.
Content curation tools for social media marketing
Finding and sharing relevant, engaging content is crucial to success online. Customers want brands to engage in the conversation and continually add meaningful contributions. Unfortunately this task is harder than ever before, as the market for people’s attention is a lot more competitive. In addition, search algorithms have become more sophisticated, which raises the bar for content marketers.
Luckily, when it comes to social media marketing, there are many helpful tools that can help you do just that. Flipboard, Pocket, and Feedly all do this.
Pinterest is also an excellent way to curate content, allowing businesses to set up boards around focused topics. A virtual assistant for social media can set up an account for your business on any one of these platforms and begin curating and sharing quality content focused on your industry.
Scheduling software for social media marketing
From StoryChief and Buffer to Hootsuite and SocialPilot, there is no shortage of software that can help you to publish quality social media content whenever it’s convenient. These tools help you to schedule your posts to publish when you are on vacation or time them to go out at a particularly high engagement time for your viewership to boost your team’s efficiency.
Using scheduling software has the added benefit of being an excellent time management tool because team members can focus on crafting and scheduling many pieces of content at once, rather than dealing with the daily distraction of posting at the right time.
Analytics tools for social media marketing
Whether it’s viewership, reach, clicks, or likes, when it comes to social media marketing, you’ll need to measure your success in order to plot a course for improvement. Here are a few analytics tools that Wing personal assistants can manage for your business:
- Google Analytics
These tools all offer free versions and are very user-friendly. A trained Wing VA can conduct simple reviews of your success rates for content, adding tremendous value to your social media marketing team at relatively little cost.
Wing helps you find the best social media assistant for you
Hiring a social media virtual assistant to help with your online presence is a savvy time management technique. Remote assistants can handle a variety of functions like creating and curating content, scheduling posts, and analytics. When researching how to find the right assistant, it is worth it to connect with a managed service like Wing that trains and oversees personnel to handle all of these tasks.
Schedule a call to find out how Wing can connect you with a managed, trained, dedicated social media associate to help your business today.
Dan Eder writes frequently about digital marketing trends, SaaS, and e-commerce. He has previously worked as a content writer at an SEO agency for tech companies, an e-commerce specialist at a Fortune 500 company, and a journalist for several educational outlets. Read more from him at www.daneder.com.