Why You Need a Virtual Assistant for Social Media
Technology has come a long way since CompuServe first introduced its “Dial Up” Internet Service in 1969.
Since the first e-mail was sent in 1971, the evolution of technology has made communication faster, broader and conveniently accessible through different media. In 1995, Newsweek magazine printed an article that scoffed at the growth and popularity of the Internet. Two years earlier, Tim Berners-Lee gave the world the “World Wide Web”. Apparently, the writers of Newsweek were not visionaries and chose to ignore the rapid growth of AOL, Tripod and Geo-Cities as signs the world wanted to interconnect on a global scale.
By 2009, Facebook which was conceptualized for the college students of Harvard University in 2004 had grown into the largest social media network with over 200 million users. In the same year, a “tweet” about a plane crash in New York’s Hudson River sent the media into frenzy and “un-friend” became the New Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year.
Today 85% of the world’s population of 7.1 billion has access to the Internet. There are 1.28 billion people on Facebook, 540 million people view You Tube daily, 187 million LinkedIn members and 255 million people are active on Twitter. These are people from across the globe; different nations, cultures, likes and dislikes. The Internet through social media has given people and businesses ready-access to a market of over a billion consumers.
Why hire a virtual assistant to outsource social media
The proliferation of social media has changed the way companies approach business because the power to influence rests with the consumer. How else would a fast-food giant like “Subway” find itself on the ropes when a single customer posted a photo on his social media account showing its foot-long was actually less than a foot?
With the world literally at the fingertips, businesses would be wise to allocate resources on a social media marketing plan to shore up its revenue-generation activities.
But social media marketing is a science in itself. Posting content, engagement and blogging require precision and strategy to maximize the power of social media. Writing skills, perfect grammar and spelling, engaging content are standard but these are not enough to guarantee your article or blog will come out frequently on the search list. Just because you regularly engage your friends online at 7:00pm does not mean that is the most opportune time to post content.
A social media marketing plan is designed to answer the following questions:
- How often should I post content in a day?
- How often should I blog in a week?
- What keywords should I use?
- What are the searching patterns of the users of my search engine?
- How do I initiate a call to action?
- At what times of the day/night should I post?
- How do I track the performance of the social media strategy?
- How do I link my blogs and posts to my social media accounts?
- Which links should I integrate in my website?
- How often should I engage?
And these haven’t touched on the website design and purpose yet.
Most business owners don’t have the time or core competence to learn the intricacies of social media marketing. Their business would best be served if they could focus resources on functions which directly contribute to the main enterprise. Social media marketing just like any other marketing strategy takes time, effort and patience. Even if the medium is the Internet, the concept of “planting seeds” in the consciousness of the market remains the same.
For this reason, business owners should hire a social media Virtual Assistant who has the experience to design the strategy and the time to dedicate to the project.
What will a social media VAs do for a client’s business?
1. Design the strategy – The social media marketing strategy is based on the information a client provides on a written questionnaire, preliminary and subsequent interviews. The purpose is for the social media VA to learn more about the business, the industry, the purpose and vision, current strategies, target market and the key people in the company.
2. Set up the social media accounts and profiles – A VA who is experienced in social media marketing knows that it is crucial for all social media accounts to be aligned in content and messaging. The profile of the client must be written in consonance with the image of the company and with respect to the target market. The experienced VA also knows which accounts should be linked to the client’s website.
3. Create content – A social media VA is most likely familiar with SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a process which increases the number of times a website, post or blog appears or is searched on the search engine’s organic or “unpaid” search results. SEO is a science which requires familiarity with the search engine, keywords and ratio of its distribution within the article.
4. Manage the schedule – In order to optimize visibility and generate engagement, a social media marketing manager must have an idea of the hours where the target market is most active on social media. This requires both experience and research.
5. Track performance – Unlike traditional marketing strategies, the use of digital processes in social media marketing allows for real time tracking of performance. A client will know how the social media campaign is performing on a daily basis through the analytics. A good social media virtual assistant must have a keen understanding of analytics, the ability to interpret the results, and if needed, use the data to revise strategy.
Depending on the extent of the work required for the client’s social media program, it is quite possible that a social media VA may recommend hiring a virtual management team. A virtual management team may include a website designer, graphics artist, SEO writer and a personal services assistant.
Outsourcing services to a Virtual Assistant for social media marketing is an important step in optimizing the potentials made possible by the Internet. As vast as the World Wide Web is, we should embrace and capitalize its opportunities without getting tangled in its complexities.