Working With Your VA to Schedule Content on Social Media
Having a presence on social media is paramount for your personal and professional brand. Whether you’re posting news about your company’s latest product release or connecting with a prospective customer, you should always be actively contributing to the conversation and keeping an eye on what’s being said about your business. Even though it’s time-consuming, it’s important and easy to manage by building some basic systems with your VA.
Once you’re ready to get started, the first step is to determine which social media tool is right for your business. Our team uses Buffer, but there are a variety of tools out there for you to evaluate which would make the most sense to use based on your specific needs. Once you’ve reached a decision, make sure your VA has access and has been educated on how it works so they can help you manage your social accounts.
Here are three scenarios in which you can collaborate with your VA to keep all of your respective social media channels buzzing with activity, while monitoring what your customers are saying about your brand:
Tell your VA what sites on which to look for new content every day, whether it’s your company blog, a column you author or something else, and then have them schedule and share it across all of your social media channels using a tool like Buffer. Quick tip: Buffer allows you to import content feeds into your social media management tool so it’s easy to see new content when it gets published. If you don’t use Buffer, your VA could use a tool like Feedly to see everything you’re publishing in one place.
You may be concerned about how the tone, grammar or spelling of your posts is going to come across when they are being managed by your VA — we at YEC alleviate this concern by having our editorial team create article titles that speak for themselves (i.e. Freelance Is Freedom: Three Reasons Why Women Want To Be Their Own Bosses), which makes it easy for the VA to use these titles to grab attention on social media.
At YEC, we like to do all we can to make the social media experience more “human” and give our members a true sense of the community we care so deeply about. We achieve this through sharing photos of offline interactions such as members at our events, random selfies with members we run into, and internal happenings with our employees. We then involve our VA in the process by having team members share the image, caption, as well as who’s in the photo so they can easily share on our channels.
This happenstance kind of posting could also come into play if you want to follow up with a customer after you’ve meet them for a coffee meeting, for example. Just make sure to address with your VA whether there’s a sense of urgency so they know to post immediately or schedule it for the future. I would do this by having a couple standard tweet templates available for my VA, and then if I wanted to give them a friendly shoutout on Twitter, I’d notify them immediately after the scheduled meeting through an instant message (read more about my basic tips for communicating with your VA in this post).
Community management/customer support.
When it comes to contributing to the conversation on social media, it’s more important to listen as it is to talk. Make sure your VA is keeping tabs on what your customers are saying about you or topics relevant to your brand. Look for opportunities to address issues and make sure you’re always part of the conversation, whether it’s positive or negative feedback you’re addressing.
Be on the lookout for opportunities to engage prospective customers in conversations that are indirectly related to your brand. If your product is an email marketing software platform, for instance, you can get involved by setting up buzzwords or mentions of your company name (or even your company competitor names) to monitor in your social media monitoring tool’s dashboard (such as Hootsuite’s). Your VA can easily look for trends that you’d want to know about and bring them to your attention for you to engage and potentially bring in a new customer.
Your VA isn’t always going to be prepared to answer inquiries on your behalf, but they can ensure what’s being said gets communicated back to you, leaving the ball in your court to take action and respond.
Every social media plan should take into account you and your company’s own unique characteristics. Don’t just follow one man’s advice; shop around for the best ideas that make the most sense to integrate into your strategy. Here are some great resources:
This post is part of a series created by Ryan Paugh, co-founder of YEC, in which we explore outsourcing topics and offer advice on what we’ve found works best.