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Social Media Virtual Assistants: What To Know BEFORE Hiring

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Social media is the go-to marketing channel for growing your business. Period.

There are 4.26 BILLION social media users worldwide. That’s a hard number to wrap your mind around. The potential to attract eyeballs to your business is endless. 

But managing platforms like Facebook and Instagram is a time suck. Each platform has different algorithms you need to please, and keeping everything straight can feel like a full-time job.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution — hire a social media virtual assistant.

These are remote professionals who can help you create trendy posts, reply to comments, and track your ad campaigns.

That said, you can’t hire just any ol’ social media VA. They’ll be representing your business, so before hiring, there’s some things you should know.

What you need to know BEFORE hiring a social media VA

Check your own social media accounts

You might be thinking, “Why bother checking my own social media? That’s why I’m hiring a VA in the first place.”

Before you let someone else take the reins, you need to know exactly what’s going on. Look at your accounts to see which ones you need help with. 

For example:

Your Facebook posts might be catching people’s attention, but your Instagram ads could be getting left in the dust. 

Knowing this helps you set the right guidelines for your social media VA. You can ask them to revamp your Instagram strategy by creating eye-catching carousels, using trending Reel templates, or creating viral campaigns.

Know the platforms your VA uses

A jack of all trades is a master of none, or something like that.

The point is — not all virtual assistants will be skilled in every social media platform. And it’s super rare to find someone who’s an expert in all of them.

Your social media VA may be great at creating engaging LinkedIn posts and connecting with your professional network.

But they might not have the skills to target your audience through Instagram ads. 

logos of different social media platforms

Going back to point one, this is why it’s important to understand where you need help.

That way you can focus on hiring a VA who is an expert in the platforms where your customers hang out most.

For example, if your business relies on Facebook to find leads and get customers, a Facebook ads VA is the way to go.

They can create a complete ads strategy, run A/B testing, and keep a constant eye on your ad budget. 

Consider niche expertise

A social media VA who has experience in your industry can make a huge difference.

Let’s say you run a fitness studio offering workout classes and personalized training. 

A VA with a fitness or wellness background will know exactly how to talk to your potential customers because they are already part of that world.

They’ll also have an easier time creating a well-thought-out plan to manage your social media (instead of just posting randomly).

white baord with table showing content schedule for social media

Their strategy might include posting daily workout challenges, live-streaming sessions with your trainers, sharing success stories of your fitness clients, or promoting limited-time offers to boost sign-ups.

On the flip side, if you hire someone who doesn’t know a dumbbell from a doorknob, you’ll have to constantly micromanage the content they post.

Set your brand voice and tone

Your brand voice makes your business easy to recognize and builds trust with customers. In fact, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them.

To set your brand voice, think of your:

  • Core values: What values does your company believe in?
  • Company culture: What kind of work environment do you have?
  • Target audience: Who do you want to engage with your content?

When you’re clear on your brand voice, it’s easier for your virtual assistant to manage your social media.

If your brand voice is witty and playful, you won’t want your social media VA to suddenly start writing like they have a stick up their butt. It would be out of character and confuse your followers.

desk with laptop and book with the text brand identity written on it

Keep in mind that your brand guidelines aren’t meant to limit your VA’s creativity or stop them from bringing in new ideas. They’re there to keep everyone on the same page and keep content consistent across social media profiles.

Don’t focus on vanity metrics

Don’t get caught up if a VA has thousands of followers on their personal profiles. It might seem impressive, but this doesn’t mean they have the social media skills to match.

Focus instead on your VA’s track record, creativity, and strategic thinking. These virtual assistant qualities are more important for your social media marketing (regardless of your VA’s online popularity).

Ask your VA about the most successful ad campaigns they’ve done for previous clients. Find out what social media strategies they use and how they helped with growing their client’s following or increasing sales.

Avoid task overloading

A social media VA needs time to adjust to your business. You can help them ease into their new role by setting goals. 

Start by delegating virtual assistant tasks like profile creation, audience engagement, and content curation. As their skills develop, you can increase their workload.

If your VA is great at creating graphics for Instagram, assign them more design tasks for your other social media profiles. This lets you take advantage of their strengths so you can focus on what you do best — running your business. 

6 tasks you can outsource to your social media virtual assistant

1. Developing a social media marketing strategy

You can’t run a successful business without a plan. And you won’t get many customers from social media without a marketing strategy.

Your social media marketing virtual assistant can set clear goals for your social media pages and create a marketing strategy to reach those goals.

Say you run a travel agency specializing in adventure trips. 

Your social media VA will start by learning about your business. Together you can decide on your goals, like increasing your online bookings, building a following, or driving more traffic to your website.

They can even work with your digital marketing VA to connect your social media strategy with your SEO and content marketing plans.

2. Social listening

Social listening is about keeping your ears open to what people are saying about your brand.

This gives you a better idea of how you can help your target customer.

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn are the top 5 social data sources for brands. Your social media VA can act like a fly on the wall and see what people are saying about you. 

people holding cellphones

They can track mentions of your business, products, and any feedback from customers. They might even discover a glowing review from an influential user that could boost your street cred.

3. Content creation and scheduling

Consistency is key in social media marketing. 

Your virtual assistant can make sure your content gets posted regularly by using a content calendar to schedule posts in advance.

They can also plan posts around holidays or special events — times when you probably don’t want to be thinking about what you’re going to post.

Posting consistently helps your audience feel connected to your business throughout the year and keeps you at the top of their minds.

4. Influencer outreach

According to a report by Morning Consult Pro, 50% of millennials trust influencers for product recommendations. 

You can take advantage of this by asking your social media marketing VA to dig up influencers in your niche.

From there, you can run sponsored content campaigns, but you can also have your VA suggest more creative partnerships.

For example, if you run a sustainable fashion brand, your VA could team up with a local eco-conscious artist to design limited-edition eco-friendly merchandise. 

This not only boosts your brand’s visibility but also shows you’re committed to sustainability.

5. Social media management

If you don’t have your social media profiles set up yet, don’t worry. Your virtual assistant can do it for you.

Not only will they create your accounts, but they’ll also optimize them for each platform.

On Twitter, for example, they can create Twitter Lists and curate groups of influencers to build connections with your brand.

Your social media VA will also engage with your followers, respond to comments and messages, and keep the conversation going.

They’ll make sure your customers feel valued every time they visit your social media pages.

person working on laptop while looking at their cellphone

6. Research and reporting

Your social media VA should be an analytics expert.

Numbers are everything when you’re growing your brand online.

Your social media VA will deep dive into your data and prepare reports to determine what’s working (and what isn’t).

For example, your VA might notice an increase in positive engagement with your brand after posting a customer appreciation message.

Armed with this info, they can fine-tune your content strategy to focus more on what works best.

Digital marketing is all about running tests and optimizing based on the results.

Without a social media virtual assistant to take these projects off your plate, you’ll be leaving money on the table.

Apart from analyzing your data, they’ll also peek into your competitors’ social media profiles to see what they’re doing. 

Your VA might discover a rival business using unique hashtags on Instagram — a strategy that you could easily incorporate into your workflow to reach more customers.

How to hire a social media virtual assistant

Hiring a social media VA can be a daunting process. Before we dive into the details, I want to mention one, easier alternative.

If you already have a general admin virtual assistant that you trust, you could simply transform them into a social media VA.

There are many awesome online virtual assistant courses out there (I have gone through several!), and most of them cover social media.

So instead of spending time and money hunting for a stranger to manage your channels, you could invest that money in a course that you give to someone on your team that you trust.

On the other hand, if you don’t have anyone around who could learn to handle your accounts, here’s how to find someone new.

1. Scope the job requirements

List the tasks you want your social media virtual assistant to handle, like content creation, marketing strategy, or account management. 

My advice is to get as specific as possible.

If you need help creating videos for Instagram and TikTok, laser in on candidates who know how to use video editing software (on top of being social media-savvy).

It also helps if you include niche expertise in your job requirements. This weeds out the VAs who aren’t familiar with your industry.

You can still hire someone from a different background if they have the social media skills you’re looking for. But prepare for a longer learning curve since they’ll have to learn the ins and outs of your industry.

2. Find the right candidates

When you have your job requirements ready, there are a few ways to find your VA.

You can partner with a virtual assistant company, like Time Etc, to help you find a social media VA. They’ll match you with qualified candidates so you won’t have to dig through resumes yourself.

You can also post your job listing on freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.

You can find hundreds of social media experts on these platforms, with rates ranging from $18 to $35 or more per hour. 

Sample social media VA profile from Fiverr

I prefer using these platforms for shorter, one-off projects.

But for long-term work, it’s more flexible (and affordable) to hire directly, outside of platforms like Upwork.

Lastly, if you want the most bang for your buck, you can outsource your social media tasks to a virtual assistant from the Philippines

You can easily find a capable Filipino VA who speaks fluent English for as low as $4 per hour. I recommend using Onlinejobs.ph, which is where I found my very reliable virtual assistant.

This platform lets you check the VA’s social media skills, English proficiency, and even their IQ score.

3. Hold interviews

Ask candidates about their past projects and social media success stories.

Hearing about their wins and challenges from past clients will give you a better idea of how they work and their success rate.

You can also ask them to share how they come up with creative content ideas and what tools they use for creating social media posts.

If you need help with different social media platforms, ask if they have experience in managing multiple accounts.

man talking to a woman in front of a computer screen

4. Give a trial project

When you’ve narrowed down your top candidates, give them a test project to see their skill level and work process.

You can ask them to create a mini social media campaign plan to attract more customers and drive sales for your business.

I recommend outlining step-by-step instructions so everyone is on the same page.  

For example:

  • “Pick two social media platforms for your campaign. Explain why you chose them and how you plan to use them.”
  • “Give three content ideas for each platform. The posts should showcase the brand’s unique offers.”
  • “Outline a plan for connecting with the brand’s followers and online community. How will you respond to comments, direct messages, and reviews?”
  • “Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure your campaign’s success. How will you track these metrics, and how often will you provide progress reports?”
  • “Provide a realistic timeline for the entire campaign, including content creation, scheduling, and monitoring.”

By giving the same task to your top few candidates, you can easily determine which one is the best.

I recommend using an hourly rate to pay for the trial task and asking the VA to track their time. That way you can compare the candidates based on both quality and work speed.

Of course, this is only necessary if you plan to pay them per hour (vs. per project).

5. Choose your new social media marketing VA

After picking your winning VA, set clear goals and expectations.

Talk about their daily or weekly tasks, preferred communication channels, and how you’d like to receive progress reports. 

It’s all about finding that sweet spot where you feel confident in your VA’s abilities, and they feel confident in understanding your needs.

Encourage them to ask questions and share their thoughts.

There are plenty of benefits your social media virtual assistant can bring o the table. And finding the right person for the job is a lot easier when you know what to look for (and what to avoid). 

After you have your social media up and running, the next step is driving traffic to your website using SEO. Here’s how to hire an SEO virtual assistant to boost your rankings.

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