Virtual assistants (VAs) are consultants who can help you run both your business and your social media accounts. They can perform a variety of tasks, including email and calendar management. VAs have many uses. A primary role is that of social media manager—or at least, most popularly so.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is an independent contractor (not an employee). A VA can be hired on a per-task basis, by the hour, or on a monthly retainer. If you choose to hire a VA on retainer, they’ll have access to their own calendar. They can then schedule your meetings for you, removing that responsibility from you.
Social media is the new marketing hub. Social media is where your customers are and, therefore, where you need to be. Here are some of the top reasons that social media is important for small businesses:
- Social media helps you connect with your customers. Social media platforms allow businesses to engage directly with their customers in real-time. These direct exchanges can help build customer loyalty, improve customer service, and boost sales.
- Engaging on social media platforms can help you reach new audiences more easily than per other marketing methods. Social media has a broader reach than any other form of marketing. This is because it relies on word-of-mouth recommendations from existing customers rather than on paid advertisements or other traditional forms of promotion.
- Social media helps you stay up to date with trends in your industry so that you can remain competitive and relevant in the marketplace.
- Also, social media allows you to measure customer reactions to changes in products or services so that changes can be made quickly based on feedback received from customers via social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The term ‘virtual assistant’ is often used interchangeably with the word ‘social media manager’. However, not all VAs are social media managers. Some virtual assistants may specialize in administrative tasks like scheduling and organizing, while others focus on project management and research. In fact, some people who work as VAs don’t even have a background in communications or marketing at all—they may have worked in sales or operations before becoming a VA. There are some key differences between these two roles:
Social media managers and VAs are two different roles; however, they have many overlapping skills. You may therefore wonder which one is right for your business. VAs are professionals who work remotely (i.e. not in an office), providing business support. While many of them have social media management skills, not all do. They can be hired by the hour or on a monthly retainer, and will typically manage multiple clients at once—depending on their own availability and expertise.
While many VAs have expertise in creating content, others do not. For example, a VA with great administrative assistance and email marketing skills may not have the ability to create images or videos that you need for your posts
While VAs are often great resources for creating and managing content, they are not always the best people for the job. Many VAs have specialized skills that lend themselves to assisting with social media management. However, not all of them will be able to create or manage your social media content. For example:
- A VA with great administrative assistance and email marketing skills might not have the ability to create images or videos that you need for your posts.
- Plus, a VA with excellent writing skills may be able to help with blog posts but not necessarily tweets or Facebook status updates. The bottom line is that you as a business owner (or manager) must know what kind of assistance your VA can provide before hiring one!
Some VAs are generalists
These generalist virtual assistants can perform a variety of tasks including email management, calendar management, and data entry. Such Vas are well versed in the technology tools you need to run your business (more on these below) but don’t specialize solely in one area such as social media content creation.
Social media is constantly evolving. Where once you could say, “I’ll do it myself,” now that is not possible – you need to hand over your social media management duties. However, in order to do so, you need someone who is savvy in the world of social media; who can handle your accounts while you’re busy doing something else. There are VAs who specialize either in email management or social media content creation—and some have both abilities! You may want your VA to focus primarily on one of these areas, or both at once. Using virtual social media assistants is a great way of managing multiple social media accounts, without having to hire someone full-time. VAs are affordable, flexible, and a customizable way of enhancing your social presence on a daily basis. VAs can manage your day-to-day tasks, leaving you more time to run your business. Social media marketing is an essential tool for showcasing your company’s profile and increasing its visibility across the internet today. More so, a virtual assistant manages your online presence through services on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Ultimately, you must find a VA who fits your needs. And while most VAs can handle both administrative tasks and social media management duties, don’t assume that one person is going to be able to do everything for you. That said, if you have someone who can help out with your monthly newsletter or create graphics for your social media posts—or even just manage your email inbox—that could be a huge benefit. In the end, a virtual social media assistant is in the business of helping businesses succeed on social media.