Traditional marketing channels, like direct mail, newspaper ads, and even television, have become nearly obsolete for many brands, while taking advantage of the reach of social media is now a vital marketing strategy for everyone.
It’s unsurprising that ad spend on social media in the US is expected to surpass $207 billion in 2023.
But if you’ve spent time on these social platforms, you know that getting traction is as much an art as a science. You need to stay on top of trends, avoid controversy, and keep your brand in the conversation. Do you really have the time for that while running your core operations?
That’s why hiring a social media virtual assistant can be a game-changer.
What Are Social Media Virtual Assistants?
A social media virtual assistant (social media VA or SMVA) is a remote professional who manages and maintains a business or individual’s online presence across various social media channels.
They are essentially a social media expert and an alternative if you don’t have the funds to hire an in-house social media manager or the bandwidth to do everything yourself.
By leveraging their expertise, SMVAs curate, create, and post content; engage with followers; and monitor social media activities. They help clients streamline their social strategy, optimize their messaging, and increase brand visibility and engagement.
What Are the Services of a Social Media Virtual Assistant?
Social media VAs offer a wide range of services to help businesses and individuals maximize their social media presence. Some of the essential tasks and roles they take on include:
If you don’t have them already, an SMVA will set up the necessary social media profiles for your business. This includes creating optimized bios and descriptions, designing and uploading profile and cover pictures, and ensuring branding consistency across all platforms.
They may also help with platform-specific features, such as business pages on Facebook or setting up a LinkedIn company page.
Social media assistants create compelling, shareable content to attract and engage your target audience. They may craft blog posts, source and edit images, design graphics, and create or curate video content, all while ensuring the content aligns with your brand voice, objectives, and target audience’s interests.
Video, in particular, is having a huge growth period on social media. Nearly 90% of customers now say they have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video—up from 73% in 2015.
A well-structured content calendar outlining when and where posts will be published is critical to establish consistency. Virtual assistants schedule posts in advance using social media management tools, ensuring post frequency and the optimal timing for maximum engagement.
Social media management
The daily management of social media accounts is a time-consuming task. A social media VA takes care of curating and sharing relevant third-party content; monitoring and responding to comments, messages, and mentions; and maintaining your online reputation by addressing both positive and negative feedback.
Social media advertising
An SMVA is experienced in the creation and management of targeted ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They help define campaign objectives and create, test, and optimize ads to reach the right audience while managing budgets and maximizing ROI.
Analytics and reporting
Regular monitoring and analysis of social media performance is crucial for ensuring the success of your strategy. SMVAs track various metrics, such as engagement, reach, and conversions, and provide regular reports that offer valuable insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.
Influencer marketing, while effective, can be a difficult needle to thread. It requires a good understanding of your target audience and their quirks, as the wrong influencer can quickly turn a market against your brand.
Still, the worldwide influencer marketing industry is expected to pass $20 billion in 2023, showing it can still be valuable if done correctly.
A social media VA may help identify potential influencers in your niche, establish partnerships, and coordinate sponsored content or product promotions, further expanding your brand’s reach.
Building relationships with your followers is critical to fostering brand loyalty. Social media VAs proactively engage with your audience, responding to comments or messages and encouraging conversations around your content.
They also monitor and participate in relevant online discussions, helping your brand be more accessible and relatable to your target community.
What Qualities Should You Look for in a Social Media Virtual Assistant?
Like any hire, when recruiting a social media VA, it’s essential to identify key qualities and attributes to ensure their effectiveness. Here are some characteristics to consider:
With social media often needing quick turnarounds or speedy reactions, your virtual assistant has to be dependable.
You need someone who consistently delivers high-quality work on time, efficiently manages multiple tasks, and responds promptly to any questions or concerns.
Effective communication is crucial when working with a remote professional. A skilled SMVA will be able to express themselves through written and verbal means clearly, regularly update you on project progress, and proactively ask for clarification or guidance when needed.
You also want to be assured that they have the communication skills to effectively communicate with your clients or customers over social channels.
Attention to detail
The littlest mistake can be blown out of proportion on social media. An SMVA should be thorough in their work, ensuring grammar, spelling, and design elements are polished, as well as making sure that all shared content complies with your brand’s voice and tone guidelines and accurately reflects your message.
Social media expertise
An adept social media VA should possess specialized knowledge of various platforms, algorithms, and best practices. They should be comfortable navigating and adapting to each platform’s unique features and staying current with industry trends and social media tools.
The ability to think creatively will help your SMVA develop compelling content that stands out and resonates with your audience. They should not only be skilled in creating visually appealing posts but also excel at crafting engaging and well-written social media captions, hashtags, and messaging.
Social media is an ever-changing landscape that requires a high level of adaptability. Your SMVA should be flexible and open to changes in platform algorithms, industry trends, and client preferences, continuously adjusting their strategies to ensure optimal results.
A positive attitude can make a significant difference in developing a productive working relationship with your virtual assistant. An enthusiastic and motivated SMVA will be eager to take on challenges and find creative solutions to problems, ultimately raising your brand’s online presence and engaging customers through effective social media posts.
How To Hire a Social Media Virtual Assistant
Hiring a social media VA doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Following these steps can guide you toward finding the right candidate:
Define your needs
Start by identifying the specific tasks and responsibilities you would like your SMVA to handle, such as content creation, scheduling, or social media advertising.
Be clear about your goals, the social media channels you want to focus on, and your target audience to ensure you find the right assistant with the necessary skills and experience level.
Remember that familiarity with one platform does not guarantee success on another. If someone has experience with Facebook, they may not necessarily be the right choice to run a TikTok or Instagram campaign. Defining the short and long-term needs of your social media marketing efforts should help pare down the applications.
Some of the skills you may want to consider and include in your job description, depending on your specific needs, include:
- Basic video editing and graphic design skills
- Familiarity with specific social media tools
- Familiarity with email marketing (while not technically in the realm of social media, you may be able to find a VA who can take on your email campaigns as well)
- Experience planning content and scheduling posts
- Familiarity with social media metrics
- Community management experience
- Blog article writing and/or editing
- Awareness of social media trends
Look for candidates
Search for potential candidates on freelancer platforms (Upwork, Fiverr, etc), specialized virtual assistant agencies, or social media networks. Browse their profiles and portfolios to better understand their work quality, experience, and areas of expertise.
Agencies that specialize in finding top social media talent for you, like Near, can help your recruitment process. (At Near, we leverage our vast network of candidates in Latin America that are qualified and ready to work to get you up and running with a social media VA in no time.)
Prepare a list of relevant interview questions that cover topics such as their experience with specific platforms, content creation abilities, and familiarity with your industry or niche.
Here are some examples to use:
- Have you worked with clients in our industry before? If so, can you provide examples of your work and results?
- How do you develop a social media content strategy for a new client?
- How do you measure social media performance, and what key performance indicators (KPIs) do you typically focus on?
- How would you handle a negative customer comment or crisis situation on social media?
- Have you ever reached out to influencers for partnerships? If yes, please explain your approach and the results obtained.
- Can you describe a social media campaign or project where you achieved significant success and what you believe contributed to that success?
- Are you familiar with our target audience, and can you suggest ways to specifically engage them through social media content?
Use video conferencing tools to interview candidates and gauge how well they communicate, show enthusiasm, and display their expertise.
This is also where you begin your salary negotiations. The expected range for social media VAs is anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 monthly, depending on experience and location.
Request references from previous clients or employers. Reach out and inquire about the candidate’s reliability, professionalism, and effectiveness as a social media VA.
Before hiring an SMVA, clearly outline your expectations concerning their working hours, communication methods, and preferred project management tools. Discuss deadlines, performance metrics, and any training that may be required. Ensure you both understand the expectations.
Establish trial period
Consider offering a trial period or a small paid project to assess the candidate’s real-world performance. This provides an opportunity to evaluate their abilities, the quality of their work, and their ability to meet deadlines and communicate effectively.
One of an employer’s most important responsibilities is to give employees actionable performance reviews.
After the trial period, provide constructive feedback on areas where the SMVA has performed well and where they may need improvement. Discuss any adjustments that may be required before moving forward with a long-term working relationship.
Remember, hiring an SMVA is an investment in your business, and finding the right candidate will ultimately pay off in increased productivity and a more effective social media strategy.
So there you have it!
Hiring a social media VA can significantly impact your business by optimizing your online profile and presence, increasing engagement, and even driving overall growth.
Are you ready to experience the benefits of working with a top-notch social media VA? Why not start today by booking a free consultation call to see how Near can help you find and hire talented virtual professionals perfect for your business’s needs.
Give your online presence the boost it deserves, and feel the impact a skilled SMVA can bring!