Finding, Vetting, & Hiring a Social Media Virtual Assistant

One of the most powerful ways of building an audience and bringing your affiliate income to the next level is by leveraging the power of social media.

Ok... We all know that!

But just keeping up with keyword research, content creation, making sure everything is SEO’d properly and everything else, it is just one more thing on my already massive to-do list!

Enter the social media virtual assistant: problem solved.

Well, maybe not entirely that easy, but with the right assistant it can be.

And a huge portion of having the right social media virtual assistant on your team is being the right kind of team captain.

Whenever discussing Virtual Assistants (VAs), it’s important to point out that the #1 reason things don’t go right between a VA and their boss is because:

  • The boss is trying to find an all star social media for $2/hr (they don’t exist at that rate - and why would you want to pay them so little in the first place?)
  • The boss expects the VA to just know what to do
  • The VA wasn’t given clear instructions - effectively the boss wants the VA to read his/her mind

So how can you find the right social media virtual assistant?

How can you get an ROI on their efforts and how can you set them up for success so the relationship is mutually beneficial and on the best of terms?

And is it even worth investing in?

Let’s start with that last point first.

Is It Worth Hiring A Social Media VA?

30% of all time spent online is spent on social media, with Facebook and Instagram leading the pack by a healthy margin.

And while the shift is slowly moving away from Facebook and diluting into other platforms, with the right VA you can get a piece of this pie.

Typically, readers of this blog tend to get the vast majority of their traffic through SEO, or organic traffic.

People search a keyword in Google, see our reader’s/customer’s site in the top results, click through and visit, ideally resulting in them clicking an affiliate link and purchasing a product.

And that’s great! But what if you could double your traffic without building a single link?

What if your organic traffic became only one of a few traffic sources, and even got eclipsed by social media traffic?

That is certainly possible.

I’ve seen this scenario repeat itself several times: an affiliate marketer who gets 60K+ visits per month from organic google traffic plugs another URL into Ahrefs and shakes their head saying, “What an SEO MESS!” when they see the site ranking for 200 keywords, with an estimated monthly traffic of 27.

Then they find out the site gets 500,000 monthly visits mostly from Facebook and Pinterest, organic traffic makes up less than 1% of her traffic and she’s making $12K/month and employs 3 friends who help her serve a massive audience.

And she’s thinking: Penguin? Panda? Meta descriptions? Indexing?

Why in the world would I write a post, publish it, wait days for it to index and weeks/months to begin climbing the ranks, send out some outreach emails, etc. when I can publish it at 8AM and have 10,000 page views by lunch?

Hmmm, fair point!!

I’ve found that many publishers/bloggers tend to specialize in either SEO, or generating traffic through social media.

So if you specialize in SEO, a social media VA could be just the thing you need.

If you specialize in Social Media traffic generation, get an SEO VA 🙂

(That’s another post for another time.)

What Is A Social Media Virtual Assistant?

A social media VA specializes in social media related tasks like:

  • Building a presence on social media
  • Keeping your profiles fresh (ie a logo change, push it across all channels for consistency)
  • Interacting with the audience
  • Researching content to post for maximum engagement/interaction
  • Posting content (either from your site or others, or asking questions, posting memes, etc.)
  • Using tools for scheduling posts
  • Creating a social media content calendar
  • Monitoring your pages/groups
  • Answering questions
  • Generating leads
  • Following related pages, seeing what gets noticed and posting similar content
  • Monitor growth of competitors to ensure you stay abreast/pull ahead
  • Keeping up to date with changes on various platforms (Like Pinterest image sizes for example)
  • Compiling data/stats for you

Thing To Keep In Mind When Hiring A Social Media VA

My brother in law works in IT, and back in the days when he was a network technician he started a side business to help small businesses with things like networking the computers in their office for example.

But he’d also get requests from people like, “Wow, great job! Next, can you build a website for my business?”

huh

The general assumption was that since he “knew computers” a natural follow up to that would be building a website.

Internet Marketers can do the same thing with VAs.

“You’re a VA? Great!! I’ve been looking for someone to grow my Pinterest audience!”

While that CAN work, it often doesn’t; and it leaves both the VA and the employer frustrated and wondering what went wrong.

If you’re not hiring someone who specializes in exactly what you want them to do, you need to give clear, step by step instructions.

If you don’t have those clear, step by step instructions, you need to hire someone who knows what to do already.

It sounds a bit simplistic, but it is so true.

If you hire someone for a task, you either have to train them and get them to replicate work you’ve already been doing in the way you like it done, or hire an agency/team who offers a Done For You solution (see our solutions here.)

A surprising amount of VAs advertise themselves like this:

list of skills

And a surprising amount of people advertise jobs with job descriptions like the above too.

How can any one person really be proficient at all of those?

And if they really were, they’d be quite the powerhouse and have a massive audience of their own, not really be looking for freelance work.

To use Pinterest as an example, if I was to hire someone to help me I’d look at it like this:

I know very little about Pinterest.

I don’t use it, have never used it from a user perspective, only set it up to see if I could drive some traffic to a site or two of mine.

So, I’d be willing to pay extra to someone who comes to me with a plan for what needs to be done and would need very little guidance.

Am I going to find that for a few dollars an hour?

Not very likely, although it could happen.

What I’d recommend in this case is finding someone with a proven track record; someone who would see the work needing to be done and do it.

We recently had Kate Ahl on our podcast to talk about Pinterest, and the service she runs is a great example of contracting an expert to do the things you don’t know how to do.

Here’s another example of someone who specializes, rather than being a “I can do anything, just please give me something to do” kind of VA:

pinterest va

You can clearly see that she’s not a “social media VA” but a Pinterest expert (or at least she says so!).

Then, it is a matter of screening properly, asking for case studies/samples of her work and that sort of thing to ensure you’re making a great hire.

On the other hand, if you’re a Pinterest whiz, but you simply have too much on your plate, you should be able to hire someone for a lower rate to simply run through and repeat the processes you’ve documented.

Where To Hire A Social Media VA

I’ve successfully hired Social Media VAs on both Fiverr.com and Upwork.com.

The key element of success was really finding someone who specializes in the area where you need help.

If you use Meet Edgar to schedule Facebook posts, search for someone who has used Meet Edgar before and will be familiar with your process.

Outline your process, and if you don’t have one, do it yourself for a while and make notes and training as you do it; providing your hire with clear instructions is the surest way to success.

Another thing I like to do in a job post is ask something like “What is your number one tip for growing an audience on XYZ?”

This has yielded results like “Did you know you can buy 1000 Facebook likes on Fiverr.com for just $5?” (NOT Recommended) but also tips like “Use Canva to quickly and easily create quality, branded graphics/quotes (for free) that resonate with your audience to increase engagement.”

It can be very useful to split the applicants into those who know what they are talking about and those who don’t!

Are you already using or plan to hire a VA for your social media?

Let us know how it's going below!

One Comment

  1. I am considering taking a VA course to help me with my “lampsforall.com

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