Please Do My Social Media For Me

Filed in Sharisax Is Out There 30 comments

“I just need you to set up my blog, and then I’ll do it . . . or maybe you can do my first few posts . . . and a few Tweets; oh, yes, check out who has written on my Facebook Wall and . . . ”

For  those of us studying How To Do Social Media, the delegation of social media implementation to an outside third party – i.e., having someone else do everything for you – is counter–intuitive.

We want people to understand that Social Media is really a Mind-Set: a new way of conducting business from designing and delivering products . . .  to treating employees  as Human Talent . . . to considering customers as valuable resources and, finally, to promoting products and services to a community of people who can gain great benefits.

That being said, my belief is that it is better to get started in some way—than not get started at all. SO . . . Enter the “virtual” or “personal” Assistant [VA or PA].

Below is a list of 10 things I think your VA/PA should know how to do for you:

10 Step TO-DO list for your Social Media Virtual Assistant

Initial Steps

1) Set up and maximize individual LinkedIn profiles … and a company profile. Make certain to keyword optimize both.

2) Set up and/or clean up Facebook profiles for key people in the organization. Then set up a FB Fan Page flowing from the FB profile of the business owner.

3) Start a blog and determine who in the organization will be contributing the “knowledge/content.” Of course, the VA/PA can interview and write.

4) Set up a few Twitter accounts with specific purposes, e.g., to monitor and respond to brand comments; to offer special promotions; to accept orders, etc.

Ongoing

5) Join appropriate LinkedIn groups and participate in Discussion Topics that will demonstrate the value of your organization.

6) Answer questions posed in LinkedIn that will show your expertise and attract new customers.

7) Write blog posts on a regular, consistent basis – whether that is once, twice, three times a week — or more.

8- Comment on relevant blogs to demonstrate your understanding of industry issues and willingness to provide solutions.

9) Create events and exciting promotions for your Facebook Fan Page community.

10) Tweet regularly, follow relevant people/lists, and search Twitter for issues to read and to Tweet about.

Virtual Assistants “out there”: What do you think of this list? What would you add? subtract? or what would you need to learn?

Social Media coaches: What would you add?

FURTHER READING:

Ten Mistakes Made by Social Media Newbies

LinkedIn Basics

Blogging Basics

Facebook Basics

Twitter Basics

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   10 July 2010
Tags : , , , ,
Comments
Jul 10, 2010
4:30 pm

I do some VA work but I personally do not feel that anything with a “voice” from the company should be written by anyone other than those within the company.

Now what I do encourage is that they write up articles/posts, tweets, status updates, and give them to the VA for proofing or tweaking for keywords or generally making them sound great, and let the VA proliferate them around the web.

I would mostly encourage companies to outsource the technical tasks but not the people stuff. If they insist, then I would encourage them to hire someone who is more of a copywriter and SEO expert who can also spend a lot of time getting to know the voice and flavor of the company. Since the best social media marketing is only about 20% blatant marketing messages, it would take a lot of intuition to be able to convey the voice of the company in non-marketing pieces.

A tricky task, for sure! That’s my 2 cents (or $2 and I’m looking forward to reading other responses.
Karen

Author Jul 10, 2010
4:35 pm

Of course, Karen, I do agree with you 100%
However, some people want to “get into it” now and can’t figure out a way to make the time in their schedules.

Jul 10, 2010
7:05 pm

Great post Shari. May be my FREEE ebook may add some help to your readers http://www.SocialMediaStarupGuideforBusiness.com. Also I would add customising the Social Media Pages like we have done for one of our Social Media Products called http://www.tweetmyevents.com. You can review our Social Media pages here….

http://www.twitter.com/tweetmyevents
http://www.facebook.com/tweetmyevents
http://www.youtube.com/tweetmyevents
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tweetmyevents

You will see a consistent branding across all SM sites! Hope this helps!

Logan Nathan
http://www.logannathan.com.au

Author Jul 10, 2010
8:49 pm

NATHAN, I could not open your link http://www.SocialMediaStarupGuideforBusiness.com
Is there some other way to get to your Free Ebook?

Jul 10, 2010
9:43 pm

Here it is again http://www.socialmediastartupguideforbusiness.com/

I checked it again and it is working for me in Sdyney.

Author Jul 10, 2010
10:05 pm

Got it to work this time 🙂

Jul 11, 2010
8:32 am

Hi Shari,

Excellent list. It excites me to read about how others are pioneering their way into this new frontier of marketing.

I agree with Karen in that it is best when anything with a ‘voice’ from the company should be written by someone who has a stake in the company. However, the reality is that 1. The owners or management don’t have a clue on how Social Media works and its Do’s and Don’ts. And 2. They simply don’t have the time to create content, let alone post it consistently in the various mediums.

This is where a Social Media Manager/Consultant/Assistant come in. Depending on how deep the business owner wishes to go into Social Media Marketing, the Social Media Manager can work with the owners to understand their particular business mindset and co-create content with them. And, of course, facilitate the tasks of setting up profiles, blogs, etc., and carrying out their maintenance.

There is really no limit as to how far one can take this.

Jul 11, 2010
8:33 am
#8 PurpleB :

it’s perfect just the way it is thanks for sharing your information.

Jul 11, 2010
2:10 pm
#9 Wendy :

As far as beginning blogging, what stops a lot of people is learning how to do everything. There is so much information online that one can figure out how to do anything.

When I decided to start blogging, I wanted to learn from someone who has been very successful blogging. I stumbled across Leo Babuta of zenhabits.net and found he started a blogging bootcamp for geared to a range of bloggers. They have several courses throughout the year. After you take one 5 day bootcamp, you have the option to join their monthly program which is $20 a month. In the ongoing monthly club there is monthly web class with Leo & Mary and their are weekly newsletters, tips and the forums where all the members connect and can ask each other for technical help or any questions about blogging. It is a great group of people to connect and learn from and with.

http://www.alistbloggingbootcamps.com/

Shari is a great teacher as well, so if you want to hire her or go to her intro courses on social media, I highly recommend her.

Author Jul 11, 2010
2:35 pm
#10 Shari Weiss :

Thanks, Wendy, for the great tip . . . and the plug. So, are you blogging yet?
🙂

Author Jul 11, 2010
4:59 pm
#11 Sam Waltz :

LinkedIn Groups

Group: PRwise
Subject: New comment (1) on “Please Do My Social Media For Me”
[re-posted with permission]

Shari, I don’t disagree with your Blog premise about the ludicrousness of surrogacy in Social Media. The authenticity of Social Media often depends on the personal interactivity each of us brings to it. And arguably one cannot and should not manufacture that.

Having said that, Shari, two thoughts for your consideration…

First, building on what you’ve written, I think we need to distinguish between those who are seeking surrogacy help and those who are seeking “training wheels” in Social Media.

Keep in mind that many of the 1st generation Social Media users — particularly in Twitter — are the “early adopters” who are inherently comfortable with a DIY (do it yourself) model approach to Social Media technology. That’s the tip of the populational iceberg, Many more people — by orders of magnitude — need the professional guidance and help, my “training wheels” metaphor, just because they are not early adopters, and / or they may not think of it in the same way.

And, frankly, too, some of them just are not good candidates for it, for a variety of reasons, (1) they’re not comfortable being open and transparent, (2) they’re not comfortable sharing unrehearsed personal reactions, (3) they’re not good or effective writers, (4) they’re not good typists, and / or (5) they may just not “get it”. Any of those may seem laughable to many Social Media users, but I’d just encourage people not to be too quick to dismiss such barriers to entry.

Second, the whole world is being told that Social Media, too, is an effective route to business building. And it is. And, to the extent that business and its managers hire people or buy professional help for ancillary business-building communications (e.g., advertising, PR, direct marketing, special events, promotions), these managers can look at Social Media in that same paradigm.

I do my own Facebook and LinkedIn, virtually daily, and, for a grey-haired guy, I was an early arrival to each of them. But, condescension is not an attractive quality, and I’d urge those who are early to the Social Media party not to indulge in condescension towards those who are later arrivals, and / or those who just don’t get it yet. It’s neither useful or nice.
Posted by Sam Waltz

Jul 11, 2010
8:09 pm
#12 Karen Clark :

I’ve seen some companies who do this very well by hiring someone part or full time who is their social media “voice” but it is much more than what I could consider a VA job.

A great example is Rick Bakas who works for St. Supery Winery in Napa. His job is to tweet, Facebook, Youtube and get out there for events and IRL networking for the winery. Since he’s local he might be someone to get to weigh in on this Shari!

http://rickbakas.com/

Karen

Author Jul 11, 2010
8:54 pm
#13 Shari Weiss :

I’m “on it” or will be after my presentation tomorrow night.
Thanks for the tip
🙂

Author Jul 12, 2010
12:20 am

Group: Social Media Marketing Mavens
Subject: New comment (4) on “Please Do My Social Media For Me”
Shari you’re on the right track. If you’re fishing for marlins don’t cast your line in a lake. Treat social media as another marketing avenue that requires goals, strategies and tools. The major difference with social media is that unlike traditional marketing your work does not stop when the media is executed.

Social media is an ongoing conversation with clients, prospects and suspects. To be proficient you have to publish content that is relevant and helpful to your target market. Respond in a reasonable time to people’s posts, assist people without shoving your products/services at them and test witch social media platforms will provide the best R.O.I..

Also consider that you can use social media to reduce overhead expenses making your business more profitable which may be a better goal to achieve than looking to use social media to drive more sales.

In my brief conclusion there are a lot of social media tools that can become big time wasters and rob your business of valuable time and money but with some research and establishing clear manageable goals, and strategies it will be easier to decide which social media tools to place in your marketing toolkit.

Have a GREAT week

Jul 12, 2010
2:28 am

Hi Shari
Just found your blog and must say lovin it. Friend recommended to me – love the recommendation network, don’t you?
Your tips and ideas on outsourcing social media are well articulated and documented. I myself am a Social Media VA and have found many businesses want to ‘get started’ but don’t know how. That’s where I come in – set everything up for them, work out a strategy and help them find their voice.
Great article and I’ll be following your blog posts from now on in.
Cheers
Tania

Author Jul 12, 2010
9:46 am
#16 Shari Weiss :

Tania, I think a MARVELOUS follow-up would be a Guest Post from you about the issues you face as a VA doing Social Media. Are you game?
🙂
If so, please let me know.

Jul 12, 2010
7:24 am
#17 Brennan :

I think that it’s a bad habit for companies to get you to do their social media, but at the same time, I think I agree with the idea of ‘training wheels.’ Some people are just better at online networking, just like some people are better at real life networking. It’s a fact of life. =)

Jul 12, 2010
7:45 am
#18 Tim Pacileo :

Shari while I agree with your comments and approach, the issue that I keep finding is that many of my clients just don’t have the time or understand all the benefits of Social Media as well as online marketing. As a result of this we created a completely integrated and online marketing solution that integrates the web site with a blog, email marketing and the social media sites. We then set up a 12 month marketing campaign for the client that can run on autopilot for 12 months and also gives the client the ability to easily make changes to their site and/or send out emails and updates to the social media sites whenever they want too.

While not the ideal solution based on your recommendations it does get out clients into on-line marketing and social media. We do this all including the 12 month campaign for one time fee starting at $1,199.00. http://www.theboardroomadvisors.com

If you would like more information or want to work with us we would be pleased to discuss how we can partner up with you.

Author Jul 12, 2010
9:45 am
#19 Shari Weiss :

Tim, please do let me know how we can partner. Perhaps one initial way would be for me to interview for a blog post.
🙂
THX for connecting here.

Jul 12, 2010
11:43 am
#20 Rick Bakas :

Hello from Napa! Thanks to Karen Clark for connecting us. We’d love to have you up to the winery to talk more about this, and maybe open a bottle of wine while we’re at it 🙂

Author Jul 12, 2010
11:54 am
#21 Shari Weiss :

You’re on, Rick. We’ll make a date soon. I even have a partner who does videos of companies “doing it right.” Email me at sharisax@aol.com
🙂

Jul 14, 2010
1:02 am
#22 Anthony Russo :

Hi Shari. Another great article. I sometimes feel like you are writing to(for) me. Just a sign of your good advice I guess.

My company, Infinity Conference Call, is actually expanding our offering of conferencing services to now offer Social Media Consulting and Management. It is a fine line to walk to be able to ‘portray’ a company, without being a working part of it.

One of the important aspects of our company is that we cannot promote any and everyone in social media as that would be “double-talking” and ruin credibility we feel. (Company A is great one day and Company B is on the next, even if both in the same industry).

Depending on the level the person themselves is going to have involvement with the message that is spread, I feel this is an important point to consider.

We just launched this division of our company this week in addition to our conferencing offerings so we are looking forward to the new frontiers this will lead us to.

Anthony Russo
Conferencing Specialist
Infinity Conference Call
arusso@infinityconferencecall.com
Skype: anth.russo
Twitter: @AnthonyRusso

Author Jul 14, 2010
1:12 am
#23 Shari Weiss :

I am writing for you, Anthony.
Thanks for being such a loyal reader . . . and friend. Oh, BTW, I’m going to my high school reunion the weekend of Aug 28-29 in Cleveland — if you’ll be anywhere near, we can meet up.

Jul 14, 2010
8:37 am

That sounds great Shari. Added that date to my calendar. As it gets closer we can set up a Meetup in Cleveland.

Anthony

Jul 15, 2010
12:01 pm
#25 Glenn :

Shari
Nice easy to follow list for setting up a social media account. I think the setup and format is a good thing to outsource, but concur with the other commenters that your social media voice must be your own. I guess I see all of the communication platforms on the internet as ways to engage with your customers and prospects. Communicating with customers/prospects is for 99% of all businesses a core competency – which most outsourcing experts say a business should never outsource.
Maybe that is why there is so much clutter on social media – folks just don’t see the marketing leads to a relationship, not just a click.. Thanks for your comments on my blog – I like your voice here…
Glenn

Author Jul 16, 2010
1:09 am
#26 Shari Weiss :

Glenn, one point that your response calls to mind is something I remember from Patrick Schwerdtfeger presentations, i.e., that so many people “do it wrong,” that those who “do it right” will shine like a beacon.
🙂

Jul 22, 2010
6:57 pm

I would add, Shari, that it’s important to remember what your goal is for your Social Media investment and go where your audiences is.

Great post … thanks for sharing your expertise!

Best,
Christine Hueber

Author Jul 22, 2010
7:13 pm
#28 Shari Weiss :

ABSOLUTELY AGREE . . . on both accounts.
1) If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there
2) Fish where the fish are
Sorry about the cliches, but when they fit, they fit

Mar 17, 2011
10:18 am

I think having an outside party do your social media is totally crazy. It needs to be done by somebody within the company in charge of PR. Nobody can connect with your customers like you can. I really don’t think large corporations can reap the benefits of social media like small businesses can. I think the doors have swung wide opened for small business owners due to Social Media marketing. You just have to begin and show up.

Author Mar 17, 2011
4:42 pm
#30 Shari Weiss :

One more for OUR side. Thanks Nicole. It just isn’t “social” media when no one is there to engage.

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