If social media seems like a black hole of cyberspace where all your time gets sucked out of your day, or you still haven’t gotten any leads or opt-ins from your posts, then it’s time you consider an alternative.
One of the smartest things you can do for your social is to outsource the management of it to a competent Virtual Assistant. Here are the steps to successfully contract out your social media management.
Why are you on social media and what are the results you want?
Looking for leads? Want to schedule consults? Building your list? Branding/Recognition?
Write it down and share it with your team, from here they can get you the results you’re looking for!
Keep It Narrow
Pick two goals max, then align your plan with your goal.
For example, if you want to brand and stand out, your focus would be visuals, images, and strong consistent messaging. If you want to build your list, your content should funnel to a sign-up. Keep your focus clear and narrow and your results will be much easier to measure.
Consider A Client
You can get one of your team members or a volunteer who knows your services inside and out to help you with posting, scheduling, and relationship building. You can even consider hiring a client who is a whiz at social media and partially trade services – just be very clear in your written agreement about this new arrangement.
Bribe Your Friends
It’s amazing how much traction you can get by putting your name and expert advice out there, but there may be limits to how many posts you can do in groups. Sometimes, shameless self-promotion is just that — shameless.
It’s a good idea to get team members referring you, tagging you, linking to your business page or website. There are situations where it’s best to post as you (i.e. when you are sharing value content as the “expert”) and situations where it’s best to get someone from your team (or logged in as themselves, not as you) to tag you, refer to you or link to your site (i.e. when people are asking for referrals, or when promo opportunities come up — directly or indirectly).
You can also incentivize your team to interact in your group or on your page; they can ‘like’ and comment on your stuff and tag you in groups in which they are active. You can offer a referral bonus for each person that signs on as a client, thanks to them. A flat rate of $25-50 for each client that signs up works nicely (depending on your price range, of course).
PRO TIP: The only thing that works on social media is building relationships, building relationships, and building relationships!
Friend Your Clients
If you want to take the pressure off and allow people to get to know you and “lurk”, or get to know you better, then friend them on Facebook and LinkedIn (and other platforms where your ideal client hangs out).
When they accept, post something on their wall, because it shows you care about them letting you in. Keep the platform in mind… Facebook is friendly, LinkedIn is professional.
It’s polite, and therefore memorable in the online world, to thank someone for the friend add, and perhaps send them a friendly note. Nothing too personal on a Facebook wall (or other public platform), but a thoughtful note goes a long way. It can be as simple as “Thanks for the add, Carrie! I love your profile pic. I look forward to your posts!” or it can be a simple question that shows interest in who they are, like “Hey Jim, thanks for the add. I love your surfing photo! Where was that taken? Talk soon!”
Please, no promo on people’s walls… it’s in poor taste.
Online Dating Tips
It’s really nice to get a personal note, whether it is via social media or via mail. Write a template for this and make sure your social media manager/coordinator knows how and when to use it, and personalize it to each person.
Sending a note using the person’s name, introducing yourself and asking something about them is a really nice way to start an online relationship. Whether or not you’re a good fit, you’ll make these people feel good about who you are and how you interact online.
If you have any groups, pages, or opt-ins, you can casually invite them in your message and tell them what they’ll get, and do present it as a genuine invitation…because that’s what it is. (Don’t send them FB invites – people join if they want to!) They don’t have to accept and you certainly don’t want to spam people.
If the relationship evolves and someone hops on the phone with you, do take care to send them a note in the mail. It’s classy and thoughtful and really not that expensive! You can check out services like Thankbot and Bond.
PRO TIP: Behave in groups as you would in social settings!
Don’t Be A Douche
When you are posting in other people’s groups, be mindful of the rules! You don’t want to promo if it’s not allowed, or promo on the wrong day… You also don’t want to come across as spammy or fake. Most groups are really good about pinning the rules to the top of the page – read them!
The best advice is to comment with the intention to offer good and solid advice from your perspective as an expert. You can even search groups with your business’ keywords (ex: divorce, relationships, dating, etc. if you are a relationship coach) and see what comes up and how you can SERVE. Often, what works is posting long answers that provide value.
Make sure your social media manager/coordinator has a list of common questions you get and how you’d answer them so they can do this on your behalf. Also be sure they know which opt-ins, pages, groups, and links they can promote and in what circumstance. You can provide those calls to action (CTAs) in the list of common questions.
Post Two to One
On your own profile, page, and group, be sure to share value content following at least a 2:3 ratio. For each promo post you share, you have to have AT LEAST two value posts. People don’t like being sold to… so build the relationship, give them value they can use, and allow the relationship to blossom. Then, when your offers come around, people are chomping at the bit to get in on that action.
Be sure your social media manager/coordinator knows what posts go up when, and where to get your content. Give them a weekly schedule. For example, if you have “Matchmaking Mondays” and “Team Tuesdays”, be sure they know what that means, what images they need to get and/or produce, and where to get copy and links to post.
Be super clear on the content generation process. In other words, who does the copy, the images and where do they get this information? For example, do they get information from a weekly newsletter or a blog? Do they need to speak with your team copywriter and/or designer? Make sure they have this process and contact info written down.
PRO TIP: Only schedule your value or “branded” posts on your own platforms – not in other people’s groups! Stick to 1-2 scheduled posts per day.
Put A Ring On It (Get Engaged!)
The most telling clue that people know who you are, what you do, and like what you are sharing is whether or not they are interacting with you in groups, in your group, on your biz page, and personal posts on your profile.
Ask people questions, ask them about their challenges in your area of expertise (Bonus – this also serves as market research!), get their opinion on items you post, post things for fun to get the ball rolling… whatever you do, get people talking. Usually, about your posts.
And remember, the only way social media works is to build relationships (yes, we said it again!) so you must check all throughout the day to answer questions, hit “like” on other people’s comments, and truly engage with your fans and followers. Don’t just post and run or you will NEVER see the results you want from your investment in social media.