va_computer_smileSome marketers around the web harp that in order for social media marketing to be effective, you have to and should do it all yourself. That is, you shouldn’t let someone else socialize on your behalf. Tweet your own tweets. Post your own juicy bits to Facebook. Etc. Yet social media marketing is a time consuming and often tedious undertaking. Isn’t it possible to outsource at least some of this increasingly critical piece of the web marketing pie?

Indeed it is. And you don’t have to compromise your integrity or your brand to do it. Instead, think of your social media marketing strategy as an ever changing tapestry. Most elements of the artistry must be painted by you and only you. But who says you have to find the right frame for each piece? Or hang your own art on the wall? Here are some social media marketing tasks you can outsource and still sleep at night:

  1. Social media profile setup. Who the heck can figure out those blasted Facebook Fan Pages anyway? Hire a Virtual Assistant to set up your profiles on selected social media sites. But go beyond the data entry and have your VA assist you in making those profiles mini marketing engines for your core online business or website.
  2. Research and select social media tools. Tempting as it may be, resist the urge to take a shotgun approach to your social media strategy. Instead, have your Virtual Assistant scope out those tools and sites that fit your online marketing goals best. Different sites attract different audiences. Know who you’re talking to before getting involved.
  3. Dig for the gold. You can’t just contribute content; you must actively seek out your ideal audience. Once you’re active on the social web, you need to be on the lookout for groups, networks, individual users and power users whom you should be connecting with. Potential clients as well as strategic alliances (think joint ventures and referrals) are everywhere.
  4. Maintain. Maintain. Maintain. If you’re not engaging your social circles on a consistent basis, your returns will be inconsistent if not negligible. A VA can ensure you stay focused by setting up contribution schedules, Tweetlaters, and weekly alerts and updates around what is happening in your social sphere. You’ll have no excuse for dropping off the radar.
  5. Micro-content creation and distribution. Assigning a Virtual Assistant this task doesn’t make you a fake or a liar. For example, why can’t a VA who knows your brand inside and out ping your content (new blog posts for e.g.) or reply to specific questions or replies from followers? The key is to remain the primary gatekeeper of your brand, to remain engaged with your audience on the whole. If you can outsource things like copywriting and SEO, you can outsource this kind of micro-content and do it ethically.

The social web doesn’t have to be overwhelming, though it can be when you’re trying to implement a multi-channel marketing strategy. With a trustworthy VA on board who “gets” social media, you’ll be on the radar screen of your target audience and ready to convert fans into clients.

So how about it? Are you ready to outsource some of your social media tasks? If not, why? If so, which ones?

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