Social media is without a doubt a key element to the success of an online business, but it is just as critical to the offline business, yet many business owners just don’t have the time it takes to nurture their platforms. Social media provides the business owner a way to establish online trust, build relationships and market themselves in a way that is authentic. There are so many opportunities to get involved with groups and network online it can seem overwhelming when thinking about where you want to start. It can seem hard enough to maintain one social media platform, much less multiple but if your not out there on at least the major sites, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. One thing to consider if you don’t have the time it takes to really dive in to these networking opportunities, consider out-sourcing it to an assistant. If you’re an offline business you could hire someone specifically for this or you can save a ton of money a use a virtual assistant to take care of it for you. Here are some questions many business owners ask when trying to find the solution to this critical social media conundrum.

Q: Why should I outsource my social media?

A: You are a busy business owner, and you are highly skilled at running whatever your business is all about; running a quality social media campaign can be a full time job. Hiring an individual that takes on your role and builds these relationships for you is affordable and smart and when done right the rewards will be paid back again and again! It will free you up and give you more time to focus on your business and family!

Q: Isn’t tweeting a few times a day good enough?

A: Well honestly that all depends on your business. If your getting good leads and forming relationships with the few tweets a day, then great! However, if you are simply setting up social networking sites and using them occasionally then that’s not enough. You need to be engaging your followers, or fans and creating opportunities to mingle, posting relevant tweets and looking at others information and commenting on it as well!

Q: How do I outsource my social media; people know me, not who ever I hire?

A: A good assistant on or off-line will take the time to get to know your business, read your previous social media logs, your writing style and adapt accordingly. The best way to see if the person is the right fit for you is to hire them for a couple of hours to get them to show you what they can do. If your not happy, then move on. A professional assistant respects that clients need someone to take on their persona, step into their shoes and if the person you hire is not doing this to your liking then no muss no fuss, just don’t re-hire. The opposite is usually the case however, when businesses owners are pleasantly surprised at the attention their business gains, when the assistant is engaging their potential customers!

Q: How do I trust who I hire with my private information?

A: Whoever you hire needs to be of solid moral character. The best solution for social media outsourcing is hiring a virtual assistant because this is what they do! They solve problems for their clients for a living and if they are offering social media then you can bet they are good at what they do and do not want negative publicity.

Q: What do I have them say or add to my platforms?

A: This is where the professionalism of a virtual assistant is at its best! This is what they do, and they will come up with a strategy for your social media that is a reflection of your business. Many will work with you’re existing themes or help you create one for a campaign. This is where having a virtual assistant that is creative will be to your advantage!

Q: How do I know how much time to purchase?

A: The best way to start off is by sampling the service in a small chunk of time. You can purchase a couple of hours to allow for the VA to set up the strategy with you and go over your business, then have them choose one platform and see what they can do. The key to social media is maintenance so you want to hire someone that can consistently handle the job however to start you need to find out who the best assistant is for you and your business, so start small and work your way up depending on the type of business.

Q: What’s the best way to pay for the services?

A: every VA has different preferred methods of payment and rates. You may want to look for someone that allows for you to roll over the time you purchase. Time cant be spent quickly on social media but if you purchase a small package with a minimum number of hours but only want them to use 2 of the 5 for example then you can always roll the extra time into the next months purchase. This gives you more time and you don’t just lose the extra time you paid for.

Q: How do I let the VA know what I want and get the information to them?

A: This is a common question, because business owners are not thinking in terms of virtual assistants being able to provide services for them anywhere there is an internet connection. A good assistant will have a form for you to fill out and email it back to them and most will have secure email and documents for securing the privacy of their clients.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle Gutierrez is both a virtual assistant for solopreneurs and a career consultant for teachers. A married mother of 2 and a former educator, Michelle left the classroom to peruse a small business when her children were born. Michelle has had a few small businesses and knows the importance of getting help, and she offers her advice for free and focused help or assistance affordably! She is the founder of the Teacher’s Next Step, and Mom Entrepreneurs SA as well as the owner of Ms. Hoverfly Virtual Small Biz VA. Michelle is a speaker, author, certified teacher and administrative assistant. She lives in San Antonio, Texas with her family and speaks to other educators and solopreneurs across the state.