This article is all about how to become a social media virtual assistant. However, if you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant to help with social media, we’ve covered that too! Just scroll down to the final section at the end.
It’s no secret that social media is a huge part of just about any business these days. Everyone from the local cupcake shop to your car mechanic seems to be active on Facebook. Considering how many people use social media every single day, it is a great place to connect with potential customers or grow an audience.
But using social media can take a surprising amount of time out of each day. Between making posts, following social media groups and finding people who could be your potential audience, many people don’t have the resources to do everything continually. That’s where some people choose to hire a social media virtual assistant. (Also sometimes referred to as a social media VA, or a Pinterest VA, Instagram VA, Twitter VA etc. etc!)
If you love social media and want to start a business you can run entirely from home, you might want to consider becoming a social media virtual assistant. In this guide, we’ll cover everything that’s involved in this career, and help you to get started offering these virtual services.
The duties of a social media virtual assistant
When you think of becoming a social media virtual assistant, it may be tempting to think it’s akin to getting paid to post cat videos for your old college buddies on Facebook! But like any professional career, it’s much more involved than that, and far from the “hobbyist” end of social media use.
After all, people pay you for results; You’ll need to grow an audience – but not just any audience. You need one that is engaged with the brand of your client and willing to buy their services or products. To those ends, there are several duties of a social media virtual assistant, which may include services like:
- Setting up social media profiles
- Customizing pages
- Cleaning up accounts
- Uploading images/creating graphics
- Strategizing when and what to post to optimize an engaged audience
- Analyzing and monitoring the results of posts
- SEO research and keyword use
- Target audience research
- Community building
- Creating and monitoring social media ads
- Copywriting for posts, pages and profiles
- Managing social media giveaways and opt-ins
But being a social media assistant doesn’t simply end with knowing how to use social media…
Additional skills beyond social media
Beyond the above, there are also several soft skills and tools that help a social media virtual assistant be successful.
Kasey, a social media virtual assistant who specializes in Pinterest and works for HomeWorkingClub, said:
“I think the number one thing you need is patience. It may sound cliché, but I really am invested in my clients! I put hours and hours of work into their Pinterest accounts, because I really want to see them succeed. However, it is extremely rare to find success on Pinterest overnight. I always say that Pinterest is a marathon and not a sprint.”
Kasey also mentioned learning Tailwind, an important tool she uses to schedule pins in advance. Pinterest, in particular, requires you to post a lot of relevant pins to gain a following and stay in front of people. And if you have multiple clients, that can mean a LOT of posts throughout each day. So it helps to schedule what you will post in advance. (Editor’s Note: Similarly, I make use of CrowdFire and Buffer to do this myself for Twitter).
She also mentioned Canva, an online photo editing tool and an important asset for social media managers, since there’s a lot of work with creating and posting images. Competence with Photoshop is also a desirable skill.
Kasey also said that “another important skill is being able to understand site analytics. It may sound complicated, but it is very easy to learn. Understanding site analytics is crucial, because if a client has one piece of content on their site that is really popular, you will definitely want to capitalize on that. You will want to pin that content more frequently, share that content in Tailwind tribes, and do anything else that you can to make the most of the popularity of that content.”
How much can you earn as a social media virtual assistant?
With how much work is involved, and how many skills go into being a social media virtual assistant, you may be wondering how much this career pays. For a hard number, ZipRecruiter lists US virtual social media assistant pay at a $31,000 average annual salary. However, individual experiences always vary.
If you go into business for yourself, everything will depend on how many clients you have and how you price your services. It’s also worth taking into account that this is a job that lends itself rather well to part-time work alongside a traditional role, or as part of a portfolio career.
Regarding rates, Kasey said, “As with any business, I price my services based on demand and the availability of my time. For a Pinterest VA who is just starting out, you probably won’t be able to charge ‘the going rate’ because you lack experience and haven’t proven your worth yet. But after you gain some experience and establish a reputation, you can charge a rate comparable to other established Pinterest VAs. With a little research, you should be able to figure out your pricing easily.”
How to find clients as a social media virtual assistant
You will, of course, need to land your first virtual assistant contract. As is the case when looking for a social media virtual assistant, the best place to find clients when working one is often the realm where you work: social media!
When asked how she finds clients, Kasey said, “The short answer is: any way possible. The long answer: I try to be where bloggers are. I run a blog personally at buttertogetherkitchen.com, and I’ve found the best place to connect with other bloggers is on Facebook groups that pertain to blogging. I try to be active in those groups. If I see someone post about Pinterest, I will mention that I am a Pinterest VA and will invite them to contact me if they ever need help with their Pinterest.”
However, Kasey cautions that you need to balance sounding helpful against annoying people: “Don’t spam comments sections with generic comments, especially those meant to promote your business. People can tell the difference between when you’re actually trying to help and engage with them and when you’re out to hyper-sell your services. Be in the mindset of helping people and engaging with them as a human being, and mention your services as and when it feels appropriate.”
There are several other ways to go about finding work as a VA and landing your first virtual assistant contract. You can learn more about them here.
Where to find a social media virtual assistant
If you’re looking for a social media virtual assistant yourself, there are many places to find them.
You might want to start off by looking in the social media virtual assistant’s natural habitat: on social media itself. You could search for Facebook groups that are centred around social media use, virtual assisting and even blogging. Many people comment in these groups, and you can contact someone who sounds knowledgeable in their area.
There are also platforms for connecting with gig workers, like Upwork and Fiverr. However, because these sites let practically anyone sign up, you do have to do your due diligence and check backgrounds and credentials, ideally through an independent Google search and by looking at profiles directly on the site.
On top of that, there are also services out there that connect you with virtual assistants. Some examples are TaskBullet, VA Staffer and Okay Relax. You should check reviews on places like these, however, as some VAs may offer better services than others. You could even check Glassdoor if the company has a listing to see how it treats the virtual assistants. After all, a place that doesn’t treat its virtual assistants well is going to have trouble retaining top talent!
If this career appeals to you, check out “The Art of Social Media.” Or, take a look at Tailwind and how it can help you grow followings on Pinterest and Instagram.
Michelle Lovrine Honeyager is a freelance writer who has written features for a number of consumer and industry print magazines, as well as stories for niche websites, digital lifestyle magazines and general news sites.