June 17, 2011
Social networking can take up more time than you realize. You’re online checking your Facebook status updates, and suddenly an hour has passed before you know it. Is there any way to authentically outsource your social networking so that this marketing activity doesn’t become another drain on your already too-full schedule?
The answer is both yes and no. The nature of social networking is to connect and create bonds with others. So, it would stand to reason that it would be difficult to outsource your personality. And, of course, anyone that you hire to help you with this doesn’t know the people that you know nor does she have your depth and breadth of knowledge.
Given that, what are the kinds of tasks that you CANNOT delegate in social media marketing? These would include:
a. Replying to personal messages on Facebook or Linkedin or responding to direct messages (DMs) on Twitter .
b. Responding to @ replies on Twitter.
c. Giving recommendations on Linkedin.
d. Making daily conversational connections with your followers/friends/contacts and responding to their status updates.
However, there are a number of tasks that you can easily delegate to an assistant, provided that you give her guidelines to follow. Here are the 7 most effective social media marketing tasks you can outsource:
1. Prescheduled Marketing Tips or Quotes
If you use a social networking management tool like Hootsuite, you can write a series of useful tips for your target market or a series of quotes and have your assistant schedule those to be posted on your behalf over a period of several weeks. Depending on your assistant’s knowledge of your business and writing skill, she may be able to draft these tips for you, and then you can edit them and return those to her for scheduling.
2. Inviting Friends and Followers to Events
If you’re planning a meeting or a teleseminar or product launch, your assistant can enter that information into both Linkedin and Facebook and invite your friends and followers to that event. You may need to write the copy for the event, however, unless your assistant does copywriting for you. And, you can ask your assistant to draft a series of 10-20 140-character promotional Tweets that you edit and approve.
Your assistant can then schedule those to go out over a specified period to promote your event.
3. Responding to Event Requests, Fan Pages, Gifts and Spam
I am inundated with invites to events. Ask your assistant to screen those and delete all but those in which you might be interested, and then you can respond to those appropriately. Provide your assistant with instructions on which fan pages you want to “like”, as well as what Facebook “gifts” you want to receive. All the Facebook gifting annoys me, and I know that many times accepting these gifts opens your account up to be hacked, so I routinely delete all drinks, flowers, etc. sent my way. Ask your assistant to delete spammy direct messages in Twitter and Facebook, as well.
4. Approving Friend and Connection Requests
Outline your friend acceptance policy for Facebook and LinkedIn. In Facebook, you may have your friends segmented into groups, so you’ll need to describe who goes into those groups. If you have a followup strategy that you employ upon accepting a friend/connection, you’ll need to document that process, as well. Once you have shared these processes with your assistant, she should be able to accept friend
and connection requests on your behalf and follow up accordingly.
5. Sending Birthday Greetings
Facebook notifies you of your friends’ upcoming birthdays. Create a birthday greeting message to send to those folks, and add a video to the greeting as well. My assistant checks for birthday notifications daily and sends out the Beatles birthday song video with my birthday greeting.
6. Adding Members of Your Target Market
You need to outline clear guidelines and criteria about the characteristics of your target market and where they can be found. Your assistant can then go out and search for these folks and send out friend/contact requests accordingly.
7. Setup of Automated Social Networking
There are a number of social networking tasks that can be easily automated. For example, your WordPress or Typepad blog can be set up to automatically post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn each time you submit a blog post. If you use aWeber for email marketing, each of your ezines can be set to be sent automatically to all of your social networking contacts. If you submit articles to EzineArticles.com, your account can be linked to your Twitter profile so that each accepted article is also posted to Twitter. If you submit slidecasts to Slideshare or documents to Scribd, you can set up your account to share those on your social networks, as well.
Bonus tip for LinkedIn users: Screening of questions at LinkedIn Answers. Talk to your assistant about the kinds of questions you are able to answer from LinkedIn Answers. Have her review questions in your area of expertise and flag those you should answer.
Social networking doesn’t have to be a big time drain. Set up criteria and guidelines so that your assistant can take many of the tasks off of your hands, which will let you concentrate on making valuable connections and getting to better know your followers and friends.
Internet Marketing Coach Donna Gunter helps professional service businesses stop the client chase and create online businesses that drive clients to them. Want to learn specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your online visibility in this
free ebook, Turbocharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at ==> www.TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com