VAs Helping Clients with Social Networking

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Since my previous post on how VAs can help clients with social networking like Twitter, there has been a lot of discussion on industry lists about whether VAs SHOULD provide this kind of support – or whether it defeats the purpose of the networking aspect of these sites.

There is no doubt a VA can save clients heaps of time by looking after things like setting up accounts, profiles, Facebook pages etc etc – and yes, I still maintain a VA can for example, Tweet for a client – BUT ONLY the client’s actual words.

It is my belief that to use Twitter effectively you should have a combination of personal tweets and business-related tweets, together with retweets and responses. This would be broken up into say 35% business, 40% personal and 25% retweeting and response. Why this break up? Because people do business with people they know – therefore you need to let other Tweeps know about you personally. People don’t want to be hammered with your offers of support or have you constantly selling your services. You should also be seen to be helpful.

I ask clients to provide me with a number of 140 character Tweets that can be used for the 35% business component. In their own time they can tweet the personal stuff. If there are tweets of interest to them or direct messages, then I advise them of this and they can either reply themselves or let me know what they’d like to say.

This is different from ghosting for the client – ie where the VA pretends to be the client.

I think a VA can very successfully manage a client’s online networking until it actually gets to the ‘nitty gritty’ of networking – ie DMs from Tweeps, messages sent directly from Facebook and so on, in which case the client should be responding to these personally to build the relationship.

I view this in the same was as being a PA or Executive Assistant. When I worked in these roles I often opened the executive’s mail (including private and confidential items) and only took to him those items that REALLY needed his attention, responding on his behalf to the others. As an executive VA who specialises in supporting execs and directors, I don’t really see a difference now that communication like this has moved electronic.

Let’s face it, MOST of the heavy hitters on Twitter with 75,000 followers aren’t interested in networking anyway and are there purely for the ‘glory’ of being the ‘top tweep’. No client wants to waste their time going through all the tweets these people put out – even WITH TweetDeck and other apps, or searches set up. Getting a VA to do that kind of thing who then alerts them to anything interesting/applicable/relevant is, to my way of thinking, a more useful application of their time resources – which is fundamentally what having a VA is all about.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop, http://www.execstress.com/

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