The best way to grow your social media following is NOT a VA!

Have you ever looked at the social media followings of your online biz owner crushes (like Marie Forleo and Amy Porterfield – just two of my not-so-secret biz crushes)…

…. and wonder just how the holy hell they’ve managed to amass such an adoring flock?

Do they have some secret well of Felix Felicis they draw from? (that’s luck potion for you non-Potterheads)

Are they just better at running their business than us ordinary folk?

Is it the hair? (Marie’s is the stuff of my most envious dreams… I mean, look at it!)

Drooling done? K, good. Let’s continue.

The reason people like Marie and Amy amass hundreds of thousands of followers (ready to buy the heck out of every new thing they launch) is not luck or luscious hair.

It’s not just knowledge or teaching people how to build their businesses (which they’ve also got down to an art).

It’s because they’re open. They put their authentic selves out there consistently. They build genuine relationships and engagement with their followers.

And what’s just one of the vehicles they use to build these relationships?

Social media!

I’m guessing here, but I expect they don’t have time to make Instagram posts and reply to thousands of comments all day. They likely have a dedicated and talented AF team in the driver’s seat of their social media vehicle.

And they’re not the only ones getting help. Businesses at every level seek help with their social media. 


Because it’s frickin’ time-consuming! 

And developing a solid online presence by yourself, on top of everything else you’re doing in, and for, your business, is hard.

Coming up with really creative, eye-catching content filled with personality, learning how to schedule it, and figuring out when to schedule it, can seem impossible if that’s not your thing.

Besides, your focus should be on your area of genius, and you should shamelessly offload tasks that take away from it.

The great news is there’s a kind of VA on the scene who can help you grow your social media following, get your content “tight and right” (as Laura Belgray would say), and keep your feeds full.

And what is the fantastical name of this mysterious helper-elf?

Social Media VAs (super creative naming, I know)! 

But what they lack in clever nomenclature they make up for in sheer talent.

Want to know what they do, how much they cost, and why I don’t always recommend them?

Read on!

What the heck IS a Social Media VA?

A Social Media VA is just that – a virtual assistant who focuses on social media. 

A good Social Media VA can not only manage your social media presence but build out the strategy and content behind it to increase your followers, popularity, and engagement like crazy!

????????But – that there is a super broad generalization.???????? 

To get down to specifics, a Social Media VA will typically do things like:

  • Meet with you regularly to plan out your content (this could be monthly or perhaps even quarterly)
  • Create a content calendar for you so that you have a visual of what content is going out and when
  • Write the copy for you, or work with a copywriter to create your social media posts
  • Create graphics or work with a graphic designer to make on-brand social media images
  • Make edits and revisions to the content as needed
  • Schedule your content in the tool of your choice (MeetEdgar and Later are our faves)

(????????Psst, if you sign up for MeetEdgar with that link, it’ll tell ‘em I sent you and they’ll thank me with a small monetary gift.)

But that’s not all! Many Social Media VAs are not a one-trick pony! 

They can also:

  • Manage your communities on social media
  • Run reports on your growth and engagement
  • … Even manage your email inbox and help out with other admin work!

How much does a Social Media VA cost?

Want to know what all that goodness will cost you?

The price varies of course, depending on the experience, confidence, proven results, and demand of the VA; but you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $40 – 65 per hour for a Social Media VA.

That said, most Social Media VAs offer packages based on the deliverables they give you rather than working at an hourly rate.

If you want brand new content going out every day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, you’re going to pay way more than if you wanted to post, say 2-3 times a week on just Facebook and Instagram.

Adding on:

  • developing a content strategy
  • creating your content calendar
  • managing your community
  • reporting engagement and new followers
  • uploading the content to the scheduling tool you’re using 

… you can pay anywhere between $500 and $2000 a month or more depending on volume, etc..

And yet, in spite of all the wonderful things a Social Media VA can do, I actually don’t recommend hiring one!

Why you should NOT hire a Social Media VA

I know, I know. 

I’ve just gone on at length about all the great things a Social Media VA can do for you and your business. 

But hear me out.

My biggest “no” with Social Media VAs comes down to one thing; the VA part of the title.

I’m a big believer in owning your skill and working in your area of genius.

People who call themselves a “Social Media VA” often love social media, but offer other services because:

  • They’re desperate. They’re willing to do anything for anyone because they need a payday. They’re struggling to get clients, so they offer other services to fill in the gap. The result? Either they end up unhappy and a little resentful of having to do the VA side of things, or they struggle to figure out their priorities and something slips. The day-to-day urgency pushes aside the long game of social media, or the love of social media pushes aside the dreaded admin tasks.

  • They lack confidence. This one, I totally get because it takes a lot of mental work for someone to truly own their skill (especially if confidence doesn’t come naturally).

    While I ‘get it’, you’re better off using your valuable resources to hire someone who knows what they’re doing and is confident enough to own it.

    Of course, the upsell here is they’re also likely underpricing their services. If you’re willing to work with them to grow their confidence (and then pay an increased price once they understand their value), it can be a win-win. But I’d keep them focused on social media and leave off giving them any general admin work.
  • They want to be full service. Some people love social media but don’t really want to be doing just that (or aren’t very good at it) but want to be a “full service VA”.  

    Again, this is coming from a place of lack. They feel they need to offer everything to increase their value and end up offering sub-par service in areas.

    This is someone who doesn’t know how to say no, or heard they can make more as a Social Media VA and are chasing the money, or think being a “one-stop shop” is selling feature (forgetting that all-in-ones don’t work, not in shampoo and not in VAs – they always do at least one thing poorly).

Knowing how to develop a social media following in the most efficient way possible takes time and commitment, and a dedicated social media specialist can give you that in a way that a VA with divided attention never could.

Enter the Social Media Manager.

I’ve always felt that if you want to help people grow their social media following, you should just call yourself a Social Media Manager (or Content Developer as some call themselves) and just offer those services. 

The words “virtual assistant” carry an implication of being a jack of all trades who will step in wherever they are needed.

Calling yourself a Social Media Manager is a clear and direct declaration of where your area of genius lies and what you do.

Having a Social Media VA who can step in and help in other areas can have its uses, but if you’re REALLY serious about building your social media presence, get a person who exclusively manages social media. 

They will be dedicated to keeping up with all the changes of social media, which nowadays can be a job in and of itself!

And if you’re worried that a Social Media Manager might come with a hefty price tag, don’t be. They may cost a bit more than a Social Media VA, but your ROI will be that much higher!.

Regardless of the person’s title, the goal should be to grow your audience engagement, get more you in your content, and grow your following. 

It’ll be the difference between becoming the next Marie Forleo, and staying stuck with only your mum commenting on your posts.

So, now that you…

  1. Know more about Social Media VAs – how much they cost and what they do
  2. Know why I think Social Media Managers are a better choice
  3. Have heard me wax poetic about Marie Forleo’s hair

… I’d love to know in the comments – have you ever worked with a Social Media VA? What was your experience? Or, if you are a Social Media VA, are you about to compose an angry status update about how off base I am, or are you thinking you might just change your title? 

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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