Whether you creating a social media campaign to promote your own business or you’re helping out someone else, there are a surprising number of steps that you can outsource to both individuals — and trusty online tools. While some don’t advocate outsourcing your social media networking activities, we don’t wholly agree as long as you’re smart about it. The fact is, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on social media — such as posting tweets, building links, marketing content, researching keywords, managing email lists, creating online profiles, and writing blog posts and comments — all without losing the benefits.
- Posting tweets: You may have a whole bunch of tweets that you want to post on Twitter at different times, but you don’t want to have to keep going back to the site. Tools like HootSuite and CoTweet let you post tweets in advance, as well as allow other people to post to the account.
- Writing blog posts: Blog posts are crucial to building traffic over time, but you don’t have to write them all. You can hire a blogger to write on a regular basis, or write just occasional posts. (For a list of freelance bloggers see this post and that post.)
- Creating profiles: A new type of freelance writer has started offering profile services, like writing LinkedIn profiles. Many resume writers now offer to create profiles for you on various social networking sites.
- Social bookmarking: Getting good rankings on sites like Digg can be very useful, but it can be tough to convince everyone you know to vote for your link every time. Social bookmarking services help you boost ratings without emailing friends and family.
- Create a social media marketing campaign: PR and marketing firms are starting to add social media marketing services in order to help clients build a presence online.
- Managing a community: Forums and networks can be a crucial part of a social media presence, but they take a lot of time to manage. Community managers can handle growing such networks for you.
- Staying up-to-date: It’s important to know what’s being said about your company online. Tools like Google Alerts automate the process so that you don’t have to continually search for your name.
- Keyword research: Knowing what terms people are searching helps you to target a social media campaign. A good SEO team can do your keyword research for you and even offer suggestions on how to best make use of that research.
- Upload photos: For sites like Facebook and Flickr, you can simplify the process of uploading photos. There are both tools from the sites themselves and from third parties that allow you to upload an entire folder of photos in one go.
- Create videos: If a YouTube channel is part of your strategy, hiring a freelance video editor can help you make sure you always have new videos on your profile.
- Manage email lists: After you’ve got a few email addresses on your list, sending out updates can be tough. A newsletter tool, like AWeber makes it easier — and you can hire a newsletter creator who does nothing but work with AWeber every day.
- Commenting: One of the best ways to attract bloggers’ attention is to comment on their blogs. Having a dedicated comment writer who works for you can have the same results as commenting yourself.
- Offering guest posts: Sending out guest posts to other blogs doesn’t have to require a lot of writing time. You can work with a ghost blogger to create and place the posts.
- Ebook development: An ebook can be a fast way to build lots of links to a site, but it requires writing, design and even a little marketing of its own.There are freelancers able to take on all parts of the process, helping you get an ebook out fast.
- Conduct surveys: Getting information from your community can require conducting research. The fastest way is to put together a survey with a tool like SurveyMonkey.
- Adding new connections: While there is software that can get you thousands of new followers in minutes, it’s generally better to grow your connections organically. But you can put that task in the hands of a virtual assistant.
- Submit posts: It’s important to submit your blog posts to social bookmarking sites. Depending on the blogging platform you use, you can install a plugin to automatically do just that every time you write a new post.
- Content planning: For many social media campaigns, it’s important to have consistent content that you can pump out to multiple networking sites. Content development professionals are able to help you come up with a consistent plan across sites, and can often create the content as well.
- Personalized network: Having a branded forum or network specifically for your business or organization can help you build closer connections with your target market. You don’t have to build it from scratch, though — tools like Ning let you roll out a new network immediately.
- Submit to article directories: Article directories provide a simple way to build links. You can work with a freelance writer to create appropriate articles — and many writers will now submit the articles for you as part of their services.
- Build links: Especially if your site is newer, it can be important to build up links in order to improve search engine results. An SEO professional can help you build links from a variety of sites and blogs.
- Content marketing: The technique of using content to market your business has become a discipline of its own, with marketing specialists able to take care of each part of the process.
- Fan pages: Creating and promoting Facebook fan pages can be something of an art form, but there are Facebook experts with experience building up a community around a fan page.
- Forum posting: Being active in forums related to your audience’s interests can help you build a presence. This time-consuming task can be handed off to a virtual assistant as well as a social media marketing specialist who focuses on forum posting.
- Everything else: There’s a new type of virtual assistant becoming prevalent — the social media virtual assistant. You can outsource every step of a social media campaign, including both planning and execution to a social media virtual assistant.
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