I saw an interesting article today titled “Take Advantage of Social Networking with a Virtual Assistant” so of course I went and read it straight away.
I have very firm ideas about what a VA should and shouldn’t do for a client and networking is one of those things I don’t believe we should be doing.
I agree we can set up profiles for clients and hold their hand and help them through the process of learning to use tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others but I strongly believe we shouldn’t be in there doing the connecting for them.
Why? Because those people we’re connecting with will assume that we are the person we’re representing and they’ll be forming a false ‘relationship’ with someone who isn’t who they appear to be.
I believe that our clients really need to be doing the networking. They have their own personalities and interests and will be drawn towards certain people that have an instant rapport with them. Unless our own personalities closely match that of our clients, that really isn’t going to work.
I found the last paragraph of this article interesting:
So save yourself the trouble of running all these online accounts and hire a virtual assistant to do all the online work for you. You will definitely reap the benefits of getting on these online networks and actively build relationships with the people on the networks.
Who is building the relationship in this article? Not the client but the VA. If the client doesn’t have time to build relationships with others then how are they going to grow their business? They can’t remain isolated from people for too long as networking and marketing go hand-in-hand and are an important part of business development and relationship building.
So while I agree that Virtual Assistants can set up profiles, upload images, add bios and even send out invitations to existing contact lists the client has, I don’t agree that the VA should actually be doing the tweeting, connecting, replying and responding – the client needs to take ownership of that part of the networking and do it for themselves. What are your thoughts?