Social media management takes time, forethought, planning, strategy, photography talent, copywriting skills, and much more. Many shopkeepers prefer to outsource this part of their business for precisely these reasons.
When you’re building a retail business, it’s essential to establish your brand, voice, style, and products to your ideal customer, whether they are local or not. This can all be done by posting for free on social media. If you’re new to social media and haven’t listened to episode #3 of the Savvy Shopkeeper Podcast, you should! It has all of my best tips for shopkeepers starting on Instagram.
But if you’re at a point in your business where you have a good foundation and your foot traffic, revenue and followers are all increasing, then it’s time to delegate some of the social media work. I’m here to help you figure out how to delegate this based on your budget and the expertise you require.
Starting with option #1 may not get you strategy and expertise, but it will clear some time off your already hectic schedule. And of course, we all have to start somewhere!
#1: Delegate to a Family Member
I know many shopkeepers that feel their children or other young adult family members are way more talented and skilled at social media. Usually, these children are already familiar with the family business, so it’s a relatively smooth transition. Just make sure this person understands your brand, your voice, your values, and your products. This may not cost you a thing, or you might pay them a small fee.
#2: Train an Intern / Do a 90-Day Trial with a Beginner VA
Bringing on an intern or a VA in training is free or low cost. However, you will need to train someone at this level, so the trade-off is your time.
If you are looking for an intern, try reaching out to the local college’s Business department. Marketing majors might be looking for real-world experience. Just be sure to check rules in your state regarding internships, as it is different everywhere.
Keep in mind that you may not be paying out of pocket, but you’ll be paying in time to train them. If this person hits it out of the ballpark or you find they have potential, you can hire them.
#3: Delegate to a Current Team Member
Pay someone on your team their hourly rate to either do the additional work or handle the task during regular work hours. This is ideal for someone on your team who is savvy with social media because they are already familiar with your store. They are in your store regularly, can take photographs, know your brand, and know your voice.
Maybe this person wants more hours, or perhaps they aren’t strong in sales, but you find they are strong in marketing. Remember to play to the strengths of individual team members—everyone is different!
#4: Hire a Professional VA / Social Media Manager
Most experienced virtual assistants and social media managers charge anywhere from $25 to $50 an hour. At this hourly rate, this person should guide you by setting up a social media system.
They should have a system for sharing pictures between you, set up a scheduler where you can review posts before publication, write your content using your voice, and use your insights from Facebook or Instagram to make strategic recommendations.
A VA or SMM is a professional who is better than you at social media. Especially at this hourly rate, they should have KPI’s and provide you with a strategy! Hopefully, they will also grow your accounts, although this can’t be guaranteed. Be wary of anyone who promises growth, as there are some ways to grow accounts that go against Facebook and Instagram’s terms of service. You don’t want your VA to use bots, follow pods, or any other shady tactics on your account!
Some VAs and SMMs also offer package rates, where there is a set amount of work per month for a flat rate. I’ve seen packages where a VA will handle two social media platforms, like IG and FB, with a set number of posts per day or per month for a fixed price, like $500/mo. But I’ve also seen where they charge $500 for one platform with engagement as an additional rate.
Be sure to read your contracts and understand the agreement VERY WELL. An SMM is an investment, but if the SMM is good at what they do, you should be seeing an ROI within a few months.
Whoever You Choose, Set Up a System
In our mastermind group, Master Shopkeepers, the topic of hiring and delegating so the business owner can be the visionary of their business and focus on growing the business comes up often.
I’ll be teaching a masterclass to our Master Shopkeepers in the future all about hiring or delegating for their social media accounts. I’ll also teach them how to set up systems and processes for their Social Media Manager (no matter who it is, be it a family member, team member, or pro SMM).
We all know in retail there is turnover. If I’m teaching shopkeepers to work less and profit more, then I want you to create this system ONCE, so if you have to bring a new person on to handle your social media, you aren’t creating the wheel all over again.
Be sure to join the waitlist for Master Shopkeepers if you want to attend this masterclass in the future!
- Shopkeeper Shoutout: Heather Soman Boardman of The Canterbury Creative
- Ep. 3 of the Savvy Shopkeeper Podcast: Instagram Blueprint for Shopkeepers
- Master Shopkeepers waitlist
- [00:51] Shopkeeper Shoutout
- [03:24] How to Know if You Need a Social Media Manager (SMM)
- [04:12] Delegate to a Family Member
- [05:02] Train an Intern or Do a Free Trial With a Virtual Assistant (VA)
- [06:18] Assign to a Current Team Member
- [09:09] Hire a VA or SMM