I’ve mentioned that my social media has been outsourced. That doesn’t mean I don’t network in Facebook groups and on the social media channels myself. I’m still present but I outsource my marketing.

Well, in the groups I’ve heard that there has been some confusion over VAs and social media experts. People think that the two terms are interchangeable when they’re really now. Many got into the VA vs. social media expert debate.

There are some major differences between the two, but the two skills can combine. Some VAs may be social media experts, although the same isn’t usually the case the other way around. VAs do need to learn about social media, so it’s understandable why there is some confusion. But which is which and what do you need for your social media needs?

Knowing Everything About Social Media Marketing

While VAs  do learn some stuff about social media marketing, the social media experts are the ones who know the most. They will know absolutely everything, from where your target audience is likely to be to the hashtags that you really need to use.

Your social media marketer will know the best tools to use for scheduling your content and will stay on top of every single change to the social media algorithms. They’ll be members of various groups and understand how to sell without being too pushy.

VAs won’t necessarily know everything. They know enough to set up your social media schedule and reply to comments, but they won’t necessarily know the marketing techniques. They can help improve engagement and take some of the tasks off your hands, but they won’t necessarily know enough to really boost your views and your income.

Work on Other Elements of Your Busy

There are times that I think I need a VA more than a social media expert for my business. In the VA vs. social media expert debate, there is no denying that a VA can do a lot more. They can manage your emails, work on your email list, schedule blog posts, and connect with your followers.

Social media experts work within the social media area only. They work on building your engagement and following across various social media platforms.

VAs work in so many other areas. While they can help with social media, this isn’t their number one job! But they can help you have more time for life.

social media manager or a VA?

Knowing the Different Social Media Platforms

VAs may know every platform but they don’t necessarily need to. Some will only work on the main marketing platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Social media experts need to know about all the different platforms out there. They need to know how to make Reddit work to your advantage and how to boost your Tumblr profile. Knowing how to increase your StumbleUpon reposting is essential and figuring out the best hashtags is something a social media expert must do.

Creating the Best Graphics

Social media is now all about the graphics. Each platform has different requirements or types of graphics that work better. Pinterest works better with long images, while Twitter is better with wider ones.

While a VA can create some of the most basic graphics, they may not be able to do the best type of graphic for your needs. They may not understand all the different requirements or be able to get the best images for the graphics.

Social media managers have access to some of the best places to get images. They will know how to create infographics and use them to your advantage. Some may be able to turn your blog posts and graphics into videos to get you onto YouTube!

Images are important, so talk to both the social media experts and VAs about your options.

Getting a Full Package

When you hire a social media manager, you’re not likely going to get it on a by-hour basis. This isn’t a low cost, because it isn’t a low-return service. VAs tend to cost less and you can usually pay by the hour instead.

This is a major difference in the VA vs. social media expert debate. If you have a small budget, then there are high chances that a VA is going to be the better option for you right now. If you have a larger budget, you can possibly afford a social media manager to help you.

You may even find that you need both for different elements of your business.

I’m not writing this post to knock VAs in any way. They are so useful for so many tools and tasks. Trust me when I say that I’m looking at a budget for a VA. But there are so many misconceptions about VAs and it does lead to a VA vs. social media expert debate. They’re not the same and the terms cannot be used interchangeably. Which do you need for your social media needs?

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