Occasionally, I hear from planners about their frustrations that their social media efforts are not really paying off. I reply that they should not consider social media the ultimate marketing tool or the panacea for prospecting challenges.
The benefits advisers can derive from social media are too important to ignore. However, social media needs to be fully incorporated into and adviser’s marketing mix and its activities must follow specific rules and approaches.
Let me share a few basic tips to help you maximize your social media ROI.
1. Focus on Quality vs. Quantity
A plethora of social media sites are available. Refrain from joining as many as possible. Instead, pick one or two platforms where your clients and prospects go to get information about their investments and focus on those. After you have established your presence there, do not obsess with metrics, such as number of followers or re-tweets. Your goal is to position yourself as a trusted source and provide high-quality information, actionable ideas and tips that motivate prospects to seek your services. If your followers do not find value in what you offer, the odds they will seek your services or provide you with leads will be insignificant.
2. Don’t Delegate
Keep social media in-house! If you cannot find the time for social media interaction, assign this task to one of your employees. He or she not only knows your business and what you’re looking to accomplish on social media, but more importantly will articulate it using the language of your firm. In my opinion, the cons or outsourcing social media activities far outweigh the pros:
- You have the ability to free up time
- An outside specialist knows social media better than you
- A specialist can help you build your brand
- You lose your company’s “voice”
- You relinquish control of what is posted/tweeted
- You potentially expose yourself to greater risk that the delegated person may say something wrong that could lead to a social media nightmare
- You will have to pay the specialist
3. Be Social
Interacting with your network on social media is more important than building that network. Social Media, as the name infers, is social in nature; it should be used to identify common social denominators that associate you with the audiences you want to reach. A Facebook page that shows your involvement with your family, community, college or philanthropic organization, enables you to share with clients and prospects the personal side of your life. Ultimately, this will empower you to establish a stronger bond with your audiences.
4. Be Actively Engaged
Your mere presence on social media does not guarantee new business. Your followers can perceive inactivity of your social media accounts as you have nothing meaningful to share and consequently you become of no value. The secret to social media success is active and enduring engagement. Study your audiences to attain an intimate understanding of the financial issues they face and the type of information they seek. Create content suitable for your audience’s key interests, use easy-to-understand language and appeal to their emotions. Seek to be active at least once a day, possibly at the same time, so your followers will look for your posts. Be selective on the content you post. Ultimately, actively interacting with your followers will convey the notion that you care about them, their issues and challenges.
As always, questions and/or comments are welcome.
i-Impact Group Inc.