Independent financial advisors are increasingly interested in tapping into the unlimited potential of online marketing. Social media sites are particularly attractive because of their ability to offer easy and free marketing opportunities.
Some will wonder, though, how much is too much, particularly with creating a Facebook page. Facebook offers the opportunity to share information and create bonds with potential clients. You can, however, go too far, and in the process you might wreck your company’s good reputation.
One of the first questions I get is, “What platform should I use?” I most often recommend LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, in that order. You certainly don’t need all three. Find the places where your target market is likely to be, and go there. There is no reason to spread yourself thin when it doesn’t serve you.
Once you’ve picked the social media platforms appropriate for your needs, take the time to complete your profiles. The more information you provide, the better.
Here are 10 tips for managing your social media pages.
1 | Cultivate consistent branding
Consumers will recognize your brand if you keep logos and images consistent. Post the same profile pictures, cover photos, headers and usernames across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Be thorough. Twitter is limited on what you can enter, but Facebook and LinkedIn profiles should be as thorough as possible. Don’t forget to include simple information, like a founded date.
2 | Use reinforcing content
That is key to your content-marketing success. Your content does not have to be word-for-word identical across sites, but it has to have the same feel and branding so users can easily identify your business. Keep the message the same when using video or words.
3 | Establish your voice
You don’t have to make every post sound like a canned response from one person, but you should aim for a general tone that sets you apart. Write as if you are having a conversation. Develop your confidence by displaying an authoritative but easygoing personality. People are more apt to read and share content from a trusted source.
Being an independent advisor means you are promoting financial planning and wealth management services. Finance can be a very impersonal subject, and consumers on social media want to be entertained, informed and enlightened. Talk a bit about your business, about you and your colleagues.
4 | Make your posts read well
One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make is treating their business page like their personal page. Work to retain credibility with your posts. Proofread your posts before publishing them. As you do this, look for more than just typos or grammatical mistakes; look for inconsistency in tone.
5 | Follow other businesses
It is very important for you to connect with other businesses, especially the people you regularly read, industry leaders, centers of influence, referral business and even competitors. Watch what they are doing and how it is working and, if applicable, apply it in your way to fit your business. Interacting with other businesses and supporting them will make that business more likely to support you in return, which is always a bonus. The people you choose to follow are a reflection of you.
6 | Be committed
Don’t judge the success metrics of your content until you’ve spent a year building content. Results won’t come quickly, but when they start, there will be no denying the investment of time is worth it. Don’t expect social media to work a miracle just because you have an account. You need to put work into it to receive the benefits. Remember there is no perfect solution, but devotion and persistence are needed.
7 | Share your content
Be sure to utilize the sharing capabilities provided within social media. Posts should provide links back to your website and/or articles. This should also be used in the reverse. All of your blog posts, emails, and even your email signature should include social media links. This is made easy by using social media icons and placing them in the visible white space so that readers can easily see and share your content.
8 | Ask for help
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t have the time or if you are not current on all that is going on in the world of social media, ask a professional. There are professional marketing consultants out there who make it their business to be current with trends and techniques to get the most out of your social media efforts.
9 | Connect, don’t sell
Have a call to action in your posts. Whether it is a Facebook advertisement or a Tweet, invite your audience to do something – click, call, etc. What you don’t want to do is get too “salesy” on social media. These platforms are about networking. They are places to share information, teach something and even provide customer services. People are not interested in being hit with sales pitches every time they log in, but you can certainly invite them to visit your website.
10 | Have fun!
Above all, make it fun. That is the main difference between social media and your website or firm brochure. With social media, let your personality shine a little more. You can post a funny video about finances, share a more personal story, link to a great article about family finances or even share information about one of your favorite pastimes or hobbies. It’s a great way to become more personal with your current and prospective clients.
Social media is quickly changing the way consumers do business. They are looking for the companies they do business with online and they want more than just a website that gives them information – they want to make a connection and interact with these businesses. Take a look at your current social media efforts and compare them to the tips above to make sure you are going in the right direction. If you are not currently participating in the social media boom, don’t be afraid to start.
As always, if you need guidance or direction on how to start or how to improve what you already have, give me a call and see what I can do for your business.