Social media is quickly becoming the most effective way for financial advisors to reach their target demographic. But you wouldn’t attend party in a foreign country without brushing up on that culture’s basic etiquette – and you shouldn’t embark on a social media marketing strategy without learning these seven important rules. Otherwise, you will expend time and energy pursuing a marketing strategy that just is not well-planned or executed.
- Listen to your audience. You wouldn’t want to be that guy who bursts into a party, brags about himself and his accomplishments, and never lets anyone else get a word in edgewise. And the same social norms apply on social media as well! If you view social media as a giant networking event, it’s much easier to see how you should conduct yourself. Listen to some conversations, consider other points of view, and contribute your own thoughts. A large part of your time on social media should be spent listening and learning about your audience, so that you can then create content that really speaks to them.
- Focus your strategy. Choose one or two social media platforms, and analyze your target demographic. Do you want to attract clients who are age 40 and up? Create content aimed at your target audience only. A good marketing strategy aims to accomplish a very specific goal with a select group of people. Don’t try to be all things to all people, or you could end up being nothing to everyone.
- Create quality connections. At some point in your social media journey, you may see online ads promising you 10,000 new connections this week, or some equally absurd number of new “friends”. Remember the rule about focusing your strategy; you don’t need 10,000 connections who never interact with you. It’s better to have 1,000 connections who fall into your target demographic, will read and share your content, and who could realistically walk through your door for an appointment one day. Use your search metrics to find quality connections, and don’t worry so much about quantity.
- Create original, interesting, and compelling content. You want to share information that adds value to your readers’ lives. Write blogs or create videos that they will actually want to read or watch. When you create great content, your contacts will share it on social media and increase your exposure. Posting your content on your website helps to grow your website traffic, and sending out links to your content via email will increase your visibility with a targeted audience. Remember that each piece of content you produce has the potential to bring in new interest and revenue from a variety of sources!
- Focus on value. Creating and sharing great content will add value to your connections’ online experiences. This is the way to keep them listening to you, building a relationship with you, and ultimately trusting you with their money. You can also add value by making connections with influential people, keeping in mind that a lot of word-of-mouth advertising happens online these days!
- Engage with your audience. Remember that posts on social media are conversations, not lectures. Don’t just post links to your content and run. Stick around to answer questions and engage with your followers. This is your opportunity to build credibility and trust with your audience.
- Be patient. Social media marketing is all about building trusting relationships, and that doesn’t happen overnight. Take a slow-and-steady approach to your marketing strategy, and the payoff will arrive over time in the form of increased conversions and greater numbers of referrals.
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