When you think of online shopping, you probably envision giant e-retailers such as eBay or Amazon. But people shop online for more than just household goods and electronics; increasingly, they are shopping online for services, too! And just as Amazon and eBay are utilizing social media to drive their sales, you can also boost your revenue through platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Of course, the process works a bit different for financial advisors. You aren’t going to post a link to a life insurance product and see online orders pour in. When people shop online for service providers like you, they are assessing your character, knowledge, and range of experience. But the methods used by retail giants to drives sales can be modified to suit your practice, as well.
Make it personal. People like to do business with those they know. Think about it; if you’re in the market to buy a house, and your best friend is a realtor, who are you going to ask for help in your home search? While you’re probably not going to reach “best friend” status with people you meet on Facebook, you can indeed make a positive personal impression on them. It’s a good idea to post personal stories from time to time. Show your human side! Update your social media followers on your kids’ accomplishments or share a photo of the new family pet.
Ask questions. It’s also a good idea to ask your potential customers for their feedback on industry-related concerns. They will feel more connected to you if they know you value their opinions.
Display your superior customer service skills. Sometimes your followers may ask a question, or even file a complaint, via social media. View these situations as opportunities to display your superior customer service. Answer concerns or questions promptly, and show that you make your customers’ happiness a top priority. On the other hand, you will also receive compliments on your business practices; feel free to share those on social media!
Recognize that your audience is shopping from services via mobile devices. In fact, 85 percent of Americans say that mobile devices are a central part of their daily lives. This is where they get their information, so don’t overlook sites like Facebook, which has over one billion people using its mobile app. Also, make sure any content you post on social media is mobile friendly, and include an eye-catching photo that will grab attention as your followers scroll through their news feeds.
Fill out your social media profiles completely. Online retailers are increasingly adding virtual storefronts to their Facebook pages. While this application isn’t appropriate for a financial advisor who sells a service, you can tweak the approach to work for you. Recognize the fact that prospective clients may view your Facebook page when deciding whether to use your services. Make the decision even easier for them by supplying your phone number, office hours, location, and email address so that they can easily schedule an appointment.
Your practice might not be Amazon or eBay, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t employ similar digital marketing practices. The principles work basically the same, whether you’re a multi-billion-dollar corporation or a small local business. When you see large online retailers employing a new marketing strategy, ask yourself how you can adjust that technique to increase your own bottom line.