As an Advisor, your business is important to you, and you would like to promote it on social media. But there are so many things to consider, where do you even start? We have got you covered with a plan to help get you started on social media. From knowing your market to tips on how to set up a social media profile, this 8-step plan will help you and your business get noticed!
STEP ONE: Know Your Market
Understanding your audience is key! It is important for you to know who your audience is, their fears, interests and any problems that they are experiencing. Why? Well, that is how you provide value, creating engaging content (information that they are looking for, that positions you as a subject-matter expert) so you can stand out amongst your competition.
The more you understand about your target market, the better you can connect with them on a deeper level. Simply put, it helps you add value, build trust, as well as create and deepen those important relationships in order to grow your business.
STEP TWO: Choose Your Platform
The truth is that you do not need to be on every social media platform – you just need to be where your clients are. From a business perspective, if your clients are not on a specific platform, it does not make sense for you to be there either.
Once you select your platform, you need to become an expert on that platform. Yes, expert in the sense of your knowledge base and what you can offer to your clients as an Advisor, but also on how the platform works. What are the best ways for you to get in front of your prospects and clients?
It is also imperative to consider when your audience is using that particular platform. If they are online at 6PM, then that is when you need to be posting your content. Makes sense, right?
STEP THREE: Make a Plan
Build a strategic plan and commit time to doing the activities required to put your plan into action. You can book it in your calendar for the next 30, 60 or 90 days, scheduling posts in advance so all you need to do is hit the “post” button on the day of your scheduled message. It is also important to know how much time you want to spend on your social media and where your content will come from – have you checked out PPI’s The Link Between, our client-friendly library of insurance and investment articles (plus tools and calculators!)? Take it one step further with Your Link Between – share all of these client-friendly articles via your own branded website!
Be sure to set realistic goals, expectations and objectives for your social media marketing and what you want your Modern Marketing to accomplish. Although you should not expect to have thousands of followers and new clients in the first week, setting realistic goals will allow you to measure your results effectively. And once you master that initial platform, you can join more because you now have a plan, strategy and content that can be repurposed in different ways.
Consider consistency which is not just about posting every day or once a week, but more about being consistent in your brand, messaging and even the images you choose. It is also imperative to be there to engage with your audience when they engage with your posts – if you are absent, you are missing a big opportunity to connect and build relationships with your audience.
STEP FOUR: Set Up Your Profile
Creating a social media profile is not like an Advisor resume. Here, you need to think about what your ideal client seeks and then make it easy for them to understand what makes you unique and how you can deliver exactly what they are looking for. Even your bio should be crafted in a way that puts your audience and their needs first, helping you relate and connect to them easier.
Make it easy for clients and prospects to connect with you – add links to your business website and contact details.
PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team has put together a couple detailed guides on how to set up your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, as well as a Social Media Profile Checklist (Advisor login required) – check them out and get seen.
STEP FIVE: Create and Curate Your Content
It is extremely important to consider what content you are putting out. Before you post anything, consider what you would like to achieve with that message – is it going to connect you better to your audience? Whatever you choose to post, your content should always be rich, in depth and packed with value.
And although it is not your single goal, you want your content to be both quotable and shareable when possible, because when your audience shares your content, their followers see it too, expanding your marketing reach. New followers and potential clients? Yes, please!
You can also use key words, hashtags (#HashtagsAreImportant) and topics that you know people are already searching and following. Then make your content evergreen (relevant into the future) so that even when a client sees your content a year from now, it is still relevant and valuable to them.
Don’t forget to be authentic. Yes, share your unique value and story that will attract your “true fans”, clients that become your brand advocates.
STEP SIX: Provide Value and Build Relationships
Engagement is the key to social media. Social media is social, it is about relationships. But it is critical that when you do engage, you are authentic and not “salesy” – listen, then provide value.
Additionally, making your messages a little more personal allows you to connect better and build deeper relationships. Why not create a video or voice message which can easily showcase your expertise and the passion you have for your work?
Reward people for their engagement. When a potential customer asks you a question, comment back or ask them a follow up question to continue the conversation. And if you have established a strong connection, why not ask that follower to share your content. For example, “if you liked this post, please share it with anyone you think is going to need insurance protection in the next year.” Do not just rely on algorithms to reach people… take charge and take action!
STEP SEVEN: Become Referrable
Social media is a place where people ask their networks for recommendations – restaurants, businesses and services, there is nothing more powerful than SOCIAL PROOF. Testimonials are no longer as trusted as they once were, since they can come off as unrealistically positive, potentially biased and paid. Today, people prefer reviews or personal referrals and consider them far more objective and trustworthy.
Would you like a referral for your business? Build relationships so your customers are happy and willing to recommend you via social media to their family and contacts.
Why not join or engage with groups that your clients already belong to? By being active within these groups, you can engage and add value to the group in hopes of those group members connecting with you on your platform, then joining your sales funnel where you can continue to nurture those relationships and provide value. Warning… DO NOT join a group and try to sell – it appears aggressive and will make you look suspicious.
STEP EIGHT: The Next Step
The key to this step is that you do not control social media. You do not own Facebook or Instagram and you cannot control algorithms, so your task is to get your audience off social media and into your sales funnel.
The questions here are what is the action that you would like your audience to take and where do you want them to go from your social media platform? Do you want them to book a free consultation, opt into your newsletter, register for a seminar, refer a friend, complete a survey? Be sure to consider this in advance – remember step 3! Plan for it and set up a process to move your audience to your sales funnel where you have more control of your relationships.
You can then start to track your progress. As business owners you are already tracking progress and production, perhaps even performing reviews throughout the year to ensure you are meeting your goals. Modern marketing is no different – you must pay careful attention, measure and track your progress.
However, some metrics are more significant than others. There is no point focusing on metrics such as “likes” since those do not translate into sales. Instead, you want to hone-in on engagement, comments, questions, an increase in followers, shares, opt ins and business growth.
And if you see that something is working, then by all means continue. If something is not working, then adapt, experiment and test other things. Have fun with it and do not be afraid!
A good reminder is that modern marketing is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It takes time, so start with one platform, give it time, put in effort and energy and you are sure to see results.
Want to learn more about modern marketing for your business? Read How to Build Your Online Social Network, Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More Than Just Social Media and Social Media Platforms – What You Need to Know.
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Social Media For Your Business – An 8 Step Plan