By now, social media has been around long enough for people to know what works and what doesn’t. As a critical part of any business’s marketing plan, acing your social media strategy can help you achieve major results. Whether you are just starting out or need a little refresh, here’s an update on how to best run your profiles in order to get leads, earn website traffic and increase awareness of your brand!
Many financial advisors were initially skeptical of adopting social media as part of their digital marketing strategy but the results are now speaking for themselves. Now that you know it works, you’ll want to make sure you’re fine tuning your skills and being efficient when it comes to planning and preparing. To help you out, we’ve put together our top four “S’s” to help you lead a successful social media strategy, whether you’re on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other platform!
1. Set Goals
Any good marketing plan starts by establishing goals. If you know the results you’re looking for, it’s much easier to set a plan. Your goals can help inspire your target audience, the sources you use, the posts you put out, etc. You can use social media analytics to track progress. Data about popularity of certain posts, followers and engagement can all be indicators of what is working and what isn’t and what you might need to fix. Keep a log to see how far you’ve gone and help you make any changes that may be necessary.
Also make sure you’re evaluating your goals often. They may change or need to be updated depending on company growth, new services offered or a change of location. Perhaps one of your social media goals falls into one (or more) of the following categories:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Generate new leads
- Grow revenue
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate more press mentions
- Research and learn more about your ideal client
Most social media platforms make it easy to track any of these metrics and have native analytics tools, so there’s no excuse to fall short. The sooner you start, the better! Start today and see how far you go.
2. Setup Profiles
Setting up your social profiles is the first step you’ll take and it’s very important that you make them perfect! First of all, you’ll want to make sure all of your information is filled out on your social profiles. This means adding your firm’s location, contact information, a link to your website and a brief description of your company and services. This ensures that potential clients can find everything about your business in one place. You also need to make sure that this information matches across all of your profiles for optimal SEO performance. Not only that but people will get frustrated if they encounter inconsistent information. It also helps show your attention to detail and transparency, which are paramount characteristics in the financial industry.
Your social media profiles are helping you build a brand, so you also need to make sure the messaging and design elements are the same across all profiles. This includes your company name, logo, pictures, color palette and profile photo. When clients encounter consistent imagery and branding, it helps build a stronger brand recognition in their mind. This should be inspired by your advisor site to provide consistency.
Strategizing your social media channels doesn’t have to be rocket science. There’s plenty of resources out there to research and learn from. It’s important to have a game plan to ensure your social media efforts are maximized. Creating your social media strategy combines many different elements but here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Know your target audience: Identify where your target audience is spending time. That way, you can have a strong presence there and get your brand in front of them more often. Sprout Social reports that the biggest Facebook users are women (89%), 18-29 year olds (88%) and those earning less than $30,000 while LinkedIn’s biggest users are men (31%), those earning $75,000 or more (45%) and users with college experience (50%).
- Engage and be present: This means putting out consistent content, liking and commenting on other posts and tagging other influencers. By publishing more content, you’ll be earning more time in front of users and they’ll be more likely to gain attention. You can also build your brand by tagging industry leaders and sharing or commenting on your posts. If they mention you or share your content, that is another great way to get noticed.
- Track your metrics: Take advantage of the tools offered by social media business pages! You can track profile visitors, new followers, likes etc. This will all help you get a better picture of how your posts are performing so you can make any necessary adjustments.
Scheduling is very important to keep you on track and organized. It also helps you consistently post, which is a key factor in social media success. We recommend using a scheduling service like Hootsuite to help make your life easier. With a service like this you’ll be able to load in content once or twice a week instead of remembering to post in real-time. For busy advisors, this can be a huge help.
We also suggest creating an editorial calendar. You can make one on a Google Calendar, an Excel document, or download this free one from CoSchedule. This way, you can schedule and plan your posts in advance, keep everyone in your business up to date, and save time. When mapping out your editorial calendar, we recommend keeping in mind the following:
- The key is to share more than you promote. For every 10 posts you share, you should create one promotional post. This keeps your profiles from being too “sales-y” and helps you earn trust and a good reputation among your followers.
- Link to your own content via your website. Whether it is a blog post, an ebook, a video or a podcast, these are all great ways to drive more traffic to your website. People will click on the link to view your content and will be more likely to spend time on your site.
- Share content from other sources in your niche. This gives your followers good information and helps you get recognized by other thought leaders in your industry. Just make sure you’re sharing reputable and trusted sources. You don’t want to get yourself in trouble!
- Post at the best times. This can differ based on the social media site you’re using, so do your research! Try out various times, keep track of engagement and find out what works best for you.