December 12, 2013

12 Steps to Holiday Social Business Success

Temperatures are dropping, snow is falling and festivities are in full swing. As you start your celebrations, remember that you can leverage your social media presence to share in the season of giving.

Your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles are great ways to keep in touch with friends, family, clients and prospects year round — especially during the holiday season. 

As a financial advisor, get in the social spirit by following these 12 steps to holiday social business success.

  1. Be thankful for your clients.  Thanksgiving may have come and gone, but it's never too late to share some appreciation. While it might not be scalable to reach out to each client individually, consider showing your appreciation on social media. Thank your clients for their business directly by using @tags in Facebook or Twitter.
  2. Broadcast your availability and vacation time. Even though it’s the holidays, you never know when clients will need to get in touch. Help them find you when you're around, and keep your social "pings" to a minimum while you're on vacation with your family.
  3. Celebrate the season by growing your network. Don't be shy about asking for introductions. It’s a great time of year to introduce yourself and expand your circle of friends and clients. For example, look through your contacts in LinkedIn, choose someone who has been a great contact and client, and send them a note to say “thank you” for the year. When they respond, encourage them to pass along your name to their friends and family.
  4. Consider hosting a “client appreciation” holiday event. If you don't feel comfortable asking for introductions, you may want to host a small gathering to celebrate with your clients. Ask each client to bring a friend... the more the merrier!
  5. Know your customer. If you're going to thank your clients with a gift, make sure you know them and their preferences. That bottle of wine you picked out might not go over so well with a client who does not drink (although they would at least appreciate the effort). Before you send a gift, take a look at their social media pages to see if they have commented on a sports team or talked about a favorite vacation spot so you can find them a more personal gift. This small gesture will go a long way.
  6. Pay extra attention to social signals this season. December is the most popular month of the year to get engaged, and social media is often the first place where people share the news. Life events such as engagements or weddings are perfect reasons to reach out to say congrats and to get a dialogue going with a client or prospect.
  7. Get face-to-face meetings with out-of-towners. Do you have clients that do not live in your vicinity but may be from your hometown? They might be headed your way in the next couple weeks. Pay attention to the social networks to see when your clients might be around so that you can make time for a face-to-face meeting, which is always hugely valuable.
  • Be an expert on holiday safety tips. Keep your clients safe to keep them loyal. If you see a threat (e.g. an online virus that is stealing credit card numbers), don't be afraid to share the news with your fans, followers, and connections. You may just help someone avoid financial catastrophe.
  • Schedule holiday posts. While you are sipping on eggnog by the fire, you might not want to worry about checking in on social media. That's why you should plan out your holiday posts in advance. Schedule them out, and then enjoy your well-deserved time off.
  • Use your profile to share the holiday spirit. Consider updating your Facebook cover photo or Twitter background with a holiday picture or greeting.
  • Recap 2013 in preparation for the New Year. Social media is a great channel to reflect on the year that has passed. Celebrate 2013 with collages of photos from the year and group posts to celebrate achievements with friends, co-workers and clients. Get your fans, followers and connections ready for an exciting 2014.
  • Be social on the road. People are more on the go this time of year than ever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. Don't forget to use your mobile device to be social and connect with clients anywhere and everywhere.
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