Which of the following does not belong in the group?
D. Baby boomers
F. None of the above
If you answered A, B, C or D … you’re incorrect. If you answered F, keep reading for pointers. But if you’re like most financial advisors focused on the 50-plus market (and you truthfully answered the above question with E) then it’s time to read on and get serious.
America’s 76 million boomers are connecting in the online world. For this generation, it is not about having the most “friends” on their site; rather, it’s about being connected with their family, real friends and centers of influence. The Internet has become a primary decision-making source of information for boomers. According to a popular social media blog, www.mashable.com, 79 percent of baby boomers get online to read reviews or check out services prior to a purchase or meeting. How many times has a prospect entered your office and said, “When I was online looking, I found …”? Do you think that is going to become more or less common in future appointments?
In a recent study by the AARP, 49 percent of boomers aged 50 and over surveyed said they were very comfortable using the Internet. Twenty-seven percent participate in social networking, with the most popular site being Facebook, up from 15 percent in 2007. In two years, 9.1 million boomers began maintaining social networking sites. The key word to this data is maintain. These aforementioned boomers don’t just have a profile on popular social media sites; they use them, leverage and connect with them.
To increase your presence in the baby boomers market, the answer is simple–social media. It’s a place to dedicate time and resources if you want to beat the competition.
Whether you personally do this or someone in your office does, a basic checklist should look like this:
- Go to www.google.com and search for your firm. Witness the results and commit to improving your online presence.
- Establish a custom (not template) website. Delete website pieces your clients don’t care about, such as financial calculators and stock market tickers. Focus your website on a personal bio/story, upcoming events, pictures of clients and staff, along with success stories on how you’ve helped other retirees.
- Establish and maintain a Facebook profile–www.facebook.com.
- Establish and maintain a LinkedIn profile–www.linkedin.com.
- Establish and maintain a Twitter account–www.twitter.com.
- At every chance, ensure your website and social media profiles are easily accessible. Update your profile with relevant and credible information that is useful to your target market.
As you begin to further understand the boomer generation, don’t forget how social they are. Boomers have always lived with social networks, whether personal or online, and that trend must be recognized in your business. The social majority of your target market is communicating … are you listening?