Were you aware that of all Internet usage in the United States, 27 percent is spent on social networking sites? Did you know social media produces almost twice the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing and direct mail? When we look around, we see the whole world is fascinated with social media. Everyone around the globe is jumping on the social media bandwagon – businesses and advisors included. In fact, there are marketing companies that make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year claiming they’ll drive a ton of business your way and transform you into a social media expert.
Ask yourself though, how many actual deals have you closed or new clients have you acquired as a result of your social media efforts? This is a critical question that should be asked often. In any marketing campaign, even social-media marketing, you have to look at the return on your time and money invested.
Many of us think we have to be active on social media because everyone says so. I am not disagreeing with this nor am I saying social media isn’t important. Social media is important and can be very beneficial to your business. However, most advisors never realize these benefits and end up frustrated and out thousands of dollars because they don’t have a true social media strategy in place. Investing money in social media is only one part of the process.
Most advisors operate as if they believe that if prospects simply see them on social sites posting pictures, quotes, and reposting articles relative to financial planning topics that they are creating an awareness that will draw prospects to buy their products and services, and that this basic form of top-of-mind awareness marketing is going to produce results. But, remember the question we posed above. Using your current social media strategy, have you closed even three new clients as a result of these efforts? It’s likely many of you will answer no. Why is that?
As we discussed before, most advisors either don’t have a strategy and/or don’t understand how to use lead capture strategies in conjunction with their social media efforts. And that’s the key. That’s the one-two combination needed to leverage social media in a way that generates actual results. It’s not enough for prospects to simply “see” you. You must have a thought-out campaign or strategy for engaging those are following you when you post, one that causes them to “take action” and engage with you.
An example of a great social media marketing strategy would be to create an article or something of value, such as a video resource you can offer those in your network, then post a link to where they can get it along with a prominently placed Call-To-Action (CTA) on the page of your website that the link drives them to. On this page incorporate a “Lead Capture Form,” which allows visitors to request the resource in exchange for their information for follow up.
Just because you build your friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn doesn’t mean you’re done, or that you’re guaranteed results. What generates results is you being able to determine which of these people in your social network are actually interested in what you have to offer. The only way to know who is interested is to have your prospects request something from you.
Let’s recap last week’s message. Using the buying temperature scale of one to 10, you need to identify prospects that are in the nine or 10 range. These are the people who are ready to take action.
We all know that social media is important for staying in touch with people, building recognition and awareness. But this should not be your sole strategy. Instead of using social media solely to build brand awareness, use it to engage people. You need visitors who want to be involved and who will take action and engage with you in the sales process.
Some key points:
- When you use social media, make sure you have a well-constructed strategy.
- Be sure it directs people to your website with an offer they can’t resist.
- Use a clear Call To Action and have it capture visitors’ information for timely follow up.
In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to expand on the different elements of lead capture. We’ll explore how to fine-tune this concept and how lead capture works with other forms of marketing.
For more information on creating a Social Media strategy, check out this free video at: http://www.automatedadvisor.com/.
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