At a family reunion last year, I caught up with my cousin who has been a financial advisor for the past 15 years. The topic of social business came up, given his work and mine as a manager of customer success at Hearsay Social. An avid proponent of social media for business, he was excited to share some of his recent success stories with me.
First, he said that his favorite thing about social business is the fact that “it works while he sleeps.” In fact, his two single largest accounts originated simply because he managed an up-to-date and compelling social presence. After finding him through an advisor-search tool on his company’s website, these clients researched him on social media before proactively contacting him.
Second, my cousin explained that he actually spends very little time on social media. Like most other successful financial advisors, he aims to spend most of his time with clients. But he does set aside a small amount of time to keep his profile up to date, grow his network, listen for key buying signals from his prospects and clients, and share relevant content.
Not everyone has mastered social business in the way my cousin has. In fact, my team at Hearsay Social is specifically dedicated to coaching advisors on how to optimize their social media usage for measurable business results. What we’ve learned over the past few years is that there are three key actions that you can take today to jump-start your social business:
Step 1: Examine and Refine Your Social Footprint
When it comes to your social presence, you may already have multiple accounts, handles, profiles, etc. That’s why one of the best things you can do is take a step back and look at your social footprint as a whole. Think about what your clients and prospects will find when they search for you.
If someone searches for me, for example, they will find me consistently listed as “Sarah Pedersen” across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and they will also see that my custom URL ends in “/sarahcpedersen” to make it easy for folks to find me in multiple online locations. Additionally, while I do use different photos of myself on different sites, they are all up-to-date and professional (see below).
Did you know 97% of customers search for local businesses online and 92% of consumers trust ‘word of mouth’ (social media) above all other advertising?
Consumers trust not only what other consumers say but also how you present yourself online.
If your name is Robert, for example, make sure that you are “Robert” on all of your findable social media accounts. If you go by Bobby on Twitter, Rob on Facebook, and Robert on LinkedIn, you are missing out on key opportunities to attract new prospects.
What to do? Spend 5 minutes each week making sure your profiles are up-to-date, consistent and compliant with your company/brand standards.