Social media marketing is so 2010, right?
By now, you have heard a dozen gurus promise near-magical results if you incorporate Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn into your marketing. We hear how powerful social media is so frequently that many of us have stopped believing in it.
We made an account on LinkedIn, posted a few times, and when we didn’t see the magnificent return we were promised, we left our profile to collect digital dust.
For advisors, especially those pursuing business owners and decision makers, LinkedIn still matters, and you should likely be more active on that platform.
(Related: When to Trust an Expert)
LinkedIn is closing in on 500 million users, which means that your prospects, your clients, and their peers (the folks you wouldn’t mind meeting as well) are likely using LinkedIn. Whether you sell life insurance, annuities, health insurance or other products, incorporating consistent LinkedIn activity into your marketing efforts is an opportunity for you to build relationships with partners, to nurture prospects, and to retain clients by staying top of mind. These are soft touches, like a drip email campaign, but they add up.
Here is the approach we have seen work in our business and in the businesses of the advisors we serve:
- Follow up conversations with a LinkedIn connection. If you meet someone at an event or by happenstance and if that conversation was meaningful, follow it up with a LinkedIn connection and a short personal note. Even if the prospect does not convert immediately, having them in your LinkedIn network means that you can influence them over the long term.
- Pursue quality rather than quantity. Leveraging LinkedIn is not like playing an arcade machine: high scores don’t matter here. Adding 2 or 3 worthwhile connections is more impactful than spamming 100 people with connection requests.
- Remember that consistency trumps volume. Posting once a week or every other week with content that’s meaningful and of interest to your audience will produce far better results than forcing yourself to post something each day just for the sake of posting.
- Extend your outbound marketing activities to LinkedIn. Are you hosting a webinar or a seminar? Post about it on LinkedIn. Invite people to join, and give them an access to a recording if they are not able to attend.
- Be patient. You will not become an overnight advising hit on social media, so start this activity with the expectation that growth will be slow and that returns will be slow to build. They will eventually be incredibly value returns, but you have to put the work in first.
With these strategic points in mind, you need to start posting. Even if you aim to maintain a relatively small amount of LinkedIn activity (two to four posts a month), finding something interesting to say with that frequency can be a challenge. To keep this obstacle from derailing your best laid plans, here’s a cheat sheet for advisor-friendly LinkedIn activity:
- Share partner content. Your strategic partnerships can be a source of referrals and a source of worthwhile content. Follow your partners on social media and subscribe to their email lists. When they share something interest, share it with your network. In most cases, your partners will see you supporting them, which in turn will motivate them to share your content with their audiences as well.
- Repurpose content you have already made. If you have evergreen blog or email content, re-promote those items. Pull a blurb from them and create an e-card or quote card. Turn them into an infographic. Add an additional insight from a client conversation about that piece. If you look at the materials you have, there are likely multiple opportunities to slice and dice the content into smaller, re-usable pieces.
- Leverage association and provider materials. If you have a relationship with a specific product provider, they likely have pre-made content that you can use and share with your audience. This lessens a great deal of the content work, but you should still try to put your personal touch on what you share.
- Talk about your community work. If you donate or volunteer (or perhaps you and your staff do this sort of work as a group), talk about it! You don’t need to brag about being a good person, but talking about the causes you care about the impact you hope to have is a simple way to humanize you to your network and also to raise awareness for the causes you care about.
- Bring in a writer for help. If you start to feel overwhelmed or overburdened by social media activity, consider hiring a freelancer to help you maintain consistent activity. If you take this path, hire a skilled professional who can learn to write in a way that feels authentic. Even if you aren’t the one posting each week, it should still sound like you.
- Incorporate LinkedIn activity into your appointment-setting program. If you have a team calling prospects to set first meetings, leverage that same team to then follow-up with worthwhile prospects on LinkedIn via connection and possibly a message.
LinkedIn activity is not a silver marketing bullet, but it’s a useful piece of a sales pipeline. Every opportunity you have to engage a prospect with your message—even if its passive—is an opportunity worth pursuing. Coupled with your other marketing activity, LinkedIn activity can help you to reach and influence more prospects more frequently.
— Read Embrace Confrontation on ThinkAdvisor.
John Pojeta is the vice president of business development at The PT Services Group. He owned and operated an Ameriprise Financial Services franchise for 16 years. He can be reached at [email protected].