Using Facebook to Grow Your Business
When used properly, this useful tool can bring you new and repeat business.
Using Facebook to Grow Your Business By Toni Harris
(Disclaimer: Please follow the social media guidelines established by your governing agency. The advice here should be tweaked to apply to your compliance department’s guidelines. Don’t let the guidelines stop you from being social; focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.)
As I travel the country speaking on marketing strategies to financial professionals, I am astonished at how many financial professionals are not yet using social media, in particular, Facebook, to grow their business. Many are not on Facebook because, according to them: “I have enough referrals,” “my clients aren’t using it,” or “I just don’t have time.” I am here to stress to you that social media, in particular, Facebook, is a great way to get referrals, and it doesn’t take that much time. Here’s the real deal: Your clients are on it (and if they aren’t, their adult children are) and they expect you to be there, too.
Here are some things you may not know about Facebook:
• It has 1.09 billion daily users.
• Every minute, there are 510 comments, 293,000 statuses updated and 136,000 photos uploaded.
• Demographics: 82 percent of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Facebook, along with 79 percent of those ages 30 to 49, 64 percent of those ages 50 to 64, and 48 percent of those 65 and older. (Source: Pew Research Center, The Demographics of Social Media Users, 2015)
• Average time spent on Facebook is 20 minutes.
In this article, I will discuss four keys to success in creating and building relationships on Facebook.
1. Complete your profile. A completed profile includes your picture, by yourself, or with others. It is important that you are in the picture (not your pet, your favorite team or flower). You should include where you work, what you do, and any other demographic information. An incomplete profile leaves the viewer guessing and forces him to “fill-in-the-blanks” with information that may not be accurate. A personal picture allows you to “show up” when you comment on your clients’ posts. Seeing your face is a reminder that they have a relationship with you, which may motivate them to call and refer you.
2. Grow your friend base. Did you know that Facebook has an algorithm that shows your posts on your personal page to only 7 percent to 10 percent of your friends? For this reason, you have to grow your friend base to thousands of friends. Start connecting with your clients, their adult children, friends of friends, etc. When people comment on a post that you comment on, connect with them. The more the merrier when it comes to social media. While no one knows how the algorithm works, it seems that the people you engage with the most are the ones who see your posts. This is a great segue into the next important step.
3. Engage. Engagement is the lifeblood of social media. If you are just a stalker (looking at what people post but never commenting) why bother? If you are on social media, then engage. What is engagement? It’s liking, commenting and sharing posts of your friends. Engagement is the best way to show up and remind your clients that you are there. Engagement is as simple as commenting on their cute grandkids’ pictures or on how much fun they have on their vacation.
4. Educate. This is your opportunity to educate your clients about financial strategies. My best advice in this area is not to create your own content but to share approved content from your parent and partner companies. Visit their websites, social media pages and YouTube channels and simply share their items on your page. There is so much content available that there is no need to create new content from scratch. If you are using your personal page, balance is the key. It is best to only share business information on your personal page three to four times a week.
Facebook is a great way to stay connected to your network, clients and prospects. When used properly, it can bring you new and repeat business because it reminds clients that you are available to serve them. If you thought Facebook and other social media platforms were temporary and were going away, they are not. They are here to stay; so, if you are not using them to build relationships that lead to sales, now is the time to get drastic and get started!
Toni Harris is a motivational speaker, marketing strategist and certified coach. She helps her audience and clients take drastic steps to achieve drastic results. You can reach her at www.toniharris.com.
This article appeared in Advisor Today.