The Elements Ironstone Blog

Current news and trending topics for sales and financial industry professionals


Leave a comment

Jump In! Get Your Feet Wet In Social Media-How To Do It

get-your-feet-wet-idiom-meaning

Is your social media plan a simple act of dipping your toes in the water? If so, you should be prepared for the consequences of premeditated drowning by your competition. NOW is the time to jump in and get your feet wet. Social media is a critical business tool which is no longer considered a stand-alone marketing option; you must streamline it into your overall marketing strategy. If you haven’t read our article, Ready To Jump On The Social Media Bandwagon , review it now for simple and basic steps to get your toes wet. Today’s blog guides you further with a blueprint to incorporate social media into your overall marketing plan.

Financial advisors are expecting and planning for social media to play a meaningful role in 2013. Research conducted by LinkedIn partnered with FTI Consulting  reports seven in ten financial advisors are using social networks for business. Adoption rates will continue to grow as 2013 unfolds representing an 80% increase year-over-year. Advisors face unique compliance challenges unlike other professions, however, the good news is advisors recognize ways to overcome these obstacles.

According to Forrester Research, two-thirds of U.S. online adults with an investment account now have social network profi­les. Presented with the adoption rates of clients and prospective clients utilizing social media, advisors are facing their fears head on by linking social media strategies to their overall business and marketing plans.

7 Steps To Create Your Social Media Plan

1.  Establish Your Foundation You know I preach “always begin with the end in mind”. The same holds true in a social media plan. Creating a social media plan requires a solid foundation and a vital first step. Many firms engage in social media but do not have a structure in place to support their efforts.   Identify your goals and objectives while ensuring they link to your overall firm goals. Keep your objectives SMART! (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely). Read our blog, The Gold Rush To Social Media-How To Track Your Success, to gain insight on developing a secure social media foundation.

2. Identify Social Media Channels Best For Your FirmFind out what networks your clients and prospective clients are engaging. A simple start, and the most common, is to incorporate LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

3. Create A Social Media CalendarThis goes beyond scheduling your own social media content. Schedule time to engage in conversation. Avoiding engagement in online conversation is the biggest reason for social media failure.  Tip: use social media streamlining to simplify your social media efforts. Hootsuite, SocialOomph and TweetDeck give you the ability to schedule and simultaneously post to social media channels.

4. Create ContentSchedule time for content creation. One of the best ways to organize your content is to create a library of topics relevant to your industry. Research and save documents in your library to compile information related to your chosen topics. If your firm has adopted blogging, which I highly recommend, use a blogging template.

5. Identify Contacts Make connections by following relevant conversations. By interacting, connections will happen naturally. Tip: create a list of centers of influence you would like to connect with along with a plan for introduction. Share their content through re-tweets and shares.

6. Research Competition – Schedule time to stalk your competition. Find out what they are doing, what they are talking about and how they are engaging with others. Read their posts, tweets and blogs. In this case, advisors need to keep up with the Joneses.

7. Track and Measure Results There are many ways and tools available to track and measure your social media efforts. To get started, refer to your goals and objectives you established in step one. Identify the increase in followers, engagement level, connections and leads you have made. Watch for our follow up in another blog with more information  for you to use in tracking and measuring your social media results.

Don’t become overwhelmed with social media. Have fun with it, follow these steps and reap the benefits.

Question: What do you think about social media?  What challenges or success have you experienced in social media? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us:

Advertisements


1 Comment

Ready To Jump On The Social Media Bandwagon?

As social media has taken a front seat for many advisors, there is still a high percentage  not taking advantage of this prospecting tool.  Many advisors simply don’t have the time, knowledge or staffing to implement a social media platform.  The benefits of having a social media presence will out-weigh the efforts you invest  developing your prospecting strategy.

The fundamental element needed to implement a successful prospecting plan at your firm is to systematically position your practice to attract new clients.  Choose activities that will put you at your best in order to invoke natural enthusiasm with the purpose of cultivating trusting relationships.  Within  your marketing plan, you will need to develop a comprehensive prospecting strategy appealing to new clients.  Begin with the 7 strategies  Ironstone recommends as your foundation.  If you missed our blog, “How to Write a Prospecting Plan for Your Firm,” https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/learn-how-to-write-a-prospecting-plan-for-your-firm/you can read it here.

Top financial advisors have one common denominator:

  • A marketing plan and a follow-up strategy

 The biggest difference in this  common denominator is what is within the marketing plan and how committed each firm is to their follow-up strategy.

Adding Social Media to Your Prospecting Platform

Ironstone suggests starting small and simple.  Establish  your social media goal.  Don’t feel you need to take on the world.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogging are all easily managed social media channels  you should be using; START TODAY!   By using social media, you will gain:

  • Name recognition
  • Establish credibility
  • Client acquisition and retention
  • Deepen existing relationships

 Follow Ironstone’s simple guidelines to get started with your social media presence.  By following these basic steps, your social media goals will be easier to reach and more rewarding.

Create Basic Profiles on the Social Media Channels You Wish to EngageYou must realize  social media is an active exchange of information.  In order to establish relationships, you must engage in and actively participate in discussions.

Add Your PhotoUse a professional photo.  If you don’t have a professional photo, make the investment to have one taken.

Be YourselfEngage in social interaction.  Relationships are developed when you allow others to get to know you.  Talk about your family, your interests and things that will interest them. Consider scheduling random posts or blogs about health and wellness or other generalized topics that pique interest levels.

Target MarketPick a small niche.  Remember, you don’t need to take on the world.  Find out where your target/niche market hangs out online.  You might find your COI’s on Linked In while retirees are making posts on Face Book.  Connect with your clients in these various social media channels.

Provide ValueBeing the solution to a prospect is the key to landing new business.  Provide information that will genuinely help others.  Review profiles;  find out the interests of your clients and prospects.  Gather relevant content  you can post and distribute on your social media channels that are devoted to your target market.

Provide A Capture FunnelAdd a form that is short and simple to capture information from readers and those who are downloading your content.  Do not simply ask readers to call you;  they are online and that is where they want to stay for now.  An Ironstone best practice tip is to provide a capture form that leads readers to valuable and relevant information; example:  “The Top 5 Ways To …………..”

Manage TimeDefine your own unique publishing schedule and pick a specific time to post and read updates from those in your network.  Make adjustments as needed,  test different times and days.    If you find  you get more interaction on certain days and times, stick with it.  Maintain a continued presence online, but be cautious of overdoing it!

Follow-Up – It is imperative and courteous that you follow up with those who have accessed your information.  Be ready to provide them with additional information that will be useful to them and offer a solution to their needs.

Ironstone can assist you in developing a social media plan for your firm.  Let us know how you are using social media in your firm!

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us: