Social media is a highly effective client retention and prospecting tool.
“Who cares that I ate a bagel for breakfast?”
Believe it or not, this is a common question I hear from people reluctant to believe social media has real business value. And of course, most people don’t care what you ate for breakfast, and posting about your meals isn’t a marketing strategy. But when used the right way, social media is a highly effective client retention and prospecting tool.
6 simple steps to build an effective strategy:
1. Know your unique value as an advisor
Before you embark on any marketing campaign, you need the foundation of a solid value proposition and mission statement. Defining what you’re all about and how you differentiate your practice will keep you on target with your messaging.
2. Define your target audience
Who are you trying to reach with your content? What concerns keep them up at night, and how can you be helpful through the content you share? Understanding your audience enables you to develop a social strategy to attract their attention and give them a reason to follow you, look forward to your content, and share it with their own network.
3. Build a following
If a tweet falls in the forest, and there’s no one around to hear it…does it make a sound? Clearly, your communications need an audience to be effective, so make an effort to grow a following. Here are a few ideas:
- Add social media icons to your website, email signature, and print collateral
- Send an email to your clients and centers of influence, such as CPAs and attorneys, announcing your social media presence, and provide a few bullet points to explain what’s in it for them (e.g. firm updates, helpful educational articles, timely market news, etc.)
- Mention your social media presence in person, such as during client meetings and at speaking engagements
- Send a new prospect a LinkedIn and/or Facebook invite within 24-48 hours of meeting them.
4. Set realistic goals
It’s important to set realistic expectations when it comes to your social media activity. Similar to joining a networking group, just walking in the door doesn’t guarantee a flood of new clients. It takes time to nurture your online relationships.
Consider the overall value of your social media presence, and set realistic goals. In the beginning, your initial goal might be simply to grow your audience, which is the first step in deepening client relationships and reaching new prospects with your social presence.
5. Stay active
A “set it and forget it” strategy is not effective. Just like you wouldn’t send a robot to a cocktail party to speak on your behalf, you shouldn’t take an automated approach to participation on social media. Post content regularly, and respond to other people’s posts and comments.
6. Measure, refine, and improve
Be sure to monitor your activity and track results. Refine your content based on this data as needed. Here are some recommended metrics:
- Number of followers/connections
- Engagement (likes, shares and comments)
- Clicks to your website/external articles
- Client feedback collected via survey, client advisory board, and/or on an ad-hoc basis
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You should consult your compliance department for information about the rules and use of social media.
Sarah provides custom marketing and social media consultations for LPL Financial advisors and investment programs. In this role, she consults with and supports clients in effectively marketing their business in today's increasingly competitive environment. View full bio.