While it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by these changes and the effort needed to develop and maintain an effective social media presence, following a few best practices can streamline the process and acclimate you to a more integrated marketing strategy.
Create a social media strategy. Planning is crucial. Tackling your social media presence by creating a LinkedIn or Facebook page that you randomly use will do more harm than good. Create a calendar to schedule your postings. Use HootSuite or similar tools to manage your social networks from one dashboard. Research your competition and their posts. Take stock of what you know and can offer to adviser dialogue and to plan sponsors and post about those things.
Use appropriate platforms. LinkedIn is considered the gold standard when it comes to professional networking. Identify companies you’d like to meet with and join LinkedIn groups to which their top decision makers belong. Develop a complete LinkedIn profile to make a powerful first digital impression, including a professional photograph and keywords and skills focused on the retirement plan and investment industry. Use Twitter to quickly interact and contribute meaningful insights on trending topics and market commentary. From providing updates on your company’s latest plan offerings to using hashtags to engage in real-time dialogue with top decision makers, Twitter provides you with a digital opportunity to give your business a more human feel. Facebook provides you with a digital space to post videos and photos, yet another way to promote the more human aspect of your business. You can also take advantage of Facebook Offers as a way to distribute promotions and the platform’s Boosted Posts to promote your business or your insights to a more targeted audience. By building an audience through posting such valuable information, you can easily facilitate digital introductions through online connections.Remain current. Keep the information on your social media profiles up-to-date. This includes information about your company’s mission, products and services as well as what you bring to the professional table. Stay on top of retirement and investment news. Use your social media profiles to establish your voice on trending topics.
Stay relevant and consistent. Are each of your posts geared toward plan sponsors? Keep them professional as well; don’t post baby pictures and then post an article about best practices. Avoid posting about specific products and services you provide; instead, post interesting content and links that will appeal to plan sponsors. By consistently posting such content, you can build an audience, relationships and a reputation as a financial expert in the field.
Be engaging. Engage with others; don’t expect others to engage with you if you are not willing to do the same.
Monitor and respond to online conversations. When followers comment, you should thank, answer or address them. Also, don’t delete negative postings. Instead, address them immediately and deflect them with a response such as “I’m sorry you had a bad experience. Please call me so we can resolve this issue.”
Consider a grassroots approach. Though your business centers on marketing yourself and your services to businesses, it’s critical to remember who makes up those businesses: people. Use a variety of social media sites to connect with people in different industries about retirement trends and plans. That will further exhibit your expertise in the field as well as possibly put you in front of decision makers who can bring you in to market your services to their businesses. Highlight independent social media sites where clients have reviewed your performance in your traditional and social media advertising. The SEC’s recent Guidance Update speaks to the scope of this strategy as well as compliance concerns.
The bottom line is that your target audience is going to use social media to research you just as you may use it to research prospective employees or vendors. Will your absence be conspicuous or will you be engaged?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Wilgus is the director of Corporate Communications for RME360, a marketing and lead generation service provider that merges tried-and-true marketing strategies with today’s advanced technologies. For more information about RME360’s digital and traditional prospecting solutions, visit www.RME360.com, call 1-888-383-8770 or follow the company on Facebook or Twitter. You can contact Bob through Google+ or via email at Bob.Wilgus@RME360.com.
NOTE: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.Any opinions of the author(s) do not necessarily reflect the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.