Your Smart Social Media Marketing Plan for Financial Advisors
This may be you:
Perhaps, you want to participate wholeheartedly in social media, and you want to ensure that you are making the best use of your resources.
Possibly, you are considering boosting your participation in social media, and you want your new activities to add to — not detract from — the marketing tools that are now working for you.
Sadly, we find that most financial advisors are missing one vital element of success. Without a marketing plan they are scattering their resources and curbing results.
How to Maximize Results from Your Social Media Marketing Plan
These 7 steps will work for you whether you are adding social media as a tool in your marketing plan . . . or whether you don’t yet have a marketing plan for your practice, but would like to take advantage of the promise of social media.
Be Aware: Before you do anything else, financial advisors have a critical responsibility when participating in social media marketing. And that is, first, to understand and follow the social media rules of your firm.
Step #1 – Clarify Your Objectives for Social Media
Most advisors are participating in social media — 81% according to the “Putnam Investments 2015 Social Advisor Study” of more than 800 financial advisors.
Findings from the study include: “The median increase in assets through social media activity is up to $1.9 million.”
Also, the study reports that 40 percent of advisors have spread themselves across four or more networks.
Caution: By stretching your resources in many directions, you can lose focus on the one or ones that could be most productive and make the most difference in your practice.
Are you looking, for example, to boost your referral network? Then, a heavier commitment to LinkedIn could be your answer.
Is a prime objective to deepen relationships with clients? Then, consider focused Facebook activity.
Be Aware: It’s vital as you consider where you will invest your time to balance all elements of your marketing plan also vying for resources.
Step #2 – Know Your Audience
Who are they exactly? For social media your answer may differ from the audience you have identified for your over-all marketing plan.
Think about demographical information such as age, location, and gender and about their psychological traits. For example, what are their biggest fears in the specific areas where you provide solutions?
As always in your marketing plan, you want to be able to describe them so well that you — without doubt — understand precisely what they want from you.
And grasping your audience with precision enables you to discover where you’ll find them within the variety of social media and other media opportunities in front of you.
Step #3 – Stand Out
Be sure that you are not a shadow — a dim ghostly presence — or a me-too advisor like everyone else running with the me-too pack.
One place to start is with benefits. Not just any benefits, but the ones that matter hugely to your prospects.
Marketer extraordinaire Doug Hall stresses: “Benefits unlock your business success and separate you from the me-too pack.”
A heavy-duty chapter in our book “Marketing Power for Financial Advisors” hands you “Eight Differentiating Ideas with Rich Potential for Financial Advisors.”
More about the book is HERE.
Step #4 – Never Underestimate the Power of Proof
Financial advisors must be strong here. And that’s why we emphasize it as a vital step in your marketing plan.
Mistrust, doubt, and skepticism are rampant. Reports of misdeeds and stories of advisors as self-interested pushers of inappropriate products show up frequently in the news.
One powerful antidote to this negativity is explaining that you follow a fiduciary standard (only if you do, of course). Then, you need to take one more step: explain to your audience exactly what this means. Not everyone understands or remembers what a fiduciary standard is.
Another way to provide proof is to take the mystery out of your fees.
A report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and State Street Global called “A Matter of Trust” makes a strong connection between coming across as trustworthy with being upfront about your fees.
- To build trust talk about fees early in the relationship.
- Present a simple, single fee structure.
- Put fees in writing. That way prospects won’t have to rely on memory, which could lead to doubt and confusion later.
Step #5 – You’re Ready to Select Your Marketing Strategies, Tools, and Tactics
With the first four steps in place, you’ll know:
- Where to slot social media into the plan,
- Where you will rely on other marketing media, and
- How each will reinforce the other.
Step #6 – Develop your Marketing Action Guide
Here you set out the specific details of your marketing plan for a defined time period. The Action Guide spells out the actions to be taken, who will do it, exactly when it will take place. The guide clarifies where and how each element of your action guide will be implemented.
This Is Important: Your audience is bombarded by information. Plan on more than one contact in today’s world of din and clatter.
Think of the Action Guide as your road map to reach your objectives.
Hold yourself and the others involved accountable for implementing the plan.
Step #7 – Run the Numbers, Be Relentless
At the end of the time period for your marketing plan study the numbers, especially costs and revenues.
– Which marketing tools brought in prospects and clients?
– Which ones frittered away your resources?
– Which ones showed promise and can be tweaked for better and better results?
Continue with the successes. Rework the promising ones to attract the results you are after. Drop the disappointments.
You are ready to go back over the steps of the plan and make critical changes. If you can, add a new marketing tool to the mix and then continue with the next phase of your plan.