• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Engaging prospects and clients though social media 2012

Engaging prospects and clients though social media 2012






Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



1 Embed 2

http://pradov.pradov.com 2



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Engaging prospects and clients though social media 2012 Engaging prospects and clients though social media 2012 Document Transcript

    • Working Smarter: Engaging Prospects and Clients through Social Media
    • Working Smarter: Engaging Prospects and Clients through Social Media For financial advisors, social media represents a powerful addition to traditional marketing and networking activities. With the right strategy in place, social networking can be an important tool for both client acquisition and retention, enabling you to enhance brand awareness, deepen existing client relationships and find prospects and convert to clients. Contents 3  Transforming the Way Friends, Family and Businesses Communicate 4 Making the Connection 5 Why People Use Social Media 6 Getting Started 6 Think of Your Website as Your 24/7 Showroom 7 Active Participation is Critical 7 Leverage Personal Interests through Online Groups 8 Using the Big 3: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter 10 Applying Best Practices for Financial Advisors 12 Creating and Measuring ROI
    • WORKING SMARTER Transforming the Way Friends, Family and Businesses Communicate The most compelling reason to establish your online presence is that your clients and prospects are already using social media. If you are not talking to them, more than likely your competitors are. Social and mobile media sites and applications actively engage hundreds of millions of users each day.1 As a result, businesses engaged in social media across all industries and sectors are experiencing increased lead generation, new business acquisition and brand loyalty. More importantly, interaction via social media has led to the successful conversion of clients into advocates and influencers. WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA? Social and mobile media represent the blending of technology and social interaction for the creation of value. Websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter make it easy to connect and reconnect with other people—not only about personal interests, but also business and finance. So how do you establish and leverage your online presence to benefit from these powerful tools for engaging, retaining or converting prospects into clients, and clients into loyal fans? It starts with making connections. 1 From market leaders like BMW and MasterCard to local retailers, companies are using these websites to extend their brands and communicate with prospects and customers. Even the White House website (www.whitehouse.gov) provides regular updates to the public via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.2 S  ources: as of 6/30/11 - LinkedIn: over 100 million users (www.linkedin.com); Facebook: over 500 million users; Twitter: over 200 million tweets per day. 2 www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/05/01/WhiteHouse 3
    • Making the Connection Most social networking websites encourage users to create a profile page which may include personal information (name, photo, professional background, personal interests, etc.) that can be easily updated by you at any time. On some sites, you can create a profile page for your business as well as for yourself as an individual and increase the odds of being “found” on the web. The key to using these sites, however, are the tools that let you reach out to other individuals to ask questions, share ideas and trade perspectives. Most offer a wide range of groups or networks that you can join, each with its own bulletin board, events listings, etc. ■ ■ ■ There are three types of social networks: professional (LinkedIn), personal (Facebook, MySpace) and open (Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare).The first two usually operate by mutual consent of the participants; users have the opportunity to accept or reject someone as a connection. The third, as the name implies, is open to anyone. Groups are created and moderated by users to facilitate communication between people with similar values, professional goals, geographic location—the list is endless. Groups allow you to bond with like-minded people and build relationships that can eventually lead to referrals and business. Professional networks are created primarily for business purposes and in many ways act as online versions of industry associations and trade groups. Personal networks, while offering many valuable business applications, are primarily designed for socializing with friends and acquaintances. Open networks do not skew toward any one demographic but are open to any and all users. 4 WORKING SMARTER: ENGAGING PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
    • WORKING SMARTER Why People Use Social Media To make connections Lack of time and lack of proximity can make it hard to meet and stay in touch with many people we would like to know better. Social networking takes away these barriers and makes it simple to develop relationships that would not be possible otherwise. PROVEN BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS 1. Low cost method to develop and control your brand To create and access content 2. Establish and control your online reputation People who would never have had the opportunity to showcase their writing, photos, artwork, music, and other endeavors through traditional media are able to find an outlet and an audience for their work through social media. In addition to creating their own content, users also interact as spectators—actively reading and/or listening to posts, ratings and reviews, as well as podcasts and videos created by other users. 3. Convert a higher percentage of referrals and networking activities to appointments and sales 4. Impact search engine rankings and visibility To seek or share opinions 5. Increase number and quality of professional referrals from strategic partners and Centers of Influence (COI) Social networking provides a ready-made forum to share opinions, pro or con, about almost anything—by posting a rating or review, commenting on blog posts, contributing to articles or voting in online polls. Please note: Online testimonials about you or your business are prohibited. Check with your compliance department for additional guidelines specific to your firm or practice. 6. Expand your ability to find new prospects 7. Enhance communication with existing clients 8. Utilize simple, easy to use technologies that do not require a technical background 5
    • Getting Started Americans bank, pay taxes and shop for real estate and luxury cars online. So it’s natural for clients to expect to find you and your practice online with a well-developed website. A good website validates you in the eyes of prospects and lets them quickly assess whether you are someone they could do business with. It also provides an important bridge between your initial contact and first formal meeting, and can help motivate prospects to schedule time to meet with you. Think of Your Website as Your 24/7 Showroom ■ ■ ■ Your website offers you an effective marketing hub where you can direct people you have connected with through other avenues, including social media. Social media networking sites offer limited space to tell your story but can be highly effective in driving traffic back to your website. Your site is a showroom for you and your services that’s open 24/7 and accessible anywhere via computer or smartphone. It provides an easy and effective way to deliver a consistent message and control how it is delivered.* The key is to do it well. Too many advisors treat their sites as an online business card—offering only contact information, professional credentials and a bare-bones list of services. For your website to be truly effective, you need to clearly convey your value proposition and the elements that differentiate your practice from competitors. * e sure to work with your firm’s compliance department to ensure that your website meets your B firm’s standards. 6 WORKING SMARTER: ENGAGING PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
    • WORKING SMARTER Active Participation is Critical Many professionals have made the mistake of simply creating a basic business or professional profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube and then waiting for the business to flood in. Social media is a dynamic exchange of information, not a “once and done” exercise. If you do not have a group of friends or followers who are consistently viewing or “liking” what you are posting and are ready to share it with others, your presence will stagnate. If you want to attract new visitors via social media, and drive traffic to your website, you have to actively participate. But, before you begin to devote all of your free time to social media, ask yourself these questions: ■■ ■■ ■■ Which sites and groups are my clients and ideal prospects participating in today? MANAGE YOUR REPUTATION How much time am I willing to spend daily/weekly or monthly maintaining my presence? Once you have established an online presence, the most important task remains in front of you: managing your reputation. Much as you would takes steps to protect your credit, make a habit of regularly checking for activity connected to your name and your business. One of the easiest ways to monitor your reputation is by setting up a Google Alert, which will inform you of anything that has appeared about you online. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. What constitutes a return on investment (ROI) to me? (i.e. How many new relationships, leads converted or referrals do you feel will justify your time spent networking online?) Leverage Personal Interests through Online Groups Just as your personal activities bring you into contact with neighbors, friends and acquaintances who could potentially become clients, the same thing can happen online. Whatever your passion—whether golf, boating, high-end travel, your local sports team—you will find online groups that welcome like-minded individuals. ■■ ■■ ■■ Websites like Yahoo.com have hundreds of groups where members trade messages, photos and information about shared interests. Some of these are tied to a particular area (e.g., “Daytona Beach Boating Enthusiasts”), enabling you to focus on people in areas where you are licensed. Go to www.google.com/alerts and set up a free alert on your name and your firm’s name. Whenever anything appears online that you or someone else has posted about you, an email will be sent to you with a link to the online occurrence. This is also a great tool for tracking results as you determine your return on investment. Keep group interactions focused on the group’s topic (e.g., boating) —focus on making connections rather than promoting your business. Focus on groups that are likely to attract the interest and participation of affluent individuals. 7
    • Using the Big 3: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are a good place for financial advisors to begin to build an online presence. All three consistently rank high in Google searches, offer user-friendly platforms for building your presence and offer ample opportunity to customize and leverage your presence through on-site and partner-provided tools and resources. About | LinkedIn Professional social networks such as LinkedIn were created primarily for business purposes and in many ways act as online versions of industry associations and trade groups. Your profile is the cornerstone of your LinkedIn network. It should provide the information visitors need to recognize your professional capabilities as a financial advisor, as well as any personal interests that could help spark a connection.* About | Facebook Facebook provides you with a distinct website location so that others can quickly find you using Google and other search engines. Facebook allows you to create both personal and business pages. Its most distinctive feature is the “wall”— a message board on everyone’s profile page where updates appear. Use your wall to post information, articles and events that may be of interest to your connections and potential prospects.* 8 WORKING SMARTER: ENGAGING PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
    • WORKING SMARTER About | Twitter Twitter is a unique service that allows users to send short, 140 character or less messages called “tweets” to others who have signed up to “follow” them. These messages are compiled for easy reference on your personal Twitter homepage, where they can be checked by computer or smartphone. Twitter’s principal value for you as an advisor is timely and efficient access to news about the economy and financial markets delivered in quick sound bites that make it easy to keep up. The fast-changing nature of electronic communication has led to changes in compliance policies at firms over time; if you are interested in using Twitter to send messages and position yourself as a thought leader, check with your firm’s compliance team periodically regarding what is currently allowed. *  lways check with your firm’s compliance team for specific guidelines and policies regarding this and A other social media sites and activities to determine what is currently allowed. 9
    • Applying Best Practices for Financial Advisors Think about social networking as a complement to traditional face-to-face networking. They are more powerful working together than separately. Lay the groundwork before you start. Getting started with social networking sites will be easier and more rewarding if you following these simple guidelines: ■■ ■■ ■■ Your photo. If you do not already have a professional photo of yourself, have one taken. Ask the photography studio to provide you with a digital version of the photo in .jpeg format (which is generally compatible with most web applications). Please note that if you have someone take a photo of you using your own digital camera, those photos can also be saved and uploaded to your computer in the .jpeg format. Your email database. Store contact information on both your professional and personal email contact lists so that you can easily link to business associates, acquaintances and other contacts. Most social networking sites will allow you to import your contacts from your email accounts. If you have not already done so, we recommend that you or someone on your team input contact information into your email contact lists. Your telephone. If you do not already have a smartphone that allows you to access email and the Internet, consider upgrading to one. Smartphones offer maximum flexibility and mobility, allowing you to use and view social media sites from the office, home or while travelling. 10 WORKING SMARTER: ENGAGING PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
    • WORKING SMARTER Always consider your “digital footprint.” Everything you communicate from your photo and personal information to comments, posts, links, articles and more reflect directly on you, your brand and your practice—and could potentially be accessible to clients. Make sure you are fully aware of both industry regulatory requirements and your own firm’s requirements and prohibitions before posting content of any type. Put your (true) self out there. Social media was developed for social interaction. People who are interacting with you want to get to know you as a person and develop a personal relationship. Help them get to know you by talking about your family, your interests and things that you think may interest them. It should never be all about business—that is a secondary goal and an end result once people get to know you after sharing common interests and developing trust. Consider target market demographics. Which sites do your clients and prospects use the most? Are retirees on Facebook posting pictures of their grandchildren? Do your COIs and professional partners interact through certain LinkedIn groups? View your contacts’ profile pages to determine common groups and interests that can provide the shared connections you seek. Be patient. Successful social networking is based on providing value to others as a source of information and ideas. Providing information and ideas that will be genuinely helpful to other people helps position you as a thought leader worthy of your audience’s continued attention. The more you give, without regard for immediate payoff, the more you are likely to get. The key is to pull in qualified people with content that fits their needs and interests, not to push your practice at them. Manage the time you spend on social networking. Define your own publishing schedule—pick a specific time (once a day, three times a week) to post updates and read updates from those in your network. While it is important to have a continued and consistent presence online, do not inundate your audience either. You run the risk that they will begin to ignore, unsubscribe or—dare we even say it—“unfriend” you. This information is provided for educational purposes only. Any actual use of social networking for professional purposes should only be considered after a thorough review of all applicable compliance policies. 11
    • Creating and Measuring ROI Use the 4-step approach below to evaluate your ROI as it pertains to the time and effort you or your team members contribute to your social media goals and presence. STEP 1  ncorporate your social media efforts into your I marketing plan. Social media strategies often fail when businesses view them as a side effort instead of incorporating them into their overall marketing efforts. Legitimize your strategy and time commitment by making social media a core tenet of your business development efforts, assigning appropriate value and actively tracking results. STEP 2  Manage your expectations and quantify your goals. Be realistic about how quickly you can expect to gain and convert new leads. You need to establish a presence and gain a following before leads can be converted. Quantify your social media goals by realistically estimating the potential revenue that could be affected by social media in year one, year two, etc. as you solidify your presence and expand your reach. For most advisors, primary goals include establishing a strong brand online and becoming easily searchable. Reaching these types of goals should only require several hours a month to ensure that you establish a fresh and dynamic presence and are actively participating and updating your sites. 12 WORKING SMARTER: ENGAGING PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
    • WORKING SMARTER STEP 3  Focus your efforts where your target prospects spend their time. Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Find out where clients and prospects participate so you can focus your efforts around the most likely sources to reach your target market and attain your goals. If you do not know where your target market spends time online: ■■ ■■ View your contact’s profile pages to determine common interests and groups they have joined. Conduct a survey of your best clients—those you would like to duplicate—regarding their participation in social media. Their insight can be very helpful. STEP 4  Measure your Return On Investment. Place a value on the time you and your staff engage in updating social media sites or networking via social media by establishing an Hourly Rate. Determine in advance the amount of time you would like to allocate to social media interaction and closely monitor actual time spent. By setting aside specific days and times to focus on social media, you will be able to effectively integrate these tools into your overall marketing efforts without allowing it to take over your day—or worse, push it aside as an afterthought. If you find that your time or other cost expenditures initially outweigh qualified leads or revenue generated, do not give up. As with any marketing effort, it takes time to establish your presence and a loyal following. Re-evaluate your strategy regularly and track the type of sites, posts and communications that elicit interaction with your desired audience. 13
    • A History of Commitment to the Independent Advisor We are proud of the significant business growth we have achieved as an organization and of the resulting sound support we are able to provide our advisors. LPL Financial brings decades of industry leadership and innovation to serving the growing needs of the financial advisor and broker/dealer communities. We are committed to being the premier independent broker/dealer in the country.* This goal drives every decision we make, from the hiring of talented and experienced staff, to our investments in technology, communications and sales support. We invite you to learn more about our commitment to innovation and our dedication to superior service—a formula that has helped more than 12,000 financial advisors build smarter, more successful independent practices. *As reported in Financial Planning magazine, June 1996 – 2011, based on total revenue. 14 WORKING SMARTER: ENGAGING PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
    • WORKING SMARTER For more information about LPL Financial, please visit us at joinlpl.com or simply contact an LPL Financial representative at (888) 250-2420. 15
    • Member FINRA/SIPC www.joinlpl.com A Registered Investment Advisor. BD-07423-0711 Tracking #745800 (exp. 07/13)