With the rise of social media has come a whole new world of marketing. You can now connect with your customers more personally, directly, and quickly. There are now many more options for interaction with your network than ads, commercials, and presentations.
Social media can be more difficult than traditional marketing in that it requires you to invest time and thought posting new content and interacting with fans/followers on a consistent basis. In other ways, social media marketing is easier because your customers are engaging with you by choice on a personal level. They can follow along to learn more about you, your life, and your business. Social media allows you to make your customers feel valuable by contributing to your discussions. Most importantly, you can build trust by taking the time to answer their questions.
In our industry, we are dealing with some of the most personal and emotional areas of people's lives: money and retirement. This allows a huge opportunity to build value by being trustworthy. Social media makes that opportunity even greater. The goal is to create loyalty - you can do this by creating a personal and trusting relationship with your clients. By connecting with people on their (very personal) social media accounts, you can stay top-of-mind and become a go-to resource.
Wondering where to start?
First off, you will need a digital marketing "hub." This is the place where all of your contact information, branding, and product information can be found. Your hub is your website. This will be the first step to building a social presence.
You need a website to direct your fans and followers to before attempting to create a social presence. Here are a few reasons why:
You own it. It isn't subject to policy changes or decisions made at corporate headquarters somewhere else.
You decide everything that goes on it. No unwanted ads, miscellaneous quotes or inappropriate content will show up without going through you.
- Only you can post material there. This helps you control the messaging and keep the integrity in your brand. Social networking is a powerful way to incorporate others in building momentum in your business but you sacrifice some control. You need a "home base" you can point people to that says, "This is the official message of what my business is about."
You control the messaging so the brand can be kept clear. You create the message and can update it at any time.
- You can update it weekly with longer articles and still be "fresh." Other forms of social media will require daily input and comments, which requires them to be relatively short. On your website you have more time to think through some of the intricacies of the topics you care about and provide helpful information.
If you need some tips on creating a well-functioning website, visit Work Your Website.