Can Social Media Lead To New Prospects?

July 14, 2015

By Beverly Flaxington

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Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Dear Bev,

We should be getting more from social media. We all have LinkedIn accounts. We have a Twitter account for the firm, and we regularly post articles and ideas. None of this leads to new business. What can we do to generate prospects from our social media activities?

Jean Y.

Dear Jean,

Measuring impact from social media is not easy. You can hire someone who specializes in this area, but measuring the specific return on the investment can be tricky. That said, you have to use social media and you have to use it well. The younger investor will immediately “Google you” to find out what your perspectives are and whether there are any blemishes against you. It’s not safe in today’s environment to be hidden. Not appearing when someone looks for you is assumed to be bad; you must not be real or you must be hiding something. Unless you are launching a very targeted social media campaign it is a mistake to assume you can link new prospects or the lack of new prospects to a social media presence. The activities can be part of an overall whole – in fact having a concentrated effort with different elements is often the best strategy. A few things to think about to make your activities more profitable:

  1. Set a goal for what you hope your social media activities will do for you. Why are you engaging in social media? How will you measure your “return”? How much time can you devote and what areas will you focus on?
  2. Stand out with your messaging. For example on LinkedIn, instead of being a “Financial Advisor” define exactly who you are, who you help and what you do. “Expert in Effective Retirement Strategies for Successful Entrepreneurs” would be more descriptive and more compelling.
  3. Be active. If you are going to participate, you can’t just put up a page and hope for the best. Write blogs on a topic you wish to be known for, post articles of interest to your market and pose thought-provoking questions.
  4. Use social media for networking purposes. Identify those COIs or friends of clients you want to approach. See how they might be connected to you or what they are interested in. Doing some detective work in advance gives you the chance to learn something about them and then make a connection.
  5. Reinforce your image and culture in all that you do. Having a strong message and knowing who you are is important. Every message you put out should remind people who you are and what you do well.
  6. Have fun with it. If you can put aside the need for immediate results, there is a lot to learn from others and a lot to be shared.

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Can Social Media Lead To New Prospects?