How advisors can use social media to promote presentations
By Craig Faulkner
Faulkner Media Group
Here are some helpful tips for using your social media sites to get clients and key prospects to attend events and presentations.
Pew Research recently reported that 65 percent of adult Internet users in 2011 used social sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, which represents a 700 percent increase since 2005. And a surprising 43 percent of online adults use social networks daily.
Agents and advisors see the social stats, but are at a loss about how to start a winning social networking program that really engages clients and attracts key prospects. A quick and easy way to get someone to take an interest in your social sites is to invite them to a specific event, such as a presentation on retirement, investing or estate planning.
Extending the social invite indicates you are social savvy and interested in using the latest media to connect with clients and key prospects. In addition, it says you have a social media presence, and your social pages are worth checking often for events and other useful information.
Here are some helpful tips for using your social sites to get clients and key prospects to attend events and presentations.
Create a LinkedIn event
In 2008, LinkedIn launched a new feature called LinkedIn events. Using this service, LinkedIn users are shown events that coincide with their profile information and interests. You can promote your financial presentations using LinkedIn events. They’re simple to create and are great for hosting a group of individuals to discuss a specific financial topic.
When you create the event, make sure to add a photo and provide as many details as possible about the presentation. You can use the LinkedIn event notice to ask people to attend a presentation at a restaurant or meeting room, or invite prospects to attend a virtual event held through a webcast.
When you log into LinkedIn, scroll over the “More” tab and click on “Events.”
My advice: Experiment with the LinkedIn events. Choose a presentation and a venue, whether virtual or physical, then create the LinkedIn event notice and promote it. Remember, if you are not happy with the way your invite looks, you can always delete it once it appears on your LinkedIn site.
Link your site to social posts
Once there is a concrete place on your website with the details about your presentation, you can then use that link on all of your social pages. Drop the URL of the post in the “attach link” bar on your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages. If you have already sent out an initial invite, this will serve as a great way to remind people about your event.
My advice: Be consistent about offering presentations, whether online as a Web event or in person. When people know you are presenting regularly, they will eventually take advantage of the service.
Run a Facebook ad and/or LinkedIn ad
Facebook and LinkedIn advertisements are terrific because of the ability they give you to target prospective clients. Much like direct mail, you can specify demographic and financial parameters when you set up the ad. Unlike direct mail, the cost is much more reasonable, so don’t expect direct mail companies to be talking about Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads any time soon.
I must admit that at first I was intimidated by the complexity of using social site ads and wasn’t sure I would be able to manage them. After watching some simple tutorials on the LinkedIn and Facebook sites, I found a lot of success in using these ads to target clients. The metrics offered by these services are so sophisticated that it’s fun to track them. Now I have to admit that I have become a little obsessed with checking my ad success, just ask my wife!
My advice: Use the metrics offered by Facebook and LinkedIn to track the effectiveness of your promotional efforts, and vary your ads accordingly.
Using social media to get your clients to presentations and other events will link them up with your social sites and will keep them referring back to your material long after the presentation is over. We live in a social media world, so the sooner you start participating the more benefits you will see.