Five Steps to Improve Your Social Media Exposure
When one of your clients mentions your name or your commitment to extraordinary service at a dinner party, what happens next? Often the person who hears about you is curious and decides to learn more about you. So they send themselves a text message with your name to look it up later or they use their smartphone to go to Google and do a search to see who you are.
If one of your clients refers you at a party... what would the curious potential prospect find on the internet?
Well, give it a try. Google yourself right now.
If you are fortunate enough to have a company profile online you may see that. If your company name is different than your name it may not show up. If you have been published in a journal or donated to a fundraiser, played college or professional sports that could show up in your search results. LinkedIn or Facebook links will almost always be there. Click on each of the search results and see what they say.
Do you like what you see? Does it send the right message about you? If not, there are ways to change it.
- Start by using your internal company resources and create a thoughtful, informative website for yourself and your team. In the content, make sure you use words that will pop-up on a search, for example ‘wealth advisor’, ‘financial planning’, ‘high standard of service’, ‘limited number of clients’, specialties you work with like ‘401(K) plans’ or ‘retirement planning’. Have a professional photo taken of your individual team members and a group shot if you have room for it. Every word is important and communicates your brand.
- If your company will allow it, go to LinkedIn and join as an individual and as a business group. Be sure to follow the steps to add your photo, invite people to connect and have a few endorsements. Set up a schedule to add a new comment or link to an informative article at least once a month.
- Reach out to your centers of influence and clients and make sure you are connected with them on LinkedIn. This is a valuable exercise that will give you a more approachable profile.
- Write articles to be published in financial journals, industry publications or trade magazines associated with your target markets. As far fetched as it may sound, even major publications, like the Wall Street Journal, are always on the lookout for new perspectives. This will give you good exposure and further establish your name.
- Finally consider a Facebook page or Twitter account. You can set up Facebook either as a family, individual or a business. If it is of a personal nature make sure you set your privacy settings accordingly so people doing a search for you can see your profile on Facebook but nothing else. This is where people see the human side of you. Post photos of your pets, sports activities you are involved with or charities you support. This is also a good way for your kids to be on Facebook with you controlling what they post.
Twitter can be used by advisors to tweet the latest news, an update on market activity, or share personal accomplishments. Keep it short; tweets are limited to 140 characters. Invite your clients to sign up for your tweets. Just remember, Twitter is a time commitment – you will have to tweet once a day or at least once every couple of days to make it effective.
If you are short on time, “hoot suite” is a paid service you can use to schedule your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media messages. It will take you one hour a month to write them and then use this service to schedule them to go out when you want. You can try assigning members of your team a day or week to be responsible for content. Just make sure you approve it before it goes out.
Of course, before you get going on any of the above ideas, make sure you understand your company's policies. You may have to jump through a few extra hoops, but it will be worth the effort. Your social media exposure will enhance your brand and your visibility which will ultimately help you attract new clients.
Review your practice's web page. Does it reflect your team today? How about Linked IN? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Have you posted anything recently?
If you are too busy to do it yourself you can assign a team member to keep track and update your information. You should plan on having some interaction with social media once a week.