At The Covenant Group, we have developed The 8 Best Practices for high-performing salespeople to help entrepreneurs to build and grow their business. They are:
- Develop & utilize a planning process
- Know your client
- Understand how people make decisions
- Help your prospects/clients to buy
- Creating client capital
- Obtaining introductions
- Utilize resources
In the financial services industry, social media is now receiving a lot of attention, both from a regulatory standpoint and from an overall usage standpoint. The question on many people’s minds is, “What is the best way for me to efficiently and effectively leverage this new media to build my brand and credibility, as well as create stronger relationships with existing and prospective clients?”
Let’s take a look at how you can take the 8 Best Practices and apply them to leverage social media.
#1. Develop & Utilize a Planning Process to Develop a Solid Social Media Strategy
To become a high performer in your business, you have to take the time to develop a strategy for growing your business and income. The same is true for social media. It is important to think about your strategy and identify the way in which social media can help you to achieve your business objectives. To prepare, you may want to ask yourself:
- Whom do I want to target?
It is well worth taking the time to think about who you want and need to connect and engage with on social media. Are you connected with all of your existing clients? Who is interested in your products or services? Is there anything unique that could appeal to a certain audience? Think about who these people are and consider. What industries do they work in? What interests them? What do they read? What motivates them? How like are they to use social media? And, how often?
Also, you need to identify your key influencers. These could be people that stand out within your community, people that others listen to, and people that have the ability and network to impact your business.
Once you have profiled the people you want to connect with, you will have a better idea of which social platforms you should have a presence on and how you will engage with them.
- What benefits will I offer those who follow me?
Your audience is not going to just follow you because you showed up. You need to provide value over and over until they are convinced, then they will engage with your content. Slow growth, a lot of time, patience, and consistent management isn’t the most convincing pitch for a business to get on social media. However, that is the reality and nature of social media. Success does not just happen overnight for small brands, it happens over months, even years.
- What will I do with the information gathered from using social media?
Before deciding how you will use the information you gathered from social media, you have to know what key information you need to track and analyze. By monitoring the metrics such us post engagement, sharing, comments, and click through rates, you will be able to learn whether the way you are communicating with your audience is reaching and interesting them.
- What resources do I need?
Social media is a lot of work, and it takes time. You need to pay attention by monitoring, measuring, and responding. It is social, and anything social takes an investment of effort and skill. You need to utilize resources such as social media management tools, like Hootsuite or Buffer, to effectively manage your communications on social media and scale, to improve your efficiency, and to get better results over time.
- How will I measure success?
Albert Einstein once said “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” This is a hugely compelling statement and it is relevant when you considering how to measure the success on social media today.
In order to measure the success of your social activity, ensure you set clear objectives and realistic goals to aim for. This may be reaching a certain number of new followers, lead conversions, re-tweets, shares, comments, etc. And there is an array of different social media management tools out there to enable you to monitor every aspect of your social activity.
It is worth keeping in mind that as well as bringing tangible benefits, social media efforts have intangible results. Getting praise or mention from an industry expert, or getting your content in front of the COIs or prospects may not have a direct impact on paper, but this may prove invaluable in building your brand and establishing yourself as a thought leader. Social media allows you easy access to these individuals and provides a real time, personable way to communicate and network with them on your radar.
How can we apply the rest of The 8 Best Practices to social media marketing? Stay tuned for our blog and LinkedIn update.