Thursday, October 26, 2017

Your Business Forecast: Sunny with a Strong Chance of Social, Part 4

By Brianna Regan, Marketing Development Director

Managing Your Social Media Presence Day-to-Day and Assessing Results  

High-performing financial professionals (FPs) do not hibernate when the temperatures drop, and social media doesn’t sleep. FPs with a successful marketing strategy as part of a well-rounded business plan are still seeing sunny skies on the grayest of winter days because they have effectively integrated all of their marketing initiatives and platforms – to include social media – to stay in front of their clients and help them achieve their retirement income planning goals.

Over the last year and a half I’ve provided you with a social media “how to” broken into action plans. To recap, in Part 1 we covered important considerations FPs must first face when deciding to make social media a part of their practices. Doing so helps set you up for success by laying the foundation and defining what social media will look like for your business (Annuity News & Lifelines, May 2016). Then in Part 2 it was on to developing a social media strategy and a policy to address compliance requirements for your social media program (Annuity News & Lifelines, November/December 2016). Part 3 (Annuity News & Lifelines, May 2017) was the most exciting: implementing your social media plan.

Today it comes full circle – there’s no true autopilot for social media, even if you do choose to engage third-party tools to organize campaigns, so you’ll need to check in and revisit regularly to see how it’s going by managing your social media presence day-to-day, as well as over the long term so that you can assess the results.

Having a social presence doesn’t have to take up a lot of time especially for a small organization. The simpler you keep it at the beginning – from the number of platforms to content curation, scheduling and distributing – the easier it is to get your hands around, get a good vibe for how it’s working (listening and monitoring!), and be able to feel competent and confident that you’re headed in the right direction. After that then, is 10 minutes of daily upkeep too much to ask? On a good day it can really only be that much to stay current, knowing that you have already done some preparatory work and planning – your strategy, remember. As with anything, the more you use social media and see what resonates with customers, the easier it becomes to develop a truly authentic, compliant, and effective social presence.

People are “connected” usually for more hours of the day than they sleep. Turn notifications on and routinely check for any feedback/comments/reposts of your material – and based on your social policy, know how you will respond. Protect your practice by exercising good judgement in your strategy, your content, and your responses.

Keep up with technology and innovations. Social media platforms are always introducing new features or modifying the system. Know the ins and outs so you can save time and be more efficient.

In your social media plan, you should have already outlined how you will measure results. Take time to truly define for your own practice how you’ll measure ROI. You can obtain key performance indicators off of follower growth, posting frequency, brand mentions, likes, shares, engagement, and reach, as some examples. When you’re doing regular reporting, monthly at a minimum, access the analytics tools provided by the platforms. See if you can identify any negative trends or plateaus so you can go back to your strategy and make your tweaks.

Social media is certainly not a “set it and forget it” type of marketing and it shouldn’t be isolated from all of the other marketing you do in your practice. The root of your plan, from the beginning, has always been to treat social media as a tool to support your business processes and help do many of the things you do in your business better. So is that happening?

If the results you’re seeing are not aligned with your goals or you feel like you haven’t been able to make social media work for you, invest in these areas. Be patient, be social, be active and use it a lot, be open to refining your content if you’re not seeing the engagement you want, be sure to care what other people have to say.

Wishing you many sunny, social days ahead! I welcome the opportunity to discuss social media and your marketing – please feel free to reach me.

Brianna Regan | Marketing Development Director
Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange
Ph: 800.321.3924 x123 | Dir: 734.786.6123

Designed for Financial Professionals.