How Your Company Profiles Increase Conversions as a Financial Advisor
If you’ve been wondering how to use social media more effectively in your financial practice, you’re in the right place. Marketing for advisors requires a different approach than most businesses, so it helps to know how to leverage specific tools like social media to build your brand and grow your business.
In Part I of Advisor Social Media, we covered the different ways financial professionals can use social media to market their practice. Your personal profiles can help you strengthen current relationships and increase referrals, while a paid ad strategy can help you reach people who have never heard of you. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of your company profiles and how they help increase conversions during the vetting process.
Search Engine Optimization: Be Seen
Facebook is one of the most widely used platforms on the internet, and Google knows that. Consequently, when you search for a person, company, or brand, their Facebook page is one of the first results Google will show you. Search engines recognize Facebook as a reputable, popular site, and as such, they deliver its listings as one of their top results when you search for a person or company.
That means when one of your clients refers you to their cousin and that cousin googles the name of your firm, your Facebook page (if you have one, and even more so, if it’s active), will be one of the first results they see.
This principle holds true not just for Facebook, but for other widely used social platforms like LinkedIn. Test it out—search a few of your favorite brands and see which links appear—most likely, Facebook will be one of the top results, with LinkedIn or Twitter following close behind. In some cases, LinkedIn will even appear at the top of the list, outranking a company’s website. This is especially common if you’re an advisor with a template website from your broker, or you’re not allowed to have your own website. For this reason, LinkedIn profiles can be an incredibly valuable asset for advisors.
It’s also important to note that LinkedIn is a strategic choice for advisors because it’s “business social media.” If someone wants to check out your credentials and education after they’re referred to you, it makes sense for them to look there. Maintaining an active LinkedIn profile can also be a great way to build connections with COIs or joint work partners, display your expertise and build credibility by sharing relevant information, and meet new prospects in your target market industries.
That said, Facebook is still the most popular social media platform and consequently a search-result powerhouse—so it’s important to maintain company profiles on both sites. Both Facebook and LinkedIn represent valuable internet real estate you can control—you decide what your profiles say about you, and maintaining active pages increases your opportunities to share your specific value with prospects. Which brings us to our next point…
Say the Right Things
When prospects vet you, they usually research in more than one place—meaning after they’ve found your website, they’ll also likely check your social media profiles—especially if those profiles are showing up at the top of search results or are linked from your website. So when it comes to your online presence and the things you say about your brand, the messaging on your social media profiles is just as important as the messaging on your website. Your business profiles are another opportunity to tell prospects who you are and answer the question, “Can this advisor help me?”
Here’s something to think about: roughly 1.91 billion people use Facebook daily,1 and as of 2019, more than 600 million of its users were visiting business pages every day. LinkedIn has roughly 810 million users2 and reports that 55 percent of decision makers use thought leadership (like content shared on professional profiles) to determine the kind of companies they work with3.
What does that tell us? Tons of people use social media, and not just to connect with their friends. In 2016, a study of nearly 1,000 consumers revealed that 20% of them used social media to discover a brand, service, or product, and 14% of them leveraged social media during the vetting process.4 Imagine what those statistics are now, after the pandemic.
So, the information on your profiles matters. Having company profiles matters. Your prospects are very likely viewing your social media pages after they’re referred to you and it’s your job to reinforce all the good things your clients say about you. The content on your profiles should express how you help your clients and what makes you stand apart from other advisors, and it should be cohesive with the messaging on your website. That way, when prospects vet you, they feel confident that you’re the advisor that can help solve their problems.
Show Referrals You’re Still in Business
How many times have you heard about a restaurant, store, or business, searched for them on Facebook, and found a page with just a few posts—all from three or four years ago? What’s your first thought?
Are they still in business?
It might seem like a drastic conclusion to assume no posts equals no business, but that’s what goes through many people’s minds when they see an inactive Facebook page—which is why we recommend creating a Facebook page only if you’re going to be diligent about sharing content regularly. (LinkedIn, on the other hand, does not share this phenomenon, and a static page with up-to-date company information will generally suffice.) Lots of people use Facebook to check that someone is still in business or to find their contact information and hours of operation—so if the information (or posts) you have on your page is outdated, you’re creating room for doubt.
Instead, make it clear when someone inevitably lands on your page—tell them, “We’re here, we’re staying on top of what’s important to our clients, and we can help you solve your problems.” You do that by maintaining an up-to-date profile that reflects your brand identity and regularly posting information relevant to your target market.
Social Media Matters
So next time you think your social media profiles aren’t working for you, take a moment to consider the referral process—are your profiles appearing at the top of search engine results and helping people find you? Are the messages on your pages reflecting your brand identity and reiterating your brand promise? Are you sharing timely information that could boost your credibility with referrals? If so, your social media presence probably has a lot more impact than you realize. And remember this: it can make or break a referral before you ever meet that person.
A strong social media presence can boost your search engine results, help referrals find you easily, and prove to them that you’re relevant, knowledgeable, and can help solve their problems. That’s why it’s important to not only have a presence on social media, but to maintain it regularly. Make sure your pages match the branding on your website and that you’re sharing content your target market cares about.
So even if people don’t call you because they “just loved what you posted about transitory inflation,” give your social profiles some credit—they deserve it. You can further improve your profiles’ efficacy by growing your following—add links to your Facebook and LinkedIn pages in your email signature and on your website; then invite your personal connections on those sites to like your pages. You’ll be glad you did.