The Two Keys to Building a Powerful Social Media Presence

If you build it, they will come, right? If you build a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield, is it possible that hundreds of people will show up the next day? Yes, it’s possible. But is it probable? Not at all. Although it worked for Kevin Costner, it won’t work for your social media pages.

Interestingly enough, this is the way a lot of advisors treat their social media efforts. They create their profiles, fail to actively engage, and grow frustrated when business doesn’t result. The good news is that there are a few simple techniques that can make a big difference in your social media marketing plan.

Step 1: Create Awareness

The first step is to create awareness of your social media presence, or make sure your clients, friends and network know you are on social media.

  • For Facebook, go to “Build Audience” on the top-right corner of your Facebook business page. You can select which personal Facebook connections you would like to invite to join you on your firm’s page. Go ahead and invite them all if you are comfortable and those who are interested will accept your invitation.
  • On Twitter, go to “#Discover” on the top navigation bar and then to “Find Friends” to pull all current Twitter users from your email contact list, and then invite them to connect with you.
  • Using LinkedIn, go to “Connections” in the top navigation bar and select “Add Connections.” This will give you the ability to sync your email contact list and connect with your network.

After you have completed these steps, notify your clients about your social media pages by email with links to your social sites, inviting people to connect with you. If you send a monthly client newsletter, be sure to include links to your social media pages each month. It’s helpful to let clients know the benefit they will receive when they connect with you, such as market updates, client event information, or helpful financial tips.

Step 2: Continually Grow Your Following

Once you connect with clients and prospects, it’s critical to make an ongoing effort to grow your following and engage with your online network. Take the time to complete the following steps to make it easy for folks to connect with you going forward.

  1. Add the links to connect to your social media pages to your email signature.
  2. Add your website to your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages through the “Profile” tools so prospects can easily find out more about you.
  3. Connect your social media pages to each other for cross-pollination. Through LinkedIn you are able to add your Twitter icon to your profile, below your website link, through the “Manage Twitter Settings” link within “Privacy and Settings,” which resides under “Profile.” It takes only a minute to link your Twitter account and let your connections easily follow your Twitter feed.
  4. Discuss your social media pages when you meet with clients. Let them know about the valuable information you post and that you’d like to connect with them to stay up-to-date on their lives. Use updates and milestones like a new grandchild as a trigger to reach out and schedule a meeting.

The key to a successful social media strategy is to keep in perspective that it’s an ongoing effort to build your network and have meaningful conversations. You have to do more than create your pages to get people to come. Follow these tips, add value to your connections through the information you post, participate in their conversations, ask interesting questions and most importantly, use social media to lead to face-to-face meetings.