Our biggest social media request right now is Facebook Lead Generation. Why? It’s pretty exciting that the right blend of targeting, message and imagery can lead to actual prospect meetings. This technique didn’t exist a decade ago and it wasn’t very common even a year ago. With all the excitement, it’s easy to get into the leads, leads, leads tunnel vision, but there are other Facebook strategies worth considering. Some might say these are even more powerful (and cheaper).
Why more powerful? Awareness and thought-leadership strategies are more aligned with how wealthier prospects select advisors. Wealthier prospects use the web for secondary research, such as Googling you after having met you through their accountant). They’re not as inclined to complete lead forms. But, you can raise awareness and help them understand your differentiators.
Why is it cheaper? Lead generation is the most expensive objective within Facebook. It’s a numbers game. You have to put your message in front of thousands of people to get a few that “take the bait.” What if there is no bait to take? What if simply putting your message in front of them is the objective? Ahhh, that’s why awareness and thought-leadership strategies are cheaper.
Here are some of the benefits of awareness and thought-leadership strategies on Facebook:
First Impressions – Remember when first impressions were all about having your shoes shined and a firm handshake? You can throw that out the window. People often “meet” you online well before they meet you in-person nowadays. Make sure your business page, your posts and your advertisements all speak to first class professionalism.
Social Proof – If you have a big following, you must be good, right? Social proof was popularized by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his book, The Psychology of Influence. Basically, it’s a good thing for a prospect to see that other people, who seem like them in some way, are using your services. Time to build up those page likes! By the way, don’t buy page likes—we can tell.
Awareness – When people in your community think advisor-to-the-affluent, who comes to mind? Probably those who do the most advertising. Fortunately, Facebook levels the playing field. No longer do you need a massive budget to be top-of-mind. Put yourself in the newsfeed of the affluent in your community through carefully crafted advertising.
Thought Leadership – Those with robust social media presences, full of helpful information, seem like frontrunners in their field. Consider this example: one lawn care business does a good job, but has no presence online. Another does an equally good job, but also posts weekly tips and videos from the field. Who tends to be viewed as more of a landscaping expert?
Trust Building – The more people become exposed to your content, the more they build trust in your viewpoints. Over time, through articles, videos or podcasts, people get to know you well in advance of coming into your office.
Facebook advertising is powerful and under-used by advisors. There’s a tremendous opportunity to get in while others have not or cannot. Should you try some lead-gen ads? Absolutely! But don’t forget about the awareness and thought-leadership strategies as well.
@StephenBoswell is President of The Oechsli Institute and author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors. @KevinANichols is the Chief Operating Officer for The Oechsli Institute and author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.