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How to Secure Clients Through Facebook
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
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Facebook is the world’s largest social network with more than 800 million active users. That is a lot of potential clients. However, Facebook presents some unique challenges to client acquisition. A recent survey of 600 financial advisors showed the effectiveness of the three major social sites in generating new business: 61% of the advisors using LinkedIn, 40% of the advisors using Twitter and 35% of the advisors using Facebook acquired at least one new client through these sites. Facebook, though it is the world’s largest social network, offered the lowest client conversion rate among the big three for financial advisors.1

So, should advisors bypass Facebook and focus on the other social platforms?

Absolutely not. It is important to remember that even though the conversion percentage on Facebook was the lowest of the big three, 35% of advisors still acquired new clients through Facebook. That’s a significant opportunity that you can utilize. Remember that the majority of the users on Facebook are looking at pictures of their grandkids and funny YouTube videos. They aren’t thinking about establishing new business relationships. Facebook requires a different strategy.

Here are three secrets to success with Facebook:

1. Your business needs a Facebook page.

For many users the difference between a profile and a page can be really confusing. But, it doesn’t have to be.

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Think of it this way: Your profile is for you as a person. Your page is for you as a business.          

Since you could have many businesses, you can also have many pages. But, since you can’t be two people – you only get one profile. It is also helpful to remember that people “friend” your profile but “like” your page. You can think of a “like” as a request to follow you. Once someone likes your page, they will receive all of your posts in their Facebook newsfeed.

Your profile is a place to interact on a personal level while your page is a place to interact on a professional level. Make sense?

So, build a page and invite people to like you. Now that you have a Facebook page – what next?

2. Learn to speak the language.

If you wanted to do business in Germany, it would be best if you could speak German. We get this intuitively. However, many businesses try to communicate on Facebook in the language of other business-oriented networks like LinkedIn. This won’t be as affective.

In many ways Facebook is a casual, visual network and its language is photos and videos. As much as possible make your posts visually appealing. Share infographics, videos, and short articles from your website instead of long blog posts and extremely detailed analysis. Your visitors will be scanning for videos and visual graphics, so give them what they want!

3. Let your fun out.

Facebook is a casual network, and it provides you with an opportunity to showcase your “business casual” side. One great way to do this is to post pictures of your company working, playing, and serving in the community. As an example I’d invite you to take a look at our FMG Blog: Market in Motion. Last Thanksgiving the FMG Team cooked dinner for homeless kids at the Monarch school in San Diego. It was a great time. We put together a short video of the day’s activities and shared it socially on our FMGSuite Facebook page. What a great way for our followers to see a different side of our business.

At the end of the day, Facebook has 800 million users waiting to hear about you. That’s significant. If you want to successfully reach them, you need to follow the three principals of Facebook success. Start by building a Facebook page for your business and encouraging people to like you. Don’t forget to speak the language with images and videos. And finally, have some fun doing it.

Craig Faulkner is CEO of FMGSuite, a company dedicated to creating digital marketing tools for today's financial professional. For more ways to make the most of your marketing efforts, check out his free online video course, TheArtofDigitalMarketing. You can also follow him @fmgsuite on Twitter.

(6) Comments
Inviting anyone to "like" a financial planner's page could invite a compliance complaint.
Posted by Jim M | Tuesday, October 09 2012 at 1:42PM ET
That's a great point Jim. A financial professional should always check with their home office to makes sure that any social media marketing efforts fall well within their compliance departments comfort zone--some really encourage advisors to open up the flood gates, while others encourage a more careful approach. Working with a wide range of broker-dealers ourselves, we've definitely come across both extremes. Bottom line, check with your compliance department before launching any campaign.
Posted by Craig F | Tuesday, October 09 2012 at 2:19PM ET
Hi Craig, do you have a link to the survey you are quoting?
Posted by Jeremy P | Wednesday, October 10 2012 at 3:26PM ET
@Jeremy, I sure can: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/10437/Study-LinkedIn-Is-More-Effective-for-B2B-Companies.aspx

The numbers have been updated. Their a bit higher now, but that's the Hubspot B2B study that we're referencing.

Posted by Craig F | Thursday, October 11 2012 at 5:42PM ET
Ok great, thanks Craig!
Posted by Jeremy P | Friday, October 12 2012 at 5:07PM ET
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