by Tony Vidler
Why do some advisers seem to do so well and get such great social media ROI while others find it fruitless? There are financial advisers literally building businesses on the back of social media – it is that powerful for them. Yet there are hordes of advisers who would suggest that social media is a time-wasting exercise based upon their own experience to date. Both camps are right of course.
The difference appears to be that those who succeed in this area adopt a “nurturing” approach rather than a “sales” approach, and then support that attitude with active monitoring and analytics of their chosen channels. Just as importantly they respond quickly to engagement opportunities, and by that I mean they engage without expectation of an immediate return. To summarise all that: those who do well with social media use it to build relationships. Those who dismiss it as a waste of time tend to take a less scientific approach, treat it as an ad hoc tactic, and consider ROI to be short term sales results.
I remember reading report by the Aberdeen Group a couple of years ago which provided some interesting insights into what separated the “best in class” business when it comes to Social Customer Care. The standout statistic was that companies with social customer care programs are 2.5 times better at customer retention. That is huge when it comes to determining the ROI of social media as a marketing and engagement opportunity for an advisory firm.
The 5 common actions of those getting a great return on investment from social media are:
The result of doing this is that “best in class” companies increase revenue growth at a 40% higher level than average firms. This would appear to be largely driven by the far higher average revenue per client contact and significantly increased up-selling and cross-selling activity which eventually results from patient engagement where the firm is also ensuring that they are taking the opportunity to build up an ever more accurate picture of the prospective customer.
While it is clear that those achieving the best ROI are using CRM systems to capture information on prospects via their social media activities, it is also clear that the best use social media as a business intelligence tool to measure customer sentiment as well on issues, areas of concern, and areas of opportunity.
It is rather more proactive than merely outsourcing somebody to post something on the company facebook page three times per week. That type of approach is tokenism. It is creating the appearance of using social media without really being either social or actually using the media.
Despite 10 years of great customer engagement opportunities provided by the likes of Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, and so forth, there is still a relatively minor proportion of financial advisers really using these platforms to anything like their business potential. So one can conclude that social media is STILL an excellent marketing opportunity for any advisory firm that is prepared to apply some science and good business sense with some hard work. Just like you have to do with anything else in your practice, right? I mean, your financial tracking and reporting doesn’t just take care of itself with minimal data input every so often…and nor does your existing client reporting trundle along with the occasional bit of data capture when you think of it together with returning messages to that client when you get around to it….does it?
Without supporting that social media activity with the right attitudes, systems and management then there is every risk of it simply being another laborious chore that produces little in the way of business results. However, with the right attitude and supporting behaviour and systems it can produce fabulous ROI and a never-ending stream of prospective clients for many many years to come.
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