Using social media to improve sales and retain business

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The really good news is that brokers and benefit advisers have significantly increased their social media presence. But now that so much activity is taking place, advisers need to clarify their online marketing goals take a more strategic approach.

Increased social media engagement is great if it helps advance the adviser’s mission. But while activity for the sake of having an online presence may feel rewarding, if it doesn’t advance the adviser’s business goals it is likely a waste of time.

Some advisers spend a significant amount of time online connecting with their peers—but less so their clients. Making peer connections is an excellent use of the platform and spending time discussing ideas to help everyone grow their business is extremely worthwhile.

But interacting exclusively with peers and industry insiders can begin to feel like a members-only club where clients are not permitted. Conversations are going on about clients—but without their participation. The solution isn’t to stop making industry connections, but rather to expand the adviser’s online activity so that it encompasses clients.

Drawing clients and prospects into the circle

Bringing clients and prospects into conversation takes a concentrated effort. It’s a mistake to expect them to wade through an adviser’s feed to find a nugget of relevant information. They most likely won’t, and the adviser will miss out on any potential opportunities.

Instead, call out employers – either generically (e.g., Hey CEOs, this is relevant to you!) or even by name if appropriate (tag them using @ and selecting their name). The idea is to use the adviser’s online presence as an opportunity to engage with clients and prospects and share relevant ideas that have surfaced through peer sharing. For this to work, the adviser needs to share specific messages with the clients to which they pertain.

Will this help boost sales? Indeed it will, if the adviser is diligent about sharing only relevant information, drawing in the right targets, paying attention to who is engaging, adjusting as necessary and, when appropriate, reaching out as a follow-up.

One adviser that I work with offered this advice:

“I always suggest to brokers that when posting, they need to see if any of their top prospects are engaging or if it’s just connections/friends that they’ve had in the past. If your top prospects are engaging, then that gives a great sense of some ROI and additionally a reason to reach out to them to chat. Take the time to evaluate who has engaged with your posts that week – spend an hour a week to go through all of the posts/engagement and see if there is anyone new worth reaching out to.”

Those advisers who master educational marketing will own their markets.

There is so much relevant information flying around every day, and employers are drawn to people who introduce them to new ideas. Don’t let someone else be that person. Advisers should be the ones drawing it to the attention of their clients and prospects; those who make that their mission will win new clients hand over fist.

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Benefit communication Benefit management Benefit strategies Employee engagement Employee communications