Facebook may be a social media channel you don’t immediately associate with business.
Perhaps you use it for connecting with friends and family across the globe, and keeping up with what adventures they’re up to.
You get to see who’s getting married, having babies, buying homes, travelling, getting promotions, winning and losing sporting competitions, and laying pets and family members to rest.
And, of course, who’s still playing Pokémon GO.
It’s actually those life events, that people so eagerly share on Facebook, that make it an ideal platform for financial advisers. Because helping people navigate those pivotal times in their lives, is core to what you do.
Being able to connect with your clients and your wider network on a more frequent basis, than meetings once or twice a year, can also give you deeper insight into their personalities and lives.
And as you engage, it also helps broaden your network. It’s like a fun little dinner party where you get to meet new people, and have virtual discussions that go beyond the standard, “so what do you do?” question that typifies many offline interactions.
Who would’ve thought Facebook could help you do all that?
Set up a Facebook page
To get started with a Facebook page for your business, it’s as simple as choosing “Create > Page” from the bottom of the left-hand menu on your news feed.
Of course, I’m assuming you already have a personal Facebook profile. If not, you’ll need one of those first.
You’ll then need to choose what type of page you want to set up. You’ll probably choose between a “Local Business or Place” if you have a fixed office location, or “Company, Organsiation or Institution” if you work remotely.
Then just follow the prompts to set up your page.
You’ll be asked to fill out some details about your business, upload a profile picture (try a square version of your logo) as well as a cover image.
You can use free tools like Canva.com to create an attractive cover image quickly and easily, without needing to enlist the help of a graphic designer.
And sometimes, a great photo is all you need. Don’t overcomplicate it.
But once you’ve got your page set up, what do you post?
What to post on Facebook
What you post on Facebook will depend on who your audience is and what your goals are.
And don’t just think within the context of your Facebook strategy. Think about your broader business strategy and how Facebook as a marketing, communication, and engagement tool fits within that.
So with that in mind, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Leverage the power of video
You know how much I love video. And whether it’s recorded in advance or live, face-to-camera or animated, video can help you communicate quickly and effectively in an engaging way.
Tell client stories
You can tell a client story through the combination of a vivid image and a quote, or even a video. Tease the story, share the outcome, and get people thinking “I want what she’s having”. You can even add a link to view the story in more detail on your website.
There are a lot of motivational quotes on social media, so you may want to leave those alone, but snippets, tips, facts, questions, and one-liners, that come to life as an image can be quick and easy to create (try Canva.com again), and provide a trigger for engagement – whether that’s sharing, commenting or liking.
Share links to interesting things
Sharing links to articles you’ve written as well as other people’s content, can not only help more people see what you’ve created, but can also build an educational, entertaining, informative, fun, and persuasive news feed…depending on what you share, of course. Choose boring things, and people will check-out pretty quickly.
But don’t just limit your thinking to financial content. Ask yourself, what interests your audience, and where does that overlap with my interests and expertise. It might be something as simple as posting a link to a kids’ lunchbox recipe, or a local “What’s On” event listing page. You could tag the businesses and people listed for added engagement.
Interact and have conversations
Using Facebook isn’t about blasting content into a social black hole. It’s about listening, interacting and engaging. Respond to questions, ask questions, share your opinions, comment on others’ posts and share other people’s and businesses posts. When it’s a two-way conversation, it’s way more fun.
Use photos to tell stories, fast
Photos tell stories in split seconds.
Sharing photos from your clients’ travels or life events, can help your audience see some of the tangible impacts having a great financial plan can have. And photos showing a peak behind the scenes of your business can also demystify the process and ease the fears of first-timers.
Blend the personal with professional
Most people use Facebook for personal reasons, rather than business. So giving your content personality, and showing the real you, will help people engage with what you’re sharing. Share what song you can’t get out of your head, or the camping trip you’re looking forward to on the weekend.
It’s an opportunity to let your guard down a little. And it will help pull the right people towards you, and push the wrong ones away.
Keep it interesting and relevant
Let’s face it, not many people want to hear about the Reserve Bank raising or lowering rates. But they may want to know how to ask their bank to reduce the interest rate on their mortgage (or watch you on video actually doing it).
The key is to focus on the needs of your audience. Keep your content interesting and relevant for them, not you.
List your events
If you host workshops or seminars for your practice, you can set them up on your Facebook page as events, or just link to information of your own website. If you do it with a bit of flair, you may just find more people become interested in what you do and how you can help.
Go easy on the sales tactics
While you can definitely promote to your audience every once in a while, keep in mind why people use Facebook. They aren’t Googling “best financial planner in Melbourne”. They’re cruising through their newsfeed staying up to date with friends and family. Respect that, and keep the promo’s limited. Give more than you take.
Access a wider audience through ads
Facebook makes it simple and cost-effective to promote your posts to an audience beyond those that “like” your page. Of course, do it wrong and you can waste a bunch of money. Do it smartly, and you can reach new people fairly easily.
Check what’s working and adapt
Facebook can be a bit of an experiment, so it’s important to monitor how you’re going.
Your Facebook page will give you insights about how many people see each post (called “reach”), and you can also see what type of content people are engaging with the most. Adapt as you go, and refine what you do.
Five or ten minutes a day will get you started. And you might just find it an enjoyable way to build closer connections with your clients, and new relationships with a wider audience.
And as our friends at the Social Adviser constantly show us – Marketing can should be both informative and entertaining!