With the half-way point of 2018 past us, there is no time like the present to re-evaluate your yearly progress. There are probably a few areas where you have excelled and a few areas that have flashing red lights indicating they need more attention. Often, marketing tops the list of those stalled goals.

Our recent webinar, Simplify Your Marketing to Grow, featured three ways to move the needle with your marketing. Among the activities recommended to drive growth and attract prospects were blogging, creating a presence on social media and scheduling regular email campaigns. Dive into the world of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with the tips below, courteously of Carson Group’s social media guru, Meg Ronspies.

Taking the Plunge

Let’s face it, some in our profession are behind the times. The perceived difficulty of social media, particularly the countless platforms and constantly evolving functionality, has left many advisors intimidated. These same advisors hide behind the thought that social media has little ability to impact their bottom line. After all, what can a Facebook post or a tweet do for you?

It turns out, it can do a whole lot! Your social media presence has the power to build community, position you as a thought-leader, lower costs associated with traditional advertising, target specific audiences, generate leads, increase inbound website traffic, improve SEO and much more! Are you seeing the benefits, yet? We hope so!

If you are the rotary phone in a sea of smartphones, your next question is probably along the lines of, “How do I get started?” Taking that initial step into the unknown isn’t always easy or intuitive.

First things first, ask yourself who on your team has the enthusiasm and time to commit to managing your social media pages. Recognize that this person will need to create and post content and share useful information from relevant sources on a regular basis. Their dedication to this task will directly affect your social media success. Once you’ve identified a stakeholder to champion the social media cause, discuss which channels you’d like to use. Currently, the platforms allowed for business purposes in our industry are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Evaluating Your Social Media Options

In the beginning, be careful not to bite off more than you can chew. If you don’t think you can handle all three social media platforms, just focus on one. Stick with the channel your champion is already comfortable with OR the channel you think will best fit your business needs.

To help you assess the pros, cons, ideal audience and content requirements of the three major players, click through the slides below. After your decision has been made, all that’s left to do is create a profile and get up and running!

Managing Your Page and Your Time

To offset the potential time commitment, schedule the majority of your posts out in advance. Utilize a tool like Hootsuite, which allows you to continually share content and is free for up to three accounts. Your champion can then spend a few hours on Monday morning proactively planning posts for the week ahead, while devoting less than a half an hour a day to activities like retweeting or uploading pictures of what’s happening in your office/community. As routine sets in, the time it takes to complete this process may decrease despite seeing an increase in the number of posts coming from your firm.

Striving for the Next Level

Even if you’ve already perfected your posts, you can always improve your game through content. Knowing video is the #1 most effective type of content on social media right now, we encourage our advanced users to find a way to incorporate pre-recorded or live video on their platforms. Short videos (under two minutes) are a great way to grab your clients’ attention and distribute helpful information. The #Ronsense and #JimmysJam series are just a few of the ways our advisors at Carson Group are exploring the use of video.

Seeing Success

Five and a half months remain in the year. The good news is that this is more than enough time to institute a social media presence. The even better news is that you can see real success before the clock strikes midnight on January 1. The secret to accomplishing this is simple: be consistent. Whether it’s in the time you allot or the quality of content you share, consistency is what will turn your LinkedIn profile or Facebook page into a megaphone that attracts new clients and engages current clients.

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