‘What are the best social media networks to use and why?’ is a question many people ask me. And, in all sincerity, I love this question as it means you’re embracing social media for what it is – a powerful and efficient marketing tool – and you’re ready to put it to use for you.
What social media networks can help you build your business? A lot of them. In fact, I work with professionals across the country generating opportunities with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others. Some are getting new clients; others are gaining referrals; while still others are building relationships, increasing their brand awareness or positioning themselves as thought leaders.
Social media CAN do all of this, but it requires know-how, time and, in some cases, money. These are precious commodities for many of you, so I thought I would rank some of the best social media sites for you to consider based on your opportunity versus time/cost and let you decide where you want to play. You’ll also find a list of some opportunities associated with each social media site as well as some success stories/resources to help you apply these marketing tools to your business. Let’s get started with my No. 5 ranked social media site for advisors, small business owners and sales professionals…
YouTube – #5 Social Media Site for Financial Advisors…
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google[i], so it’s hard to ignore it. However, if you’re going to consider YouTube as a social media platform, you’ve got to do one of two things with your videos to get any traction in my opinion: 1) educate; or 2) entertain.
In that regard, YouTube is not good for all products or businesses, which is why it’s ranked No. 5 on my list. Also, products that are visually appealing, like food, travel and clothing, for example, are a better fit for YouTube than disability insurance or investing, unless you’re educating your audiences. Finally, think about the quality or image you want to project on YouTube. If you’re going for a professional look, you’ll likely want to hire a production crew, which can be expensive.
YouTube – Opportunity versus Time/Cost
- Educate, Educate, Educate: This is something every company or individual can do. Think about the conversations you’re having with your clients or prospective clients. What challenges are they having and how can your products, services or expertise help? Then, determine how best to use video. You might shoot a video of yourself talking behind your desk. Or, you might hire a production company to help you develop a script, select a location and manage the video shoot and editing. Or, maybe you just want to record yourself giving a presentation and sharing it.
- Position Yourself as a Thought Leader/Expert: Again, just having a presence on YouTube can establish you as a thought leader, especially if your videos are educational in nature. There’s a chance your videos/page will show up in a search and generate views/interest.
How you might leverage YouTube
WARNING: Before creating a video and publishing it to YouTube always, always know your company’s or broker-dealer policies and compliance guidance regarding the use of social media.
- Thought Leadership/Education – Select a topic you’re getting a lot of questions about from your customers and create a video addressing the question and your answer. This can be as simple as you sitting in front of your computer or elaborate as you sitting in a studio with a professional crew. Either way works as long as you’re helping educate your audience. (Time: 2-10 hours based on topic, script review/approval, use of professional crew, etc.)
- Product/Service Feature – Select a product or service you offer and use video to showcase how it solves a problem or works. Again, video works well for some products/services, but not all so ask yourself, ‘would it help to show how this product/service actually works?’ If so, you can take the video yourself or hire a crew, it just depends on the look/feel you’re going for. (Time: 2-20 hours based on topic, script review/approval, use of professional crew, etc.)
Opportunity based Tasks
- Repurpose Existing Material – Take an existing presentation and video-tape yourself giving it. Then upload the video to YouTube like this financial advisor does and share it across your social platforms as well as your website. (Time: 2-5 hours)
- Pair Products/Services/Cause to ‘Awareness’ Days, Weeks, Months – Consider creating awareness videos that tie your products, service or cause to nationally known awareness days, weeks or months (i.e. National 401k Day). Timely videos can generate views and traffic to your website if used appropriately. Again, you can do this yourself or hire a crew. (Time: 2-20 hours based on topic, script review/approval, use of professional crew, etc.)
I hope this information helps you understand the opportunities versus time/cost associated with YouTube and why it ranks as my No. 5 social media site for financial advisors, small business owners and sales professionals to use. Next month, I’ll break down my No. 4 social media site – Twitter!
So, what social media platforms are you using and why? How much time are you spending on social media and where are you getting the biggest response? How many social media sites are you managing? I’d love to hear from you, so please share any comments, questions or feedback below or contact me on Twitter/LinkedIn.
For more information, check me out on Twitter, where I regularly share social media tips, advice, trends and more, including how to build your business with social.
Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company, member of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.
© 2015 Principal Financial Services, Inc. | t15063004jx
Principal Funds are distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. | t15080401q0
[i] reelseo, July 2014 – http://www.reelseo.com/youtube-bigger-than-facebook-u-s/