The biggest argument we hear, especially from professional services firms, for not using social media is, “we get along perfectly well with referrals.”
Building A Business On Referrals Is No Mean Feat…
It means you ship good work and your clients are delighted enough with what you do to say so to the people they know. So that is a fantastic place to be in.
From my experience of the financial adviser market for example, referrals account for around 50 to 75% of new business. So if you are generating all the leads you can possibly handle, brilliant.
But not so good if you have capacity.
So how about if there was a way that reinforces your referral system, other than simply relying on your reputation for service? How about bringing your expertise and your personality into play?
Use LinkedIn To Increase Word Of Mouth About You and Your Firm
LinkedIn is so much more than the old directories that firms used to rely on to be found. For a start it is searchable by Google! If you are in business you should be in LinkedIn.
23% of adults who actively participate in social media networking use LinkedIn according to the Pew Internet and Social Networking Project.
Like networking in the real world, successfully navigate the LinkedIn a protocol is nuanced and takes time to learn. The two principals that every user of LinkedIn can action, to get the most from what is essentially a free service is:
Set up a killer Profile and leverage the Power of LinkedIn Groups.
You can easily find LinkedIn groups that match your professional interests, geographic location or where your clients and refers are connected. You can contribute to the groups through reading, liking, sharing and commenting on the best discussions of the week.
You will soon work out that joining isn’t enough. You wouldn’t go to a networking event and not speak to anyone or take part in the conversations. The more active you become in just 2 or 3 groups, the more invitations to connect you will receive and the more real offline referrals.
To really take your presence in the group forward, share your content there, especially blogs, videos and slide decks.
We often use the groups our clients choose to connect to learn about new opportunities, developments, and issues that impact our customers.
Take Part in The Biggest Conversation In The World Through Twitter
According the same research quoted above, 19% of adults who are online use Twitter.
Unlike most social media sites, Twitter is incredibly easy for beginners. Equally, it isn’t a big time waster, although you can let it be. See our ‘2 minute Beginner’s Guide to Twitter‘.
Tweet about topics that interest your customers, not just your topic of expertise. For example, if you’re a financial adviser in Bristol, share articles with your customers about what the Bank of England is thinking, your blog about what annuities are and a video on selecting and ISA.
Show Your Personality Through Facebook
At 10 years old and over 30 million people in the UK using the site every week, Facebook remains the king of social media. Pew says 67% of adults who are online use Facebook.
Successive research indicates to varying degrees that Facebook is the most trusted online source people use to get recommendations for products and services.
A Facebook business page provide is a window on the personality of your firm and as well as capturing followers, provides helpful insight data about who has visited and Liked your page.
Getting and keeping Facebook followers is the name of the game to turn it into a source for lead generation, see our introduction to increasing Facebook followers.
Don’t leave the page to chance. Post often, at least twice a day, monitor it for what your followers like and check every comment to make sure its appropriate.
Remember the golden rule of social media is to engage in conversation, not broadcast boring content. So respond to every post visitor’s leave for you; many could be leads for new business.
If your business relies on word of mouth marketing to generate revenue, it’s time to get involved in the biggest medium to achieve that we have ever seen. There is no better way to generate daily engagement with your clients and generate leads from their personal social networks.