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How Can We Leverage Paid Social Media Promotions?

By now, it's clear that a social media presence is imperative to success in this bold new digitally competitive industry. And for good reason: In addition to establishing a respected brand and managing public perception of the company, social media creates bridges that lead you to audiences you've never touched before. And arguably one of the most appealing aspects of social media marketing is that it can all be done at surprisingly modest expense.

That said, once an advisor or firm has established a strong social media presence and taken full advantage of its myriad of free marketing methods, there is still plenty of juice to be squeezed from this enticing and potent fruit. Incorporating some paid social media promotions and advertisements into your social media campaigns is a great way to increase your impact and speed up your success.

WHY PAID PROMOTIONS MAY BE BENEFICIAL

The fact is, paid social media has leveled the playing field a bit. It allows advisors and asset managers alike to reach fresh audiences previously considered beyond their reach, whether it was due to prohibitive advertising costs or ineffective, uncertain distribution methodologies. That means paid social media is every bit as effective for the smallest of businesses as it is for the biggest names on the Fortune 500 list.

When using paid social advertisements, not only will your name and brand gain even greater recognition and credibility, but you'll also be exposed to new, qualified audiences you've never before reached. Other significant benefits include increased website traffic, a broadened social media network, a longer list of ideal followers, and countless opportunities for spreading online word-of-mouth referrals.

What's more, when compared to traditional – and more costly – advertising routes such as newspaper ads and TV or radio spots that use something of a shotgun approach (essentially shooting your message out to a massive audience, hoping it hits at least some of your target prospects), paid social media offers advisors and firms two powerful points of leverage:

■ Pinpoint access to your precisely targeted audience

■ Affordable options to fit almost any organization's budget

How is this possible? No matter which platform you choose – Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter – they all capture valuable information about each user. The data includes not only demographic information such as age, gender, location, and businesses to which investors and industry pros are connected, but also pyschographic data like relationship status, hobbies and interests, family life, job titles, professions, and so on. In addition to all of this helpful prospecting info, Twitter has gone one step beyond the competition by introducing keyword filters, which allow you to drill down even deeper by filtering site subscribers for those who often use specific keywords and targeting your ad directly at them. So if you try filtering by “#invest” or “#retirement,” you'll uncover prospects who already have your topics of expertise on the brain. This is clearly an extremely powerful and effective way to ensure your message is delivered only to people who match your specified criteria.

As for the paid aspect of this strategy, your expenses are minimal because each of these sites offers pay-per-click advertising and posts. This gives you the option to pay only if your ad is clicked on, or, if you're using Twitter, you only pay if your ad is replied to, retweeted, or favorited. Additionally, each platform allows you to control how much you spend on paid ads and promotions by using what's known as the bid system. By setting your daily budget for each platform you use, the bid system ensures you'll never pay anything beyond what you're comfortable spending. Once you've maxed out your daily budget, your ad simply stops running.

 
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