Leveraging Social Media to Fill Your Events

Leveraging Social Media to Fill Your EventsAs social media continues to outpace traditional methods of client interaction, it’s important that independent financial advisors recognize what social media platforms offer in offline business, such as events, workshops, etc.

Many, if not most, independent investment advisors agree the top two ways to grow business is through referrals – passive and active referrals from clients, as well as those from industry associates – and events. WealthManagement.com’s 2014 Advisor Benchmarking Trend Report, “Marketing and Client Relations: Practice Management Trends,” shows referrals were high up on the list of effective methods to grow one’s business, with social media being further down the list. However, the report did indicate social media has become increasingly important for advisors looking to market themselves to new clients.

In 2014, it was the first time that more than half of advisors surveyed reported using social media as part of their professional communications. This is a jump from the 41 percent reported in 2013 and represents a significant change from 2011, when only 16 percent of registered investment advisors were using social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

For independent financial advisors who want to leverage social media, there’s plenty of room for creativity. Blogs, online searches and webinars offer advantages. Many advisors are finding they can help their business without talking business. Many have found they can attract potential clients to come to their event through various social media platforms.

Here’s how:

Build Buzz with Twitter Chats. Use Twitter chats leading up to your event to get people talking about key topics  that will be featured. This will help spark interest and will give you valuable insight into the parts of your event that people are getting most excited about, by providing your followers with an opportunity to Tweet about what they’re hoping to see, do and learn at the event.

Online Q&A Prior to the Event. An active Q&A shared on social media with a speaker attending your event can help boost awareness and build excitement. Successful Q&As can be hosted using a Twitter hashtag, a Reddit AMA or using a Facebook post. Your guest doesn’t have to answer every question that’s submitted, but they should stay active during the session.

LinkedIn: Each time you host an event open to the public, consider posting the event as a status update. You can repeat this every day or every other day, until your event happens. That way, people scrolling through their newsfeed can learn about your event and register to attend. Here’s a sample: “Frustrated with college savings plans and not sure how to get started? Register for our upcoming work shop in Philadelphia to get prepared [Link].”  Don’t forget to ensure everyone in your firm is promoting your event.

Also, send a message to those you want to attend your event by sending InMail message invites. You can also use the Advanced Search feature at the top of the page to find new prospects in your area to attend the event and you can post registration information in targeted LinkedIn groups.

Facebook: You can use Facebook to directly reach those who are following you and expand your reach via targeted advertising for as little as $5. One of the biggest advantages to advertising on Facebook is your ability to target specific groups of highly engaged people. In fact, narrowly targeted campaigns have an average online reach of 38 percent, while Facebook’s accuracy is at 89 percent. As an advertiser, you can refine your ad’s target audience based on content people are sharing about themselves,  and their interests.

As the date approaches, you will want to write posts on your firm’s Facebook page that promotes the event.   Don’t be afraid to ask clients, colleagues and prospects to share your event or to invite their friends to attend.

Use Testimonials. To help sell future events, get attendees from your event to share what they like about it. These quotes can be turned into videos and blogs, which can be promoted on your social platform.

Encouraging people to attend your event can be tricky and the goal is not to simply fill seats. You want to target the right prospects that may turn into clients. Following these tips can help you achieve that.

For more information on Summit Brokerage Services, visit www.joinsummit.com or contact us at (800) 354-5528.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.

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