Facebook has 17, 000,000 users in Australia, that’s 70% of the total population that are active monthly user on Facebook. So is Facebook to be feared or favoured by you and your business.
With Australians owning on average three Internet-enabled devices our obsession for online activity continues to grow. Smartphones feed our strong appetite for communicating and accessing the Internet via mobile devices. It is little wonder that more and more businesses are now embracing social media as part of their marketing and communication strategy.
”Between 79% and 89% of small, medium and large businesses using social media have a Facebook profile.” Sensis Social Media Report 2016
Shocked that Facebook is now considered a prime place for business interaction as well as personal engagement?
Research recently conducted by Peita Diamantidis of Caboodle Financial Services, based on Millennials and their understanding of Financial Services, and highlighted that 76% of respondents referred to Facebook when researching money and their chosen lifestyle. Whether this alarms you or comes as no surprise, Facebook is now a major player for business as part of their engagement strategy.
Let’s bust through the Facebook fear and chat to Phil Thompson, Financial Adviser at Thompson Financial Services on his Facebook experience.
Phil, how long have you been actively using social mediaas part of your communication strategy for your business?
When I first started the business 4 years ago I made sure I set up all my social media profiles, however, like most financial planning businesses I posted on these accounts once every few months. Two years ago I decided to start using my social media accounts and I began producing a weekly video series called ‘Phil’s Finance Fix’.
What attracted you to using Facebook as part of your key strategy?
The most important thing in business is to make sure you’re talking to your clients and potential clients where they are most comfortable. Although they may not go to Facebook when they are considering contacting a financial adviser, if they can get to know you, like you and build trust with you through Facebook you will be the first person they think of when they do want to see a financial planner.
There has been some debate around whether there is a need to have a separate Facebook business page to your personal Facebook page, what are your thoughts?
I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule, as it will depend on the business and the individual. That being said, people want to do business with people more so than ever before and there is no hiding on social media so the most important thing to think about in having a Facebook page is to always be authentic. When considering the type of Facebook page to use think about what will help you be the most authentic.
What tools and resources do you use to keep your clients and community engaged?
On occasion I use an auto-scheduling tool called Hootsuite, however, for me it’s more important to set aside some time to make sure I’m engaging with other people’s content and responding to the engagement on my content in real time.
Should Facebook be considered a lead generation tool?
Definitely! The ease in which prospects can engage in your content and get to know you and your business on top of the ability to market to a very specific set of prospects through Facebook advertising makes Facebook a perfect place for lead generation.
Should everyone do it themselves or can it be outsourced?
You should weigh up the balance between outsourcing and authenticity. I’m in the process of outsourcing my content creation such as blogs and video scripts, I’ll determine a topic for a blog/video myself and send it off to get 80% of it written. I make adjustments to make sure I’m comfortable with how it presents before anything gets published.
Phil can you share with us an example of how Facebook has worked for you and your business?
The first video I ever made and put up on Facebook a client came out of the experience. He was one of my close friends who I’d seen every week for 5 years, he saw my video on super guarantee then approached me about getting his insurance cover all set up. This kind of story happens time and time again through Facebook.
Give yourself and your business the opportunity and embrace one of the most currently in demand social media platforms. Don’t let your Facebook fear stop you. Start small and build your activity as you gain confidence with your Facebook engagement. There is always help available to look at implementing Facebook to your digital marketing strategy, all you have to do reach out. Check out my Facebook profile out here.
Phil Thompson is a Financial Adviser at Thompson Financial Services and is an Authorised Representative of Synchron, AFS Licence No. 243313. You can find Phil on his Facebook page.