Year-end Social Media Primer for Agents & Advisors
Social media marketing is an often-covered topic here on Marketing Corner. And for good reason: social media never stands still. Whether these changes come from within (for example, the recent overhaul to Facebook’s ad targeting options) or via shifts in user demographics, the world of social media is fast-paced and always evolving.
To help you prioritize the social media aspects of your 2019 marketing plan, we take a brief look at four of the most commonly used platforms and discuss the value each carries for agents and advisors.
For better or worse, Facebook is still the go-to platform for social media marketing. Earlier this year, Facebook removed all “Partner Categories” from its ad targeting options, a move that threw a wrench into the gears of many a business owner. Data gleaned from third-party vendors (income, tax bracket, place of work, etc.) is no longer available when building a custom audience for ads and promoted posts. That said, Facebook still has a bigger user base than other platforms and plenty of ways left to reach those users. So, while you might need to get a little creative when targeting your ads, a strong Facebook presence is a vital part of any good marketing plan.
The social network for professionals is an absolute must for agents and advisors. According to LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog, the site hosts profiles for more than a half-billion users (globally) and was named the most used social platform by Fortune 500 companies. LinkedIn’s ad targeting options are more attractive to advisors trying to connect with those professionals, allowing you to build an audience based on detailed user info, such as their education, job title, and more. To put it simply, LinkedIn is where the “big fish” swim.
For prospecting and conversion purposes, Twitter doesn’t carry as much weight as Facebook or LinkedIn. However, the “microblogging” site can be a great brand awareness and consumer engagement tool for those of you with blog posts, articles, or other relevant content to share. Keep in mind that Twitter moves fast, so time your tweets strategically and use relevant hashtags to keep them from getting lost in the mix.
The jury is still out on the potential Instagram hold for agents and advisors. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform is growing in popularity and now more focused than ever on becoming a viable promotional tool for businesses. That said, Instagram users come for the visual aesthetic and posts aren’t made to be heavy on text, nor can you include clickable links in your captions (without the use of third-party software). Additionally, Instagram, for the most part, has a younger, more casual audience and probably isn’t the best place to engage pre-retirees or high-end prospects.
Social Media Usage Stats
Here are infographics about social media usage, based on data from the Pew Research Center.