An effective social media strategy is vital to generating leads and sales. Lead generation expert Jane Anderson reveals how brokers can take a three-dimensional approach with social media.
I recently worked with Elise, a highly-experienced mortgage broking client who was trying to leverage her client base in order to sell new lending services for commercial purposes. She was frustrated that she had been spending a lot of time on social media – particularly LinkedIn and Facebook – yet her social media strategy wasn’t working. Elise was finding it difficult to make the link between her social media presence and the leads, and sales, she wanted to achieve.
She said to me, “I’m spending so much time on social media, but I don’t really know where best to spend my time. I don’t know what’s going to get the results. Do I just focus on putting my content out there? Or do I use Snapchat? Should I write a blog or just share content? I don’t feel like I have a system or a process in place and I’m losing time quickly. It just feels so hard, I’m a small player in a big industry. I just don’t know how you’re supposed to beat them at this game.”
I ran an audit of her social media profiles and discovered that her messages were inconsistent so she wasn’t getting the results. She was also focusing on the wrong metrics, such as likes and comments, to gauge the effectiveness of her social presence. I find this a lot with the clients I work with.
A study by Forrester Research found that a person consumes 10 pieces of content before they make a decision about working with you, and 90 per cent of that decision is made before they even get in touch with you.
Level 1: Visibility
At this level, you’re trying to be consistent with what you curate and share. You are helping people become familiar with your face and your message, as these are the two most important assets you have. However, I see a lot of people curating and sharing information
that is at odds with their message and fails to help their audience.
Visibility is about supporting your clients. It’s being able to show them the research that supports and validates what you’re saying.
The leverage you can receive from this level is about 25 per cent of what’s possible.
Level 2: Credibility
Now that you have visibility, you need to focus on your credibility.
Credibility is extremely important as it gives you about 50 per cent of the leverage that’s possible from your LinkedIn strategy. Credibility is being able to demonstrate to people that you’re a professional, that you’re an expert in your field. It’s about providing your original thoughts and ideas on your area of expertise. Sharing your original thoughts takes you from ‘thought follower’ to ‘thought leader’. It makes people listen to and believe what you have to say. It was the leadership expert John Maxwell who said “Credibility is a leader’s currency. With it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt.”
Level 3: Personality
Next you need to focus on your personality at this top level. The amount of leverage you can receive here is 100 per cent of what’s possible.
Sharing your personality with your audience is about establishing your authenticity. It gives you flavour and uniqueness. People want to see the
person behind the message so they can connect with you more easily.
Make the most of opportunities to share your personality ‘on the run’. For example, if you’ve attended a local business event or spoken at a conference, write about it and share images on LinkedIn. It was Walt Disney who brought so many characters to life long before social media.
He said, “Until a character becomes a personality it cannot be believed. Without personality, the character may do funny or interesting things, but unless people are able to identify themselves with the character, its actions will seem unreal. And without personality, a story cannot ring true to the audience.”
Bear in mind that you cannot skip straight from level one to level three. I see a lot of people trying to do this. Start-ups, especially, put a lot of pressure on themselves to succeed, and rush to level three without building a solid online presence first. It’s a bit like making a cake. We try to put the icing on the cake, but we didn’t pay close attention to the ingredients and method, and it becomes a mess.
Only once you have a strong foundation of visibility and credibility can you work on the personality side of your social media strategy.
Jane Anderson is a LinkedIn expert and the author of CONNECT: How to Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead
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