In this webinar, Twenty Over Ten‘s Samantha Russell goes into depth about how you can effectively use LinkedIn and Instagram to leverage your business. Read more to learn the eight essential tips boosting your social media presence on these two platforms that she covers in the webinar. Click below to watch the replay.
Why LinkedIn & Instagram?
So let’s dive right in, enough of me getting through all that. Why did we choose LinkedIn and Instagram? We got that question in advance so let me explain why those two platforms first. The number one thing to remember, on average people spend 2 hours and 23 minutes a day on social media overall. We want to connect with people where they are. Interrupting somebody in the middle of their day at work is not the way to win them over and get them to consider working with your firm, right? So where you can do it in a way that makes them feel like they’re choosing you is by inserting yourself into things that they find to be an area of leisure or downtime and social media is that. People go there for an escape from their day so if you can have your name in their feeds when they’re going to take a break from what they’re doing and you keep popping up that is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is where people are coming to you for answers as an expert as a guide and with outbound marketing, you’re pestering them to work with you to buy your service to transfer their money over and it’s a very salesy standpoint.
Inbound marketing, when you do this the right way, people are actually asking you to help them and that’s a very very different model. So LinkedIn specifically we chose because it’s by far the platform that everyone should be on if you are an advisor. 100% it’s where most working professionals it’s where people are already hanging out and it is the best place to quickly to get really qualified leads. Twitter is great if you want to connect with other people in financial services, if you want to extend your network, if you want to connect with journalists, but most people that I’ve ever talked you do not get leads or clients from Twitter.
Facebook can be really great if you’re posting you know to groups if you’re working with retirees who are spending a lot of time there but a lot lot more of the working professional generation is spending less and less time on Facebook and moving to platforms like Instagram and we want you to be ahead of the curb and to be where people are going not where they are leaving. There’s already been a lot of talk about Facebook as well, so that’s why we chose Instagram and LinkedIn to focus on today.
LinkedIn is the most successful platform of everyone we have talked to, especially those who are focussed on pre-retirees, business owners, entrepreneurs, working professionals. There are over 630 million professionals on LinkedIn and a lot of them are you know upper level Executives professionals, it doesn’t mean that you can just spam them with direct messages and immediately get a lead, but you can get your information in front of them and again when they’re going there to just scroll their feed as a break from their day. People also expect on LinkedIn to see the kind of content a lot of you are going to post. The kinds of content on LinkedIn skews to be things like you know how to make the most of your day, how to budget how to deal with taxes, it’s things that a lot of business owners and working professionals are interested in learning when they go to that platform and it ties up very nicely with the kind of content that you all typically are going to be posting. It was also rated the top social media network for lead generation last year.
Now with Instagram, we are going to completely flip the switch. So 64% of Instagram’s 1 billion users are between 18 and 35, however, the age group of the users is significantly going up and up and up, right, so you can see now 10% of their users are 65 and older. Yet as you saw when we started this broadcast only one person today out of the 480 of you that signed up said that they are on Instagram so there’s not a lot of advisers using it but the numbers of older people getting closer to retirement or needing financial help are rising month after month. The main reason is we’ve typically found a lot of people in that age cohort they want to go where their kids are going to post pictures of their grandkids, they want to stay up-to-date with that. So, if you have a child who is in their thirties or forties and they’re not posting pictures of your grandkids on Instagram are going to say go to Instagram to see it because I’m not posting it on Facebook. That is what is happening. So, we want to put you ahead of the curve and get you in the right mindset to be successful on this platform when you are ready to use it.
Additionally, you can see here over 42% of people on Instagram have a college degree so these are a very educated group and it’s going to keep rising. Even looking at the income split, 42% and make $75,000 a year or more and that might not seem like a lot but the point is that this platform is only going to get more and more successful because of a few key reasons. Number one, it is completely visible and what we know is that our brains just crave that visual information and so that is a huge reason for Instagram’s success so let’s talk about just a couple of the basics of Instagram’s platform.
Should I Set Up Personal Or Business Social Media Pages?
The number one question we get asked for any of these platforms is, should I be setting up personal or business pages? You always want to claim both regardless of whatever you end up doing, once you decide to be in a space, you want to have goals and there are a few reasons why. The first is that you don’t want someone else who has another company name or one similar to yours to control what is said about you. So, if you’re Lighthouse Financial and there is two hundred other Lighthouse financials you don’t want people to be confused. You want to be one of the first people to claim that name, so always claim both. Additionally, once you have claimed it you’re going to have a URL. So it would be Instagram.com/twentyoverten. That’s a URL linking from Instagram back to Twenty Over Ten’s website, that’s an external link. Every time you create an external link, you’re hoping to improve your search engine optimization overall.
Setting up social media profiles on all these pages is a great way to boost SEO. You do want to consider the limitations of posting on your scheduling app, so for instance, with Facebook, it is pretty much all of the scheduling apps you can only post to a business page not a personal page on Facebook. So you can’t even go in and schedule your posts out for the month to a personal Facebook page.
Instagram, because they were bought by Facebook and they’re kind of changing up their technology right now they have it so that it’s very hard to get to use a scheduler that allows you to post Instagram so you really have to do that in a lot of cases what we call natively, go to Instagram on its own and post there. So consider that when you’re thinking about setting up these pages. But ultimately, what I suggest is to have both.
This is actually linking to the same content in both instances, so this is a video that I recorded talking about the words investors prefer when they’re going to people’s websites you know how much how many people would prefer the word comprehensive vs. holistic. So I recorded a video that has been uploaded to Twenty Over Ten’s page. Then I took some of the same content but instead of posting a video, I posted a graph showing those words and then I have it on my page just some of the text right so it’s the same contact posted two different ways. I didn’t just repost the video on that same page.
Another thing that can really help with engagement is if Twenty Over Ten is my company, and something is posted there and a couple days later I can comment on it. Now everyone who’s following me, Samantha Russell on my personal page, will see that comment on the business page and it helps boost the engagement of that brand page as well.
So that’s the answer about setting up company versus personal pages and there’s going to be more tips about those two throughout.
How to Build Engagement: 8 Tips That Apply On Any Social Platform
First I want to start with these eight tips that apply any social media platform that you’re using with lots of examples. How do you build engagement? The most important rule and the one that everyone breaks and I see over and over again is stop thinking that you can automate everything and expect to get leads. 78% of you have said you never got a qualified lead from social media and that’s probably because for many of you you’ve just had everything automated. You schedule things out or your provider just posts things to your profile and you don’t do anything. And while it might sound nice, it doesn’t produce results. So you can schedule things in advance, but you need to be the one curating what you’re scheduling.
You need to put your own commentary on what you’re scheduling and then you need to log into these apps daily weekly and comment share and like on other people’s post as well if you expect to get engagement that leads to results.
Tip #1: (Almost) Always End Your Posts With A Question
So my first tip when you talk about building engagement is always end your post with a question. And I say almost always because there’s 5% of the time where you might be making an announcement or something and then you don’t need to but if you’re posting a link to a blog, if you’re posting an article, a piece of advice, at the end pose a question. Questions encourage comments and comments are how you get more followers and more people in the algorithm that see your post.
So here’s an example from this company, The Financial Gym, on Instagram you can see they just have this little image. Now if you click this little arrow, they have a couple different images if you want to follow The Financial Gym on Instagram to give you some ideas, they have a great Instagram page. You’ll see that they have a couple of these big statements and then they have this big long text over here where they talk about how you should do the 50 30-20 percent rule with budgeting and then you know at the very end say, “What is your favorite method?” right.
I think on this post alone they had like 37 comments and it really just encourages people to engage. With Instagram and LinkedIn, the more people comment on your post, the more the social media algorithm will see it as a great piece of content that other people should see
So if you post this and only one person comments on it in five days pretty much that post goes into the abyss and no one ever sees that again. But if you post this and your friend comments on it and then a co-worker comments on it and then your boss comments on it and then your neighbor comments on it, Instagram, LinkedIn, all the social media algorithm see it as we should keep that post up in the air, keep it you know bouncing up there at the top of the feed because it’s relevant. That’s why when you see influencers like Gary Vee that everybody follows, it seems like he is always in your feed, it’s because everybody is commenting and engaging with his post which is keeping it up in your algorithm. So the more you can encourage the comments, the better.
If you have a company page ask all the employees or staff on your team to go comment on it right so if The Financial Gym is your advisory firm’s business you can post something like this and then have an employee comment on what their favorite method is, and then another employee. Those comments really can help get things started. Whenever we post a YouTube video here at Twenty Over Ten, we will say to everybody on our staff, hey everyone we posted a new video, go take a look and leave a comment if you can. Not everyone does it and we’re not forcing them to but just reminding them weekly is a great way to boost that engagement.
Tip #2: Ask For Comments
Specifically, ask for people to comment on a post in exchange for something else. So in this instance you can see we have a graphic here showing the total number of visitors to a site going up and we’re saying that it can feel daunting to keep your website up to date and to keep good traffic coming but we have a guide, a checklist, telling you how you can keep your set up to date weekly monthly and quarterly, comment below if you want us to send it to you. So rather than just linking to it directly, we’re saying leave a comment and tell us if you want it.
Now, this is just a blog post. Someone can go to our blog and dig through our blog posts to find it if they really wanted to but most people won’t. What they’ll do is leave a comment saying yeah send it my way and now that person that comments on your post, they’re not going to be the only one who sees it. Everybody in their network, their first-degree connections which are second-degree connections of yours, also go how to see that comment, and you’ll have a much better chance of getting in front of these people that you currently are not connected within LinkedIn or Instagram.
Do not do this for every post, I would say no more than once a week, but this is a great strategy to build comments. So again, you can just take a blog post, you know I have a blog post on the best 5 factors to consider to determine the best time to take Social Security. This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life before you retire so you know if you want my guide comment below. That’s a great way to kind of hook people and then once they leave a comment, then you can send them the guide in a direct message.
Tip #3: Use Hashtags and Tagging
Also, do not forget to use hashtags and tag other people. This is another great way to build engagement. So you can see here, Jeanne Fisher, who I love, she has a great LinkedIn page. She uses hashtags, like HSA. If I am somebody who’s a pre-retiree and I’m investigating retirement content on LinkedIn, I can click retirement planning. Same thing on Facebook or Instagram or any of these platforms and when you click it you’re going to see all of the posts that come up with that hashtag.
People really can go down rabbit holes looking at content this way especially on Instagram, so use them. I just suggest don’t use more than two or three or it starts to feel very overwhelming so two or three would be the most. But then also tag people. So if you run an advisory practice and you have four advisors in your firm and you post something on the company page you can tag the individual advisors in your post as well.
So maybe your company page only has you know 10 followers, but your five advisors combined have over 2,000 followers; when you tell them you have a much better chance of getting your company posts in all these other feeds. Whenever you tag someone, typically, they’ll go ahead and like your post sometimes even comment on it, so again it gives you a better chance to get a boost.
I can’t see any of the questions or anything coming in so I just want to take one second and look and see what kind of questions we’re getting asked. People keep talking about employees sharing content do they do the same thing as employee comments. So people don’t like it when if they’re following your company page and they’re following one or two of the advisors at your firm all the sudden they go to their you know LinkedIn and their Instagram feed and they see the original post from the company plus you resharing and then this advisor sharing it, it’s very redundant.
So what I suggest is if you post an update to your LinkedIn page on Monday, have one of your employees reshares it on Wednesday and then another employee comments on it on Friday. Space out the time that they’re either re-sharing or commenting on it, so again, it just sort of bounces that piece of content that post back up in the feed. If you all do it at once it’s just going to hit everybody’s feeds all at the exact same time. So, good questions, and keep them coming. Let’s keep going through the tips, okay.
Tip #4: Share Images and Infographics
So another one, everything I’m showing you so far in all these examples you’ll notice has a really great image with it and that’s because images, infographics, graphs, anything like that really grab our attention. Our brains process imagery 60,000 times faster than text. So, these types of images, we love them, our brains love them, we crave them. It makes information really digestible. So, these types of posts actually get liked, commented, or shared on three times more than other posts. It might feel like, well how do I take a topic on Social Security or financial planning and turn it into something visual? You can do that in a number of ways and I have examples throughout.
A great way to do it is infographics or images. You can find these you know in the news that you’re reading, just make sure you get credit. So if you see a great graph in the Wall Street Journal, you can take that graph and share it and just say “via the Wall Street Journal”. You can find infographics from other content libraries.
This is an example from Twenty Over Ten’s latest product, Lead Pilot, which I’ll share more about. This is an infographic there. So, you don’t have to link out to the original piece, you can just tag who the creator was if you want. But, these get so much more engagement thank just sharing a link.
Tip #5: “Keep it Real” Every Once In Awhile
Every once in awhile you also want to what we call “keep it real”, so this is just sharing a personal photo, a behind the scene post, something that shows the face behind you, the company, the brand, whatever it is.
Up here at the top, you can see this firm, Opulus, and they just have “Happy 33rd Birthday to our fearless leader” and they tagged him. So this is their company page on Instagram, but they’re giving a shout out to the financial advisor who’s behind the company and they have a nice picture of him and his wife. This has a lot more engagement on their page than other posts because people who are following your company know the faces behind the company and those are typically the people that they want to see.
This post that I did about setting up a really creative out of office message when you go on vacation, it is by far the most viral post I’ve ever done, it had 95,000 views on LinkedIn and it got picked up by LinkedIn’s news editor. It was just a picture of me and my family and me talking about how when I go on vacation, because I rarely do get to disconnect, I truly tell people in my out of office reply not just because I’m not able to connect to email, which is a lie, because we can all connect to email all the time, but that I’m choosing to just spend time with my family and I’ll get back to you when I get back. It was just a very real, kind of vulnerable raw post and people loved it.
You might not be able to do something like that on your company page, but you could have a behind-the-scenes post or a meet the team post. So, maybe you profile every single person on your team, staff member, assistant, paraplanner, and you do a little Q&A with them you have pictures of them and you feature them on your post. You could do a profile of your dog, you could do stories about the building that you work in; anything that’s just different and personal gets a lot of engagement. Then you know when you post something like a lot of people that never comment who follow you will comment. It could be something as simple as “Oh, what a cute picture of your family on vacation”. So, think outside the box.
Here at Twenty Over Ten, over the summer, Amanda got all of our team members to send pictures of what they were doing on vacation and we put them into the LinkedIn and Twitter and Instagram feeds and it got some of the highest engagement all summer long. So, think outside the box, but don’t be afraid to share photos that are personal photos to get more engagement.
Tip #6: Know Your Audience and Make Them Laugh
You can also use humor wisely. So, when you know your audience you can make them laugh. So, if you work with physicians who are always struggling to pay down debt, you could have something funny like this, not Beyonce maybe, but whatever you want to pick cultural reference wise and have a little meme or GIF you know staying this is how I feel now that my last loan is paid off. Think outside the box, but again, these kinds of things get engagement and make people laugh. People love pictures of celebrities in memes, funny kid memes or GIFs, and pets. Those three get the highest engagement all the time. So, if you can use those three in your post, you will get more engagement.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making all of the time is they’ll write a really great piece of content, so let’s say you this was your blog post, you know maybe yours is 5 steps to consider before retiring, and then people just share it and they don’t put any context above the post about why it’s important, why someone should want to read it, what it says.
So, here are my suggestions, do one of these things every single time you share a blog post. Either take a stat from the post, like did you know 63% of people are leaving money on the table when they retire, or a quote, so in this one, I just pulled a quote right from this article about how do you answer your minimum AUM and repasted it here. Or, just a statement or paraphrase, but something that’s going to tell someone why it’s important to read this article.
Just copying the link is not enough. Imagine if I didn’t put anything above here, you would just see this picture of this man’s hands and 5 Answers to “What’s Your Minimum?”. But, when I put this context above it where I have things like how do you answer this question, here are some ideas, “I work with 200 individuals and families who have a hundred million dollars in assets with me. The smallest relationship is $300,000, the largest is 10 million, the average is $500,000”. It gets people like oh what are some other ideas. They get a taste of what’s in your article. This is one of the things that I see, I’m connected to so many advisors in my feed, barely anyone does this.
They just post a link to their blog or they’ll say you know to check out my latest blog post. Well, that doesn’t tell me anything about why I should read it. So, whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, you want to give them specific info from your article or commentary on why you think it’s appropriate. I call it the newspaper approach. A newspaper always has a headline and then a little excerpt or a second statement. It doesn’t need to be a bunch of paragraphs, it can be just a quick statement. But, do not forget this crucial step.
Tip #8: Native Content Is Your Friend
The last tip is that native content is your friend. Whenever you are sharing an infographic, an image, a video, if you can upload that video or that content directly to the social media platform you will please the algorithm we call it better.
So, LinkedIn doesn’t want you to get people to click something and go watch a video on YouTube, they want you to stay on LinkedIn. So, in order for that to happen, if you upload your video directly to LinkedIn rather than clicking you know sharing a link to YouTube, they typically will prioritize that content and you will get a boost in how many people are so seeing it. So, keep that in mind. You always want to add it there. This is another reason why if you have a great blog post you don’t need to always just link to your blog post, you can take some of the content put it straight into LinkedIn or Instagram. Instagram specifically, you can’t share links that are clickable on every post and it’s a way that they keep people on their platform and they do a great job doing that.