In this day and age, you'd be hard pressed to find someone that doesn't know of social media, or in the event they don't, saying something like "Facebook" might trigger a reaction.
Social media is ingrained in today's society, with over 16 million Australian's noted as being active users on Facebook, followed by Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. With such large reliance across these social networks, it's no surprise businesses and marketers alike have flocked to leverage the popularity of such channels, in search of drumming up more business.
But is social media really that silver bullet?
There's no doubt social media has a place for most small or large businesses. But just how much of a place?
Remember those Yellow Pages books back in the day? They were a godsend for finding that desired local service, but over the years they have been replaced by online search engines.
Google is the world's most used search engine, and rightly so. Just think how often you use Google to find what you want? With that same mentality, that's exactly how potential customers are searching for finance products. Also, there's no denying word of mouth is massive for finance brokers - but yet again, how does someone research that broker they've been referred to? Google!
And let's not forget, we even have voice assisted phones (think Siri or Bixby) and devices (think Google Home or Alexa) equipped to answer our questions!
It seems to be the (relatively new) age old question, which social networks to use for business? While there are a lot of variables to consider, educated assumptions can be made.
The #1 most used social network, attracting users of all ages, locations and social circles. Put simply, it’s used by a heap of people and as such, there’s a high probability your customers will be there. It’s also favoured by search engines (remember that Google thing?).
For this reason, Facebook would have to be the first social network of choice for businesses. It acts as a second virtual shop front (behind a website) and is proactively used by consumers when researching a brand or a professional individual (i.e., brokers).
Facebook’s younger brother looks to have a bright future. Based on last year’s Social Media Sensis Report, Instagram is the fastest growing social network in terms of new users. Considering Instagram already boasts the second highest number of active social media users (behind Facebook), that’s a pretty impressive feat. The addition of Instagram TV and product links in posts have been most welcome by businesses.
Have the time to manage two social network accounts? Then Instagram is your next go to.
Tweeting into relevance early in the decade, Twitter has seemingly plateaued, currently sitting at just under 5 million Australian users. The major thing to take note of, is just how Twitter is used. For the most part, popularity resides with interacting with celebrities, local b grade celebrities, journalists and similar. In a nutshell, it’s a conversation type platform generally reserved for what’s happening in the world.
For a finance professional, it’s a pass.
The professional social network! For any LinkedIn user, it's pretty easy to see the type of network it is, with brands and professionals sharing their business-minded thoughts. While this network could be easily overlooked for finance brokers, it's worth a second look.
LinkedIn users have a high propensity of being educated, with above average wages. Users are also taking note of educated notes being shared. Tick, tick, tick!
If used correctly, LinkedIn can be the perfect social network for connecting with lucrative new clients. Just remember, it's more professional than social, but still be sure to add a touch of personality.
Undoubtedly, social media can play a big part of any broker's business, and for those that choose not to partake, it can certainly prove to be detrimental. Why? Because if you're not partaking, a competitor just might be!
It comes down to how much time you have, and which relevant social media networks you can proactively manage.