Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Should advisers care about social media?

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

The following article was written by Justin Rees for MyIntroducer. To read the original, click here.

Some financial services companies are already using social media very effectively to generate revenue but the majority of advisers probably do see social media as a bit of a novelty.

However, the fact is that social media can’t and shouldn’t be ignored by brokers.

Just looking at the numbers for the big three social networks tells its own tale.

Facebook has around 750m users, LinkedIn has over 100m users and Twitter has over 200m users which means that a significant proportion of current and future customers for financial services products are using social media right now.

Ultimately all marketing is about finding your target audience and communicating what your company does and convincing consumers why they need to speak to you.

If a large proportion of your audience is spending a large amount of time on social media platforms then this is where you need to go to find prospective customers.

And for anybody that thinks social media is just a passing fad, just take a look at how much money is being invested in social media. Google’s recent launch of their very own social network Google+ is proof enough of the importance of social media.

Google reported Q2 worldwide revenues of over $9bn and over the last ten years they have proven that most of their bets come off.

With the launch of Google+ they have sent a clear signal to the market that social media is a fundamental part of their growth strategy as they can see the huge commercial potential of the medium.

However, while social media is important, it should be considered as a compliment to other marketing activities and shouldn’t be used in isolation.

Still probably the most important online marketing tool for brokers is having a fully functioning website that allows prospective customers to find out more about the services you provide.

Your website is your shop window and a large proportion of consumers will go to your website to find out more information about you even if their first point of contact with you is through social media.

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Investing in leads to get a decent return

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The following blog post was written by Justin Rees for Mortgage Strategy. To read the original, click here.

I have seen a few interesting threads recently on internet discussion forums about the advantages and disadvantages of buying leads compared with generating enquiries from your own website.

The internet is an incredibly powerful tool for companies and the recent rise of Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter have made it easier for small firms to engage with their customers and a wider audience.

But when it comes to generating a steady flow of qualified prospects, it is hard to compete with buying leads. For example, a quick search on Google for generic terms such as ’mortgage quotes’ or ’mortgage advice’ reveals the uphill task that small websites face.

The first couple of results pages for free and paid listings are made up almost entirely of banks, comparison websites and money portals that spend thousands on their websites.

To appear near the top of the search engines you need to spend a lot of money. That’s not to say small websites won’t generate any enquiries but in a market where criteria is strict and clients need a low LTV and clean credit history to get a mortgage, these types of consumers landing on your website will be few and far between.

Providers generating thousands of leads per week will have more of these consumers and most will allow buyers to filter by factors like LTV and credit grade, so you can cherry-pick such customers.

Of course you pay a premium, but in the end it is about return on investment. The more qualified the leads, the more likely you are to generate a decent return.

 

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The importance of social media in B2B

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Sarah Faulder- part of LeadPoint UK’s marketing team- explains the importance of incorporating social media into your B2B marketing plan.

We have all read about the power of social media in B2C marketing, with brands such as Gap partnering with Groupon for the website’s first nationwide deal with a major brand, Toy Story 3’s Facebook page and Whole Foods’ tailor-made twitter campaigns. However, few businesses have acknowledged the place for social media in B2B marketing and as a result far fewer B2B success stories spring to mind.

The challenge for B2C marketing is in building product awareness and converting browsers into buyers. B2C campaigns often involve impulse purchases, such as music tickets and food, which lend themselves to coupons, group buying or event marketing. If the consumer knows that by following a brand on Twitter they could be in with the chance of grabbing a bargain or getting hold of exclusive merchandise, they will be more inclined to follow the social campaigns- to listen. Social media provides brands with a unique platform through which to reach out to their fan base and drive sales, making ROI tangibly track-able in the process.

The fact of the matter is that B2B purchases tend to be a lot more considered and complex than B2C campaigns with multiple parties on both the buy and sell side. The aim of a B2B campaign is to drive prospects and nurture leads, with the eventual goal of securing those crucial meetings. Essentially, a B2B campaign should be a much longer, integrated strategy rather than a quick click sale.

So what should your B2B campaign involve?

LinkedIn officially launched in May 2003 and with new features added regularly, is a valuable source of data and connections that shouldn’t be overlooked. Connect with your clients and use it as a platform for showcasing your business’ products and services. Join groups, discussions, post and answer comments. Make sure your page is content rich, relevant, constantly updated and your SEO rankings will only flourish.

When you see a spike in keywords? you should immediately write a blog post on that subject. Not only will this improve your SEO rankings it will also provide your clients with information that is clearly of interest to your market.

HSBC’s winning social media campaigns target business entrepreneurs by providing them with an active forum through which to share and gain knowledge. The HSBC Business Network, open to both customers and non-customers, includes a network of blogs and invites members to share their personal experiences with other entrepreneurs. It is the perfect example of a successful, integrated campaign.

Many businesses reject blogging because they only look at it from a short-term perspective- “what’s the point if I am only going to sign up 20 new subscribers to the blog?” Instead, B2B blogging should be considered in the long term. In addition to driving traffic, considered, relevant posts that are updated regularly, will display your business as a thought leader. This enhanced search visibility can go a long way to strengthening your position in the industry and to increasing the chances that your services will be on any new buyer’s shortlist.

Increase your business’ network by creating Twitter campaigns. Use Twitter to inform your followers of the latest industry news and events. Shamelessly plugging your company every five minutes is the biggest Twitter no-no and will only loose you followers. Try to be informative and impartial, strengthening your business’ position as a thought leader and building prospects for the future. Additionally, use Twitter as a tool to keep up-to-date with your industry and clients’ news and to make sure you stay relevant.

At the end of the day, whether you’re a B2C or B2B company, you can use the power of social media to foster brand affinity and build and maintain relationships with your core audiences. With this in mind, social media should, without a doubt, be part of your 2011 marketing campaigns.

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Using New Media Tools

Monday, February 25th, 2008

 

How do you monetise Facebook? This is a question that crops up all the time everywhere from magazine articles to blog posts. People are desperate to try to find a bullet proof way to make money from the social networking site and other zeitgeist new media channels. Of course it is perfectly natural for individuals and businesses to want to make money as quickly as possible and with very little outlay but there are already a whole variety of useful ways to use these sites today. Many of them will cost you nothing and while you may not make a million pounds overnight, you get the opportunity to engage with your customers and if done properly eventually this will translate into bigger revenues and profits.

Take Twitter for example. Twitter is a web based text messaging service that allows users to ‘follow’ the updates of a Twitter member. Based largely on the Facebook status update, users ‘tweet’ to one another by logging on to the Twitter homepage, messages are then sent to a users ’followers’ via a free text message. The only cost involved is when users update their twitter status via their phone and this is charged at standard text message rates.

As LeadPoint looks to strengthen account management communication amongst the growing number of brokers and advisors, different modes of communication for different purposes will become increasingly important. The email newsletter will continue to be vitally important to convey detailed information but a more direct line of communication would be to send short bursts of information to a buyer’s mobile phone, if they agree to receive it in this form.

Whether it be to advise of a technical fault, advertise a sale in the lead store or to send season’s greetings, the opt in twitter service could keep buyers up to date with the all latest LeadPoint news.

This is a simple example of how companies can use new media initiatives such as Twitter to add real value to their product or service.

Justin – justin.rees@leadpoint.com

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