Facebook Business Pages are getting a MAJOR overhaul. Not only will the layout and design of pages be affected, but the functionality is changing as well. Although many opportunities exist for financial advisory firms with the new pages rollout, they are most likely going to be more favorable for big brands. After all, the Facebook IPO is just around the corner, and big brands will drive the majority of that revenue!
Regardless of who these powerful social networks cater to, millions of people and professionals are spending significant time on them and creating massive amounts of data. Savvy, creative, and intelligent marketers who understand the social rules of these networks in addition to how to leverage that data will have tremendous opportunity to build influence and grow their businesses.
The risk of not having a Facebook Business Page. If you and your firm are not figuring out how to be visible and valuable on the major social networks such as Facebook, you will risk losing business to competitors who are, you will risk strengthening existing client relationships, you will risk connecting with the next generation, you will lose opportunities to acquire new clients, and most importantly, you will not be a relevant business in the age of social media.
With 800 million people spending significant time on Facebook (in many cases without even realizing they are within the Facebook web), a Facebook Business Page is a must have digital asset for your business.
The Facebook Business Page Reality for Financial Advisory Firms
It is quite challenging for any small business to achieve significant penetration on Facebook with a business page because most do not already have the existing large community of contacts or followers like big brands do. It’s tough enough to get your page updates into the newsfeeds of your fans and without a big following, your visibility is more limited.
Facebook Social Ads
Running targeted social ads has been a very effective way to reach and acquire fans for your business page but these ads will probably become more expensive as the best slots are going to be reserved for big brands. There are also many financial advisors and firms who will never be able to run social ads to grow their visibility due to compliance concerns. Although social ads are nothing more than “calls to action” to join your community, these ads are still viewed as traditional advertising.
The “Like” Button
Recently the SEC issued a risk alert suggesting that it’s not a good idea to promote your page to existing clients and ask for “likes”, although for someone to “like” your Facebook Business Page really means nothing more than joining your community and allowing you to have access to posting in their newsfeed. We’re looking at a case where the verb doesn’t necessarily fit the action. For example, if the “like” button said “follow”, as it does in the case of Twitter, perhaps there wouldn’t be an issue with any implication of a testimonial. This SEC alert still leaves many questions about the “like” button in general, but it is best to play it safe.
No More Custom Welcome Landing Tabs
Probably the biggest change to the new Facebook Business Pages is no longer are you able to take advantage of a custom welcome landing tab. These landing tabs were quite effective for small businesses and financial advisory firms to grab “likes” for their pages and also convert visitors to leads with a lead capture form.
These kinds of tabs can still exist as applications on your page, and there are some creative opportunities to drive fans to visit those tabs. However, this is a much more difficult task as these calls to action won’t be as obvious, and you’re going to have to get visitors back to your page.
With all of these challenges, is it worth it to create and activate a Facebook Business Page?
Facebook Business Pages are Important
In a wired world, building online influence leads to a loyal and trusted online network, which ultimately breeds business success. When over 800 million people are spending significant time everyday sharing, engaging and participating on Facebook, your business has to be there. Whether you target millionaires, professionals, retirees, or Gen Xers, if your business is not represented on Facebook, it will affect your credibility and reputation.
With the challenges that new Facebook Business Pages bring, there will also be unique opportunities to build influence, strengthen client relationships, and capture new leads. The key is to research, test, and adjust to the changes in order to determine what strategies will be most effective for your business on Facebook.
Integrated, creative, and targeted campaigns on Facebook through the use of content, apps, and social ads will continue to be effective for building influence and driving word of mouth reach for your business.
As we create a blueprint for financial advisory firms at Wired Advisor on how to best leverage the new Facebook Business Pages, we will again uncover the untapped opportunities for growing influence on this massive social network, regardless of the fact that they are going to continue to cater to big brands.
Facebook is only ONE component of a Social Media Portfolio
Just as you advise clients on their entire financial situation, we believe in advising financial advisory firms on a comprehensive Digital Marketing strategy to help them evolve their businesses to become online media powerhouses for building influence, growing reach, accelerating referrals and introductions, and capturing opportunities to convert contacts to clients. A comprehensive approach is proving to be the only way to achieve ROI for financial advisory firms in the age of social media.
Social media is much more challenging and sophisticated than most believe requiring significant time, resources, creativity, and strategy. Researching, testing, adjusting, navigating, and analyzing performance are now becoming critical components of generating increased client loyalty and acquiring new clients in a wired world. Simply building a presence is no longer sufficient.