Is Facebook the most overlooked free client communication tool by IFAs?
I reckon my old school friends are just like the average IFA’s client bank.
There are a lot of them, I only manage to stay in regular touch with a few and – until recently – the time and effort required to stay in touch with the rest was just too great to practically contemplate.
However, over the past two years, I have effortlessly rekindled connections with almost 230 former friends and colleagues, simply by signing up to Facebook and LinkedIn.
Now, I promise I’m not going to waste your time banging on about how Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are the best things since sliced bread.
But I will suggest three reasons why IFAs should not overlook Facebook fan pages as one of the most practical means of staying connected
with potentially a substantial chunk of your client-base, which is – for now at least – free of charge.
1. Facebook vs The Press
Your clients are more likely to use Facebook each week than read the Sunday money sections.
Let’s suppose you have 100 clients. Based on published circulation figures, 21 of them may read the Sunday newspaper money sections each week, but 39 of them will visit their Facebook account at least once a week.
That’s according to data gathered for the Government’s 2009 Digital Britain report, which said that 40 per cent1 of the UK population have Facebook accounts. Other studies support the figures claiming that 39 per cent of 16-65 year olds in the UK maintain a social web account.
Either way, at least 19 million consumers in Britain have an account with Facebook.
2. Fan pages = free connections
The real power of Facebook is the way it allows you to establish and maintain connections with clients who already have a Facebook account. So it offers a cost-free, effort-free way for both you and your clients to connect and stay connected.
But why would clients connect?
Because you have something in common with each other – your client’s financial plan.
What’s more, you have experience, expertise and information that is both useful and interesting for your clients. If you publish content on your Facebook fan page – like presentations or PDFs – you are able to continually demonstrate it.
Of course, maintaining connections also means that you won’t lose contact with clients; you won’t lose their postal or email addresses, nor will your clients forget your web address and contact information.
3. Traffic for your content
Your website content stands more chance of being read, viewed or listened to through a Facebook fan page. Unless it is designed to deliver client services – or is at least as interesting as Facebook – it’s unlikely you can rely on regular traffic to your site. But Facebook has the ability to generate traffic to your content 24 hours a day.
So, instead of regarding your website as an online destination for information about your business, think of it as a means of distributing that content elsewhere on the web. By connecting your website or blog’s content to a Facebook fan page, for instance, you can share business news and views in at least two places at once, as well as link to content like presentations, video and audio that is published elsewhere on the web.
First published in Cofunds’ Perspectives magazine (March 2010)
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