How Advisors Can Make a Splash with the Silver Surfers (aka Boomers) on Facebook

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Back in August I wrote about optimizing your LinkedIn page. It included 5 simple steps to make sure you are standing out and giving the right first impression to clients and prospects. I don’t want to minimize the importance of LinkedIn for your business with this post—I still stand by my belief that LinkedIn is an integral piece for developing your personal brand—but maybe it’s not where you should be developing relationships with clients and prospects.

While LinkedIn is great for people to learn about you and your services, is it really where your niche clients and prospects are spending their time? A lot of professionals put a lot of time and effort into LinkedIn when they are diving into social media because it’s the most business-like. But if you aren’t active where your clients and prospects are, you might be missing the boat… especially if your clients are Boomers.

The reality is Boomers aren’t on LinkedIn as much as we’d like to think. And it makes sense… they aren’t looking for new jobs, or networking with colleagues, or trying to position themselves as thought leaders in their field. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t active on social.  Quite the contrary, in fact.

The Rise of the “Silver Surfers”

According to a DMC3 study, 82.3% of Baby Boomers (a.k.a. Silver Surfers) belong to at least one social media site. They are VERY active on Facebook (by far the most popular amongst the boomers) staying in contact with their families and their friends, sharing memories and maintaining relationships.

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Of the boomers surveyed, 15.5% say they are spending 11+ hours on social media. And where are the spending their time? Facebook, of course.

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Boomers are using Facebook as a source of news for current events and politics, and to research new products and businesses. And the study clearly shows that they take action on what they are seeing as a result of their social activities.

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How #advisors can make a splash with the Silver Surfers (a.k.a. Boomers) on Facebook Click To Tweet

Ride the Wave

So how can you and your firm take advantage of this boomer trend?  Start with a Facebook business page. Hootsuite and HubSpot have some great articles to get started on an optimized business page. From creating your page name, to imagery, to your call-to-action, these step-by-step guides cover a lot of ground. Remember to also cross-promote your website and other social media accounts to boost visibility and search engine rankings.

When you are ready to launch, focus your efforts on building and maintaining relationships, rather than selling. Show the human side of your firm and staff rather than the promotional side. Post news and updates in a simple, informal and fun way. Educate your followers with thoughtful articles geared towards your target niche’s interests (wine, travel, golf, etc.)

Congratulate followers on milestones like retirements, marriages and new homes.  Share your own personal milestone (Did you recently complete your first 5K? Did your employee receive an award? Did your child just graduate from college?) Remember, we do business with people we like and who share our passions.

Feeling like you just HAVE to do a little self-promotion? Keep the 80/20 rule in mind – 80% of your social media posts should inform, educate and entertain your audience, only 20% should directly promote your business. And this should be “soft promotion” on Facebook – think milestones like your first 1,000 followers to your business page, or celebrating 25 shares of a post, or featuring a blog post that you wrote. No marketing hype or press releases.

You want to stay active on your followers feeds, but not in a way that seems intrusive. Aim for 2 to 3 posts/shares a week, and a few interactions (likes, comments, etc.) a day. Your focus should be to stay top of mind by growing your followers and therefore your reach.

Mix it up a little. Use different mediums – video, photos, memes, polls and contests. Keep it light, keep it fun, and keep it informative. Remember, engagement is your goal here. Facebook is less about sales and marketing and more about relationships and connections. Leave the hard sell off of social.

 

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Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson is the social media contributor for Practically Speaking and social media manager within the SEI Advisor Network.

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