How to Use Social Media Marketing for Business

Social Media MarketingI presented last week to the Young Adviser’s Team in Memphis, which is a part of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors), about how to use Social Media for Business.

This is a common speaking topic for me, and I’ve started giving some consulting and coaching sessions on this to some local organizations who want to get their sales team up to speed.  This group was pretty unique and challenging in that regard because they are so closely regulated by compliance issues that they can hardly say anything at all about their business without getting into trouble.

This obviously presents a major issue if anyone in the financial world who would like to start communicating through some of the new social media channels available.  And when I say that it represents a problem, I mean a big one – to the level that some of them can’t even have a LinkedIn profile that is not approved.

That being said, we had some great discussions about unique ways to utilize LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs that would involve more listening and conversational interaction.  Since social media marketing is basically a conversation that takes place online, my feeling is that these compliance organizations will have to get with the times before too long.  In the meantime, however, using tools to listen and engage may be more effective (and allowed) than trying to start a blog about financial planning.

Every industry faces challenges when it comes to how to best use social media, and the Internet in general, for marketing.  I was pleasantly surprised by the number of great ideas and discussions that this group brought up.


2 replies
  1. Terri
    Terri says:

    Hi James,

    Thank you for your slideshow here, I have been enjoying reading your blog. I think you bring up a lot of points that are very worth disseminating. I have also been giving lectures as of late on the topic of SMM for business – everyone wants to know what the “ROI” is. lol.
    OK, so I just have one question for you: what do you mean “anonymity = credibility” ?
    (if you could email me the response as well that would be fantastic)

    • James Hutto
      James Hutto says:

      When I talk about how anonymity=credibility, I mean the fact that we assign a great deal of credibility to people that we have never met or spoken to. People who, for all we know, could be employees of Hilton and not some patron of their hotel who had such a great experience that they wrote that review on Expedia.

      Bad example, here’s a better one: You know those Zicam nose swabs? I purchased that product because when I went to Walgreens late one night and looked up “what to do when getting sick” on my iPhone, I didn’t find a corporate site- I found a blog! This particular post made me laugh, but also was compelling because the author was a firm believer in the product; so much so, that she wrote the post about it. I bought the product because I felt that the author, a normal person who hates getting colds just like I do, has such conviction that she took the time to write about it. I didn’t feel like I was being “marketed” to; it was a real person who wrote that article. But the reality is, that could have been someone who worked for Zicam’s agency, who knows!

      Because of the medium and the message, I think that we give this credibility to people we don’t really know, just so long as we believe them to be a “real” person, and not some employee of a corporation or their marketing department/agency.

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