Social media can be an incredibly effective marketing tool when looking to build and grow your business, but knowing what to post and when, and to which platform, can be tricky. We wanted to share some practical advice to help you get started, so we made a call to Missing Link founder Perry Henderson to take us through the specifics of social media marketing and how to give your business the competitive edge you need in three of the big platforms: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Perry’s journey to digital marketing guru began over a decade ago when, while working as a DJ, he found himself managing social media for more than 12 music venues. Recognising an opportunity to get ahead of the pack in the world of social media marketing, he started his own business in 2012.
Perry’s passion for helping his clients understand the core marketing principles of social media clearly paid off, with Missing Link winning a national award for ‘Marketing Excellence’ at the Australian Business Awards in 2020.
Let the brain-picking begin...
Keep Your Brand Top of Mind
Maintaining an active presence on social media helps retain top-of-mind awareness. Perry says this is important as often people will choose a business based on how familiar they are with them and their brand. “When choosing a Broker, if the person googles your business, they may very well end up going to your Instagram or your Facebook to get more information. If your last post was three years ago and your competitor has been posting every week then they may feel like they should go with the other person because they already feel they know them better.”
To start with, it’s important to be clear on the differences between the platforms: Facebook and Instagram are generally better when speaking to potential customers on an individual level, so they’re great for the consumer market; while LinkedIn is more geared towards business clients.
A great tip for your Facebook page is to make sure that the services you provide are easy to find. Navigate to ‘templates and tabs’ in your page settings, then select the services template and ensure ‘services’ is switched on. Then head back to your page, under your cover photo, click ‘more’ and you now have a ‘Services’ section where you can add information about the services, solutions and products you offer.
For a platform like LinkedIn, your profile’s ‘About’ section is a great place to start. “When filling out your profile I generally prefer statements,” says Perry, which might be, ‘I help business owners and individuals find the right asset finance to help them buy the vehicle or equipment they need.’ Then you might talk a bit about the solutions you provide, why you’re passionate about what you do, maybe a little bit about your qualifications and experience, things like that.”
There’s a few more golden rules you should follow when setting up your individual LinkedIn profile. Keep your summary focused, with information about who you help, how you help, your skills, attributes and how people can contact you. Connect with your business contacts and start filling up the ‘skills and endorsements’ section, aim for at least five recommendations from clients and colleagues. Under ‘experience’ add details of past positions and education, the more information here the better. Add videos, PDFs and links to your ‘Featured’ section. Then top it all off with a nice professional photo!
The Content Funnel
Working out what sort of content to post and to who can be confusing, which is where the ‘content funnel’ comes in, says Perry. “You've got the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel. I would generally split your organic and paid advertising social media content into these three parts, so you’re creating 70% educational content at the top, 20% ‘this is our offering’ content in the middle and 10% specific solutions, next steps, offers, and more focused content at the bottom.”
70% Education - For people who may not be in the market for a Broker, yet.
The top of the funnel is for content that educates without selling; the strategy here is all about building brand awareness and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise.
Perry says: “You're educating people who likely don't need your solution just yet or might feel like they aren't ready to buy. So, the education could be frequently asked questions or some market news. Then, when they’re ready to make a decision, you're front of mind, you're the one who's educated them, and you're at least a part of their conversation."
Example: Sharing news articles, industry related blogs, updates from the team, FAQs.
20% What we do, how we help - For prospective customers and clients who may have interacted with you and potentially be in the market for a Broker.
In the middle of the funnel your content is focused on providing more information about your business and what you do, while providing an opportunity to find out more if they wish. Think about the services and products you provide, and how they can solve a problem for the customer.
Perry says: “At the middle of the funnel, with your paid advertising, you can create audiences of people who have been consuming your content, now you can try to introduce your services, maybe a simple one-minute video about each of those services that you post and boost.”
Example: One-minute video about a process or service or celebrating a client win.
10% How we can help you - For prospective customers and clients who are actively looking for finance.
At the bottom of the funnel your content can now be more targeted. Make this content specific to what you offer, so it might be ‘Here is what's going to happen when you book your free 30-minute consultation’, and ‘Here's what Joe has said about his experience with us’.
Perry says: “One way of targeting prospects that are actively looking for finance is by creating an audience of people who have visited your website. This content should be about overcoming objections, providing specific solutions and prompting people to make direct contact. Testimonials and proof point content can be really powerful at this stage.”
Example: A detailed post about the services you provide, a testimonial, asking people to get in touch.
Paid vs. Organic Content
Investing your marketing budget in social media activity is now essential to get the reach you need, although you can do a mix of paid and organic marketing. “If you're going down the path of Facebook and Instagram, you do need paid advertising to be reaching people within your target audience, and it's very cost effective as well: you can pay $10 and reach 1,000 people as opposed to reaching 50 people organically. I've worked in this space with some clients in the past and paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram does work quite well for Brokers.” The price for advertising on Facebook is the per-day price, Facebook will promote your post up the value of this amount each day for as long as you specify.
However, there are differences between the platforms, says Perry. “LinkedIn is quite expensive in terms of paid advertising compared to Facebook and Instagram. It's generally about three or four times as expensive cost-per-click and cost-per-thousand impressions.”
Posting, Advertising and Networking
Creating ads and promoting posts with Facebook should be done via the Ads Manager, so you need to set this up. Facebook also has a tool called Creator Studio, which you can access from your page and use to schedule posts, and cross-post to both Facebook and Instagram.
“Once you’ve created your post and posted organically, wait to see the sort of response you get,” says Perry. “Let it run for 24 hours and see what kind of engagement and traction you get. Then when the engagement slows or stops, jump into Ads Manager and promote it, you can select your audience and set your budget. Your budget can be as low as a $1USD a day, or as high as you want.”
All the above applies to LinkedIn as well: you can post, promote and do all those things – a daily budget of $25 dollars is a good starting point. However, LinkedIn is also about networking. When looking to expand your social media network, look outside your bubble for ideas, explains Perry. “I think a great way to think about this beyond building networks of potential customers is, where do people go before or after using a Broker? What other businesses? You want to use LinkedIn to connect with them and start building some strategic referral relationships.”
“You can also hook it up to your email and then ‘invite to connect’ with everyone in your contact list who's already on LinkedIn. That's a great way to get a little momentum and tap into your existing network.”
Perry does warn against being too pushy though; don’t use that initial ‘invitation to connect message' to sell anything, the aim is just to get them into your network.
Key takeaways for a successful social media strategy
- Know your audience
- Understand the platform
- Tailor your content based off the funnel
- Think about your budget and how much you want to spend
“Marketing is very much about trying to move people from one emotional state to the other. Today, a lot of people's attentions are on their phone, and a lot of people are using social media. So, it's just getting in front of people and trying to generate that attention that can help grow your business,” says Perry.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed are those of the individual contributors and not of NFC Aggregation. Any reference to third party goods and services are not endorsements or recommendations by NFC Aggregation.