How to Use Social Media for Your Business


What's up, everybody? Johnny Sandquist back at you with today's summer school lesson on how to use social media for your business, for your personal, and for your life. Let's get into it.

The number one thing I want to say about social media before we talk about anything else is it's not just a place for you to drop links back to your website and provide no value at all.

I'm sure you've seen the corporate accounts, the business accounts, and also the personal accounts that just churn out canned content where it's like “Here's the headline of a blog and a link” and probably a picture because somebody said images get more interaction than just text posts.

And that's the extent of that social presence for that person or that business. That sucks. Let's just be honest.

Social media is not to be used as just the place to drive traffic to your website.

All of your social media accounts, whether they are for your business or whether it's for yourself and you're using it to build your personal brand, they should stand on their own and deliver value to the people who choose to follow it. Otherwise, why would they follow you?

They know where your website’s at. If you're just going to drop links to your blogs and that's it, they can bookmark your website and remember to go check it on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. when you post a blog.

That's not what your social account is for. Social media is to establish credibility for you.

My good friend Jason Lahita, who runs StreetCred PR, which exclusively serves wealth management just like we do, likes to say that PR is all about credibility marketing.

I think about social media in the same way.

If you're using it on your personal name, it's a way to build credibility and let people see the authentic you. And if you're using it for your business, it's also a credibility booster.

It shows that you're out there actively engaging in conversations, creating content, and that you have something to say. Those things build the credibility of a business.

So if you're not using your social media account to just push traffic to your website, what should you use it for? Here we go.

Social media is, as I've said, about conversations.

If we apply the 80-20 rule to social media, it means that you should be engaging in conversations 80% of the time and posting your own content 20% of the time.

Whether that content is just your food of the day, your market thoughts, or maybe those links to those blogs, have that great ratio in mind.

Now, if you're running a business account, it might be tough to get to those same ratios, but run your business account like you would run it as a personal account.

Give it a voice and give it a personality. You're going to see a lot more people willing to follow your business account if it's not just treated as, again, that little link dropping log generator. I think that probably the 80-20 rule can be applied to almost anything in life.

I'm certainly not the first one to make this suggestion of how to balance your conversations versus your your content on social media.

I mean, literally everything. Like, I think if you had a diet of 80% vegetables and 20% cake, that would probably you'd probably get good results from that.

That's not scientifically tested. I might I might be wrong. A doctor is going to yell at me in the comments to this video, but I feel like it's pretty spot on.

You want to give people the vegetables because the cake's going to rot their teeth if they get too much of it. So balance it out.

If we're speaking of an account with your name on it, social media is also the place to build your personal brand.

So, what is your personal brand? There's a lot of confusion. People sort of get weird about this because they immediately, for some reason, think it means being unprofessional. It does not.

Your personal brand is when you allow your professional appearance to be influenced and directed by your personal passions.

Remember that definition. That’s the best one I've ever come up with for personal brand.

So, what do I mean by that?

If you’re an advisor with a young family—maybe you’ve got 4 or 5 kids and you're going through all the things to plan for their future and manage your own household and you're also passionate about working with young professionals—if you're passionate about helping people in the same state of life as you, show your life off.

Show yourself hanging out with the kids going and grabbing doughnuts, going their games or whatever.

You don’t have to post your kids’ faces. I know people are squishy about that on social media, but show the real you and how it impacts your personal work that you're passionate about.

Another example, maybe like an adviser that we work with, grew up overseas, has family overseas, and now she's very focused on cross-border financial planning.

Her personal life has influenced what she's really amazing at professionally.

That's personal branding.

Lean into it. Be intentional about that and use social media to augment that and get the message out.

Here's how I'm going to end things. Social media is for original content more than anything else.

If you follow me at all, you know that I'm all about original content and not a fan of canned content. And that's especially true on social.

Like I said earlier in the video, you've seen the person on LinkedIn. It's obvious they're not posting their own content. They're pushing out links with no context.

It's probably just getting fed in through some automated marketing platform that adds no value to anybody at all. It's just links being sent out.

I understand you may have some compliance issues to work with.

We’ll be nice about it, but have those conversations, figure out what the limits are, what the guidelines are, and work within those as much as you can. But don't resort to just tossing out links through automated platforms and creating this stale, lifeless social media presence.

You're going to do more harm than good to your online persona, to your online credibility, to your online brand.

Sure, it may resonate with a person here or there who see a link that they like, but, on the whole, you're not doing anything intentional, and so it's not super valuable.

That's all we can say about the matter of using canned content to create your social media presence for today.

Maybe we'll get more of it later, but for now, that's enough.

If you only remember 3 things from this video about social media, here's what they should be.

  1. Post original content only.
  2. Engage in conversations more than you post your own thoughts and try to drive people to your website.
  3. If it's your personal account, use it for personal branding. Look at how your personal passions can influence your professional life and build things out from there.

That's it. Social media quick tips. I hope this was beneficial for you. See you next week.

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