It’s not a question of why, but how.

February 24, 2014 by

The best sales people often say that the key to success is building relationships. But have you considered how that translates into the digital world?

Facebook celebrated its 10-year anniversary on February 4. With that kind of milestone in the books, it’s evident that social media is not a passing trend. It’s no longer a question of why you should be using social media for your business, but how.

According to a study by Pew Research Center, 65 percent of adults age 50 to 64 are using social networking sites.1 Translation: More than half of the people that you should be targeting for retirement services are on one of the most affordable and accessible marketing outlets—social media.

So, how do you use social media for your business?

Social media is about strengthening existing relationships and cultivating new ones. If you focus on being a helpful source of information and knowledge, your connections will grow to trust you.

This won’t happen overnight. But if you work at it and post consistently, when your followers need a service you offer, you will be at the top of their mind (a.k.a. building a relationship).

To improve results, use a posting schedule and stick to it. Click here to download our social media schedule example.

If you post consistently, it can help you build strong relationships with new and existing clients. Make it a goal to post at least three times a week.

1“Social Networking Fact Sheet.” Pew Research Internet Project. Pew Research Center, 27 Dec 2013. Web. 17 Feb 2014. <>.

Katie Dunn

Katie Dunn is a graphic designer and social media writer. She joined Brokers International in June 2013. She is responsible for graphic design and the maintenance of Brokers International’s social media platforms. When not at work, Katie enjoys volleyball, golf, running, biking, graphic design projects, and cheering on the Hawkeyes. ADR-1372

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Five Social Media Post Ideas – January

January 27, 2014 by

This is the perfect time to create a social media schedule. Our social media post ideas series was created to help you do just that.

This month’s focus is on adding images to your Facebook posts. According to this survey, photos and images on Facebook generate 53 percent more likes and 104 percent more comments than the average post.1

So get creative and think of fun ways to integrate images into your posts to create more engagement.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Entice your readers: Ask your audience to stop in for an annual review. Make sure they know fresh coffee and donuts will be available during their visit.  Grab their attention with a photo of the goodies in your reception area.
  2. Show them the real you: Post a photo of yourself and your family doing something fun. Thank customers for their support that allows you to enjoy your free time. Social media is about building relationships. The more your clients feel like they know and trust YOU; the more likely you’ll create long-lasting relationships.
  3. Take them away from the everyday: Post a picture of a desirable vacation spot, and ask them to share their dream vacation. Tie your post back to your business by adding a link on how to financially plan for a trip.
  4. Share content. This could be anything from a feel-good image to an info-graphic with interesting statistics. The things you share don’t always have to relate to your business, this humanizes you. Just be sure to think before you post and avoid controversial topics—keep it educational.
  5. Publicize your community involvement: Give your clients a behind-the-scenes look into your work outside the office. Take pictures at community events and post them. Showing you are involved in the community builds trust and credibility.

Make sure to credit the original owner of any articles or images you share, and don’t forget to refer to compliance guidelines.

To read our previous post ideas, click here to see the series archive.

Hubspot. “Photos on Facebook Generate 53% More Likes Than the Average Post [NEW DATA].” Inbound Marketing. Hubspot, 25 Nov 2012. Web. 13 Jan 2014. <>.


Katie Dunn

Katie Dunn is a graphic designer and social media writer. She joined Brokers International in June 2013. She is responsible for graphic design and the maintenance of Brokers International’s social media platforms. When not at work, Katie enjoys volleyball, golf, running, biking, graphic design projects, and cheering on the Hawkeyes. ADR-1372

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5 simple tips for projecting a professional image online

October 16, 2013 by

Recently a financial professional told me he lost a potential client because his company’s social network accounts didn’t have consistent messaging. It certainly made him take notice.

Even if you don’t realize it, a lot of your clients and prospects (or their children) are researching you and your company online before meeting with you. Ensure you have consistent, well-branded messaging now, so you can establish a foundation of trust and credibility before you ever talk to prospects.

If you wouldn’t discuss certain topics with your clients and prospects in person, you shouldn’t do it online either. First impressions are lasting impressions, and trust is something you need to establish immediately if you don’t want to lose a relationship.

Follow these five simple tips to ensure you’re projecting a professional image on your social networks:

  • Know what social network accounts you have in place. Delete accounts you don’t update. Provide a consistent brand message on your active accounts. It’s important to monitor your active accounts to ensure all information listed is current and accurate. They also need to respond to anyone trying to reach you through those channels.
  • Do not share personal opinions or jokes about potentially controversial topics: politics, religion, etc. Don’t offend clients or discourage prospects from using your services because you have conflicting views. Keep your content positive, educational and helpful.
  • Use professional photos and graphics. Present yourself online in the same way you would present yourself to clients in person. Wear business attire in your profile photos. Use web-quality graphics and images.
  • Write a clear, concise company description. Take the time to write a description that includes a list of services, relevant background information, and your contact information. Be sure to use the same description in your entire online marketing presence— website, social networks, brochures, etc.
  • Triple check grammar and spelling. Spell-check is wonderful, but it doesn’t catch everything. If you’re unsure about your own grammatical skills, entrust this task to someone who possess these skills. Grammatical errors could cause your prospects to second-guess your attention to detail.

Projecting a professional image can help you provide your clients with a consistent, positive experience.   For more tips on creating a consistent client experience, read our post, “Consumer Touchpoints.”



5 social media post ideas — September

September 19, 2013 by

The social media post ideas series is intended to provide you with inspiration, so you can keep your social profiles (your blog, LinkedIn profile, company LinkedIn page, Facebook page, and Twitter feed) packed with content. You can always check out the previous social media post ideas on the blog.

This month’s focus is on the effectiveness of posts based on the length of the message. Level of engagement, the interactions your audience has with your content (likes, shares, comments, etc.), is typically found to be higher on shorter posts. For example, take a look at the level of engagement compared to post length on Facebook.1

If you think about it, shorter posts make sense because your audience only gives a few seconds to each post as they scroll through their newsfeeds. To make things shorter, you might have to get outside your comfort zone and try some new post techniques.

Ask for engagement on Facebook and LinkedIn: Encourage them to “like” a post for a specific reason.

On Twitter: Ask people to “Retweet.”

For blogs: Include a question at the end to get your audience to interact.

Now to the ideas—remember: Think short!

5 social media post ideas

1. Tips for staying motivated with budgeting: Some people find it difficult to stay on track. Provide a tip like one of the following to help keep your clients motivated:

    • Join a financial support group.
    • Reward yourself with a small indulgence when you meet/exceed your monthly goals.
    • Write out the dreams you’ll accomplish when you achieve larger goals.

2. Retirement dreams: Ask your audience what they dream of doing in their retirement. It’s a fun question, and people enjoy sharing their hopes for the future.

3. How much you could save if…: Everyone has a few budgeting weaknesses. Some people need an expensive cup of coffee every day. Some people need to buy lunch every day instead of bringing it. Help your audience of clients and prospects see the potential gains of skipping one of their pricey habits:

    • Week 1: Keep track of how much you could save by cutting out one of your budgeting weaknesses. You’d save $7 this week if you cut out two days of grabbing a cup of designer coffee. Watch the total add up each week in our coffee savings updates!
    • Week 4: Coffee savings update! If you’ve kept up with our goal to cut out one of your budgeting weaknesses, you could have saved $28 so far by cutting out two cups of designer coffee a week.
    • Week 52: Coffee savings update! You’ve made it a whole year, and you have $364 to show for it!

4. Promote community events: Stay active in your community, and show that you care by sharing events going on in your community. Plus, if you hold a financial event, you’re more likely to get support from the community if you’re already helping to spread the word about others’ events.

5. Gather some data: You might have some quick questions that you’d like to ask your audience to learn more about them. You can try the following example, or come up some that apply most to what you’d like to know:

    • “Like” this post if you don’t have a retirement strategy.


1 Track Social. “Optimizing Facebook Engagement – Part 3: The Effect Of Post Length.” Track Social Blog. Track Social, 25 Jun 2012. Web. 5 Sep 2013. <>.