Written by: Elizabeth Ritger
There’s lot of ways for your firm’s name to get passed around, but getting clients to tell their friends and family about you and your awesome service is by far one of the most effective. While it may still happen through direct conversation, the rise of social media has made this an increasingly popular way to spread information.
Facebook is no doubt a great tool for all businesses to have for many reasons, but today we’re focusing specifically on its recommendation options. If you know how to tap into it, social media can be a great source of referrals for your firm. Scroll through any Facebook feed and you’ll see people asking their friends for business recommendations on a range of services and products, from restaurants to cleaners to daycare. Initially, you may not think this function would apply to the financial planning industry, but you’d be surprised at how many people it may actually bring your way.
While you can’t directly make these recommendations, you can make sure that you’ve set your firm up to be highly reputable among your community and current clients. You can also make sure you have an awesome website and Facebook presence so that its easy to find out more about your company and potential clients are impressed when they check out your recommendations.
Read on below to learn more about why and how Facebook’s “Recommendations” feature could be a huge game changer for your firm.
Your Prospects Trust Recommendations From Friends & Family
When you want solid advice, who do you ask? Chances are, your friends and family are some of the first people you’re turning to when you want to hire someone you can really trust. Potential clients feel the same way. Because these are the primary people you’re interacting with on Facebook, making a recommendation post can be a great way for people to get the sound advice they’re looking for. Additionally, since these recommendations are coming from people they really trust, the person is much more likely to actually follow up and use the suggested service.
This means that having an active, updated Facebook profile is all the more essential. If recommenders are linking back to your business Facebook page, you’ll want to be sure the potential client will be impressed by what they see!
Double check that your business hours, website and mission or brand statement are all included on the page. For many firms, having a video on their Facebook page is the perfect way to give out information about their firm. Potential customers and clients like a quick, easy way to find out what your firm is all about. Including your address is also a good idea, as the recommendations will often put the businesses on a map for people to search.
It’s also a good idea to have a pretty steady output of helpful links and resources on your feed so that customers can immediately tell you’re a trusted resource and are able to help them in similar ways. If visitors see a stream full of useful third-party articles, blog posts and company updates, they’ll know your business is dedicated to helping clients and will stay on top of providing them with quick and relevant information.
Users Can Give Specific Reviews & Details About Their Experience.
Now, this can be a good or bad thing. If you’ve ever left a company extremely dissatisfied or unhappy with a service experience, you probably wouldn’t hesitate to leave a scathing review online if you got the opportunity. Alternatively, if you had a great experience and felt well taken care of, you’d likely be happy to share it with friends who are looking for a similar service. And, as someone receiving a recommendation, you’ll likely trust a detailed personal experience from a friend over a google search result. This means that providing a service that clients rave about is essential.
The recommendations tool also gives people the opportunity to leave details on how they were treated and their levels of satisfaction. So, never underestimate the power of simple gestures, such as following up with a handwritten thank you note. These are the kinds of small things clients will remember that may just show up in the comments box.
Unfortunately, people are twice as likely to share bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about their good experiences and 95% of people tell other people about their bad experience. This means that even one unhappy customer can be a huge problem for you. While their bad experience may not necessarily be entirely your fault, you can make sure they still leave feeling as if you tried to resolve the problem. Encourage them to share their frustrations with you in the moment and try to resolve any conflict. If they can express their unhappiness directly to you, they may be less likely to share it with others or online.
Afterwards, go out of your way to find a quick response that may help them leave feeling at least slightly more satisfied. Whether this involves an apology, a refund, discount for a future service or redoing the requested service, do your best to fix whatever went wrong. You may not be able to do total damage control, but you can at least make a slight impact.
If you have the time, it can be a good idea to keep track of comments people are writing on these kinds of posts about your company. If you see someone post a negative Facebook recommendation or comment under an article, reach out to them and see if there is anything your business can do to improve their satisfaction. Making an effort like this could help change their opinion of your company.
87% of committed customers will recommend a brand through liking and sharing on social media [Edelman]
Your client’s friends can see these interactions, giving you essentially free advertising. This could be great publicity for your firm, especially because Facebook appeals to the widest range of demographics of any social media platform. A key way to make sure this happens is to stay connected with clients on Facebook. If you use a personal account, friend them after establishing a business relationship. If you’re using a business account, encourage them to like your business page. This ensures that they are seeing your posts, making them more likely to share or like them. Not only is this helpful for you, it can also be a great resource for the client. Connecting with them on social media also makes sure you’ll be at the forefront of their mind so, should someone ask them for a recommendation, you’ll be one of the first businesses they think of sharing.
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