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How to Create & Engage Online Communities for Your Financial Services Clients

Written by: Leonard Parker | financial advisor marketing | 17th January

An online community is a group of people with common interests that use the Internet to communicate. You may converse with your neighbors in your yard. In an online community, members interact via social networks, such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

They also share in:

  • Forums
  • Email groups
  • The comments sections of blog posts and news articles

Online communities are a great way to build loyalty and trust with your current clients. Communities also bridge the gap between converting qualified prospects to paying clients. Virtual communities are a cost effective way to market your firm and services. Special care should be used when creating and building your community.

The points below will help you create and build your community so that it becomes a strategic marketing tool for customer acquisition and retention.

 

Creating Your Online Community

 

Build your community where you can find your target clients. Facebook is a good choice for the 20-35 year old demographic. If you would like to target business owners, then LinkedIn might be a better choice. Wherever your target audience congregates online, make sure you understand how that site or platform works.

Now, you have created an online community for your financial advisory firm. Next, adhere to these 6 tenets to help your community reach its full potential.

 

Your Online Community’s Culture Should Reflect That of Your Firm

 

Most successful communities cultivate a culture of their own. In these communities, members evolve their own practices. A strong culture can keep members coming back on a regular basis. It will also encourage members to stay connected with others.

 

Measure the ROI Your Online Community Brings to Your Firm

 

An online community should enable your financial advisory organization to measure ROI. Common metrics include social engagement, communication, and conversations.

The insights and analytics from your online community can be invaluable. With this data, you can prioritize on how to improve your clients’ satisfaction.

 

Emphasize Transparency for Your Community Members

 

Community members can easily spot disingenuous engagement. You should welcome negative feedback. Members should be encouraged to reply honestly to concerns.

 

Encourage Community Engagement with Valuable Insights

 

An online community can encourage participation. Participation can lead to innovation for the services and offerings you provide your clients. Engagement can stem from insightful discussions, forums, and content such as blogs or whitepapers. These assets improve the quality of your community’s engagement.

 

Speaking on Value, Always Prioritize Adding Value to Your Community Members

 

In order for the stakeholders within your community to connect and engage with one another, there must be a specific value.

You can provide value to your members by:

  • Providing regular highlights of what is going on inside your community
  • Reporting on the thought leadership that have resulted from engagement within your community

 

Flow of Communication Should be Natural Between Community Members & You

 

Stop thinking in terms of posts and start thinking in terms of conversations. Comment on other posts, share them, and debate the various merits of a point of view. Make it easy for others to comment on and respond appropriately to various questions posted.

I hope this article leads you to consider how building an online community can help your client acquisition efforts in 2017. Book a free strategy session with me if you want to incorporate online communities into your marketing strategy.