We all know that social media networks have literally taken over the world. But let us explore the pros and cons of using these as a tool for onboarding new clients. The first thought that comes to mind is ‘do our clients actually engage with social media networks?’ The answer is yes they do and according to the latest research the fastest growing age group are the seniors, because everybody else is already converted.
The second question will be something along the lines of ‘does social media work for business, specifically for client onboarding?’ So-called social media experts promise that a process-driven approach to client onboarding results in improved client trust, higher client engagement and a richer long term bond between client and supplier. The unbelievers on the other hand smirk that social media sites are filled with pictures of breakfasts and lunches with no space for real business value in between.
The pros of using social media
Social networking creates new social connections: Social media can be an excellent way of attracting new business. Statistics show that 70% of adults and 57% of teens have used social media sites to connect with friends, businesses, interest groups or similar organisations. When considering paid social media campaigns, that you can attract new customers and followers with promotions or freebees. When you have achieved a steadily growing following you can focus on targeted social media campaigns to encourage repeated sales.
Sharing of valuable information: Social media is about information being shared and re-shared. When you start sharing information and providing valuable content on your social media platforms, your followers and visitors will come back for more. This shows that good content leads to sales. Society today is more than willing to share almost anything online, even very personal information. Look at the support groups on Facebook, for example. People sign up as members of these groups to discuss and share information, ask questions and get answers. Information such as product reviews, relevant resources, alternative options and more are shared, all the while creating great support networks. There is a strong tendency that people believe others more than the sales person behind the counter.
Raving fan club and brand recognition:
People are very willing to ask for and give their opinion and if your product is promoted by your clients, you have arrived at a point where they have turned into raving fans. Nothing in this world sells more than raving fans! They are just more believable than you will ever be. But let’s keep our feet on the ground and realise the effort involved behind having raving fans and getting that social media following is immense.
With the current drive and overload of information, misinformation is unfortunately at the order of the day and some people are wary and suspicious when it comes to doing business and providing information via the internet, specifically social media sites. There are blogs that have turned into rumour mills, distorting the truth, which some people tend to believe just because it’s black on white.
Less face to face communication:
Personal contact and face-to-face communication is suffering greatly as a result of social media platforms. But nothing is going to change that, so let’s use what we have to make the most of it. Once your new client is onboard, you could make an effort to reach out for some personal communication, such as a phone call or sending out a freebee with a nice (pre-generated, generic) message. Some financial institutions have to adhere to legislative regulations, such as requiring the new applicants or clients to physically sign documents/proposals. Although electronic signatures are acceptable, a device to enable this is not always available. So if your client has to pay you a visit for signing of documentation, use this to your advantage, as some people still value a personal connection.
In conclusion, identifying and converting a lead to a client, even on a social media platform, still needs careful planning and a systematic approach to ensure that he/she will have a positive experience during onboarding. Using social media does promise ease and accuracy in obtaining data from the client which can then be distributed to the correct channels to warrant an effective onboarding process. In the following blog we will concentrate more on the onboarding process and how to create an onboarding strategy irrespective of which marketing channel is used.