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The big drawback of social media

Last post, I mentioned that there was somewhere between 45 and 70 million prospective clients desperately in need of your services.

(I rounded a little on the math.)

But my gist was that Generations X and Y were were looking at a bleak financial future if they didn’t get professional help.

In fact, I’m going to make a bold prediction.  Throughout all financial history, they’re going to be most in need.

Not really their fault. It’s the environment they grew up in.

Until the 1970s, defined benefits plans (pensions) were pretty much the standard option for retirement savings.  You contributed a little every paycheck and your money was managed so that you were guaranteed a certain level of income, come retirement.

In 1978 congress amended the Internal Revenue Code adding a section famously numbered 401(k).  Encouraging retirement savings by allowing pre-tax contributions was all well and good, but it had much more significant effects.  It put workers in charge of their own financial destinies.

The younger working generation has come of age in the “direct contribution” era.  I doubt few if any Gen X/Yers even know what a “pension” is.

With the rise of the defined contribution plan (self-directed 401(k)s) things became more challenging.   The mutual fund business grew by leaps and savings became vulnerable to virtually any whim of the stock market.

So they’ve started at a disadvantage.

Add to that, the questionable future of Social Security benefits and anyone looking at retiring 25 or more years out seriously has their work cut out for them.

Last post I asked, what are you doing to get in touch with this massive market in need of your services.  Let’s talk for a second about an outlet that’s unique to them.

Social Media

One of the big characteristics of this demographic is their familiarity, comfort with the digital age.  Social media platforms are as much a part of their lives as cable TV was to mine.

So what about it?  Is social media really the way to get in front of this massive herd of prospects?

Personally, I have some issues with the whole “marketing” value of social media.  I won’t jump into them all at the moment.  But the fact is there’s no denying its presence.  And its reputation precedes it.

It’s everywhere.  It’s cheap.  In one form or another, it is the future.

Well, it is just about everywhere these days.  There are literally hundreds of social outlets around the world. Millions upon millions of users indulge.  In a matter of 5 years, Facebook has gone from zero to over half-a-billion users.  I read somewhere if it was a country, it’d be the 3rd largest in the world.  That’s impressive.

When you’re faced with those kinds of numbers, it’s easy to get a little caught up in the frenzy.  Thinking that you need to get out there in all the outlets.  That the more of a presence you can establish on social nodes, the more your bases covered.

Social Media ain’t a magic pill

You see, the thing is social media is only that — media.

And the media you use is not as important as what you put there.  Content is the key point.

Don’t confuse the value of a message with media that transports it.

It takes work to maintain a presence via a social media outlet.

While the dollar entry level may be low, social media certainly isn’t free (or even cheap.)  The hours you spend maintaining your social presence are hours you lose for doing other things.  A potentially a big cost.

And different social media outlets attract different participants.  Not everyone will be right for your practice.

So here’s what I’ll leave you with.  Pick one or two outlets that work well with your overall marketing strategy.  Integrate them and work them.

Monitor them. If they’re not showing you measurable results, shift strategy and move on.

Incidentally, I’m going to be writing a bit more at length about GenX/Y, how to talk to them and some social media tactics you can use to communicate with them in a coming issue of your Perception Architecture e-letter.  If you haven’t signed up for a FREE subscription, scroll back up to the top and type your first name and primary email address into the box and sign up today!  (You can opt-out anytime.)