ShoeFitts Marketing Finds Super Bowl Ads Illustrate Key Marketing Strategies and Lessons for Financial Advisors

 

Financial Advisors should understand why some Super Bowl commercials were immediate hits and others completely missed the mark or were poorly timed. By using this knowledge they can apply the lessons to their own financial services business development and marketing strategies.

Portland, OR
February 05, 2014

The 2014 Super Bowl game may not have played out as anticipated, but the much-hyped commercial onslaught was true to form this year as viewers were blitzed with cute kids and dogs, celebrity appearances, patriotism, rock stars, and explosive promos for upcoming action flicks and TV shows.

“The important take-away for financial advisors is to understand why some commercials were great and others entirely missed the mark, and then to apply this knowledge to their own financial services business development plan and marketing strategies,’’ explains Sheri Fitts, president of ShoeFitts Marketing. Ms. Fitts is a celebrated global speaker and her company specializes in marketing strategy and social media development for the retirement plan industry.

According to Ms. Fitts, financial advisors can take note of the following key lessons from the Super Bowl commercials:

Visual Trumps Verbal: “Okay, admit it; the reunion of the lab puppy and the Clydesdale horse in the Budweiser ad did not need words,” says Ms. Fitts. “ Remember, no matter what product or service you are offering, we live in a visual world where imagery can resonate long after the verbal message has been forgotten.”

Don’t Take Yourself too Seriously: The first commercial for Wonderful Pistachios was a sleeper, but turns out that was intentional; the follow-up was hilarious when spokesperson Stephen Colbert livened up his outfit and antics. The upshot: don’t be afraid to interject humor and levity.

Marketing is a Long-term Game: Remember the ground-breaking “1984” Apple commercial 30 years ago? This ad was just the starting point for Apple’s Macintosh and not once did the commercial show a computer. Ironically, this year Microsoft took the same tactic with story-telling examples about the impact of computer technology. “While the Microsoft plan is unclear, we can definitely see that Apple’s long-term marketing plan was successful,” Ms. Fitts says and points out that “some wins are quick and easy, but most are about relationship-building and they take time to cultivate and nurture.”

Does Rebranding Work? Kia is making a big push to rebrand with its K900, stating “It challenges everything” but will it work? The Super Bowl commercial featuring Laurence Fishburne as his Matrix character was mysterious and moody but seemed to miss the rebranding mark. Arnold Shwarzenegger’s rebranding attempt, on the other hand, was funny. In the Bud Light commercial, his Bobby Riggs plays table tennis persona easily removed any serious images of the actor and former California governor. Clearly, rebranding is tough and can have mixed results, particularly if the new approach is not purposeful or specific.

Hashtag Popularity Grows: According to MarketingLand 57% of the Super Bowl ads included hashtags, up from the 50% noted in 2013, with most of them directed at Twitter. Social media links were minimal and nearly a quarter of the commercials still included a URL. Interestingly the marketing group found some hashtag links were not up-to-date and/or did not reference the commercial. A big miss! Hashtags provide a great conduit for immediate interaction and ongoing conversation, yet the execution cannot be overlooked or minimalized in today’s savvy marketplace.

Timing is Tricky: Who knew the Seattle Seahawks would make the fourth quarter (okay, the second half) a sleeper? Certainly not the ad writers or the folks buying time. “Was there anything more off-target than Bruce Willis launching the Honda commercial in the fourth quarter by saying ‘Great game, right?’” asks Ms. Fitts. “Keep that in mind next time you set up automatic Twitter or LinkedIn postings; timing is everything!”

Call to Action: The U2 and Bank of America commercial garnered immediate attention following the partnership’s call to action in support of the AIDS nonprofit (RED). In the 24 hours following the Super Bowl, Bank of America donated $1 dollar for every free download of the new U2 song “Invisible” on iTunes. Initially BofA set a $2 million cap, but agreed on Monday to keep donating beyond the maximum throughout the 24-hour free download period. A call to action is a powerful tool, particularly when there is a reward or win for the recipient or client.

About Sheri Fitts and ShoeFitts Marketing:
Sheri Fitts is a celebrated global speaker and presents keynote addresses, breakout sessions, webinars, and daylong boot camps. She engages audiences by sharing stories of her own experiences and experiments, successes and learning moments, as well as a sweeping range of marketing and social media strategy-based topics, weaving humor and sincerity into her delivery.

ShoeFitts Marketing is a Portland, Oregon-based company specializing in marketing strategy and social media development for the retirement plan industry. The company’s approach is simple: use the right tool for the right job. ShoeFitts knows how to work within the parameters of the regulated environment from decades of experience working in the financial services marketplace. The company has galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products and customized training sessions, and using progressive strategies to provide fresh opportunities for clients to establish standout roles in their industry.

Sheri Fitts Presents DCIO Marketing and Branding Strategies at Financial Research Associates’ Conference

At the Financial Research Associates’ presentation, Ms. Fitts speaks specifically to DCIO professionals about generating brand awareness in a competitive marketplace, sourcing ideas from target audiences and clients, and evolving marketing plans.

Boston, MA
January 07, 2014

Generating brand awareness using time-effective methods and active client sourcing are key highlights of the presentation by Sheri Fitts, president and founder of ShoeFitts Marketing, at the Financial Research Associates’ seventh annual “Opportunities in the DCIO Market” conference on Tuesday, January 14, at the Harvard Club in Boston.

Ms. Fitts’ expertise comes at the “Launching an Effective Marketing and Value-Add Campaign” sales and marketing spotlight session on day one of the two-day event designed exclusively for Defined Contribution Investment Only (DCIO) professionals.

“DCIO firms create so much material and resources for the retirement plan arena. My objective in this presentation is to help them understand how to extract maximum value for their time and effort,” Ms. Fitts explains.

Ms. Fitts is a renowned marketing and social media strategist and she launched ShoeFitts in 2012. She has quickly created recognition for both herself and the company and was recently named to The 100 Most Influential People in Defined Contributions survey conducted annually by 401kWire.com.

At the Financial Research Associates’ presentation, Ms. Fitts speaks specifically to DCIO professionals about generating brand awareness in a competitive marketplace, sourcing ideas from target audiences and clients, and evolving marketing plans.

“In addition to great materials, firms must focus on the ongoing change management,” Fitts notes. “How are they going to support advisors after the initial delivery of resources? It can’t be a singular visit model.”

Ms. Fitts is joined at the sales and marketing session by Brandon Shea, Managing Director/DCIO National Sales Manager at Ridgeworth Investments, and Matt Schortmann, Head of Institutional Product & Strategy at Columbia Management.

About Sheri Fitts and ShoeFitts Marketing:
Sheri Fitts is a celebrated global speaker and presents keynote addresses, breakout sessions, webinars, and daylong boot camps. She engages audiences by sharing stories of her own experiences and experiments, successes and learning moments, as well as a sweeping range of marketing and social media strategy-based topics, weaving humor and sincerity into her delivery.

ShoeFitts Marketing is a Portland, Oregon-based company specializing in marketing strategy and social media development for the retirement plan industry. The company’s approach is simple: use the right tool for the right job. ShoeFitts knows how to work within the parameters of the regulated environment from decades of experience working in the financial services marketplace. The company has galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products and customized training sessions, and using progressive strategies to provide fresh opportunities for clients to establish standout roles in their industry.

Three Easy Tips to Elevate Your LinkedIn Usage in 2014

ShoeFitts Marketing President Sheri Fitts explains how LinkedIn can improve visibility, strengthen client and competitor knowledge, and provide strategic business opportunities and connections.

Portland, OR

December 23, 2013

With the year quickly drawing to a close, now is the ideal time for retirement plan professionals to improve their LinkedIn profile and make better use of the business-oriented social media site in 2014.

“Optimally harnessed, LinkedIn can improve your visibility, strengthen your understanding of clients and competitors, and provide strategic business opportunities and connections,” explains marketing and social media strategist Sheri Fitts.

“In late December, and every time I prepare for an upcoming financial services conference or marketing strategy meeting, I take a few minutes to review my LinkedIn profile,” furthers Ms. Fitts, president of ShoeFitts Marketing.

LinkedIn profiles do not have to be lengthy to be effective. Instead, Ms. Fitts says Three Easy Tips to Elevate Your LinkedIn Usage quickly improve messaging and utilization include:

1. Optimize Your Profile

“Too often I see incomplete profiles that lack professional headlines, summaries, and business-appropriate photos,” according to Ms. Fitts. “These are such missed opportunities. Beyond the gaps, ask yourself: what is my profile communicating? If you don’t like the answer, maybe it’s time to make some changes.”

Remember, Fitts says: “LinkedIn profiles let you control a part of your digital footprint.” At a minimum profiles should feature:

  • Professional looking photo, not a poorly cropped picture from a costume party. Retailers Target and JC Penney still offer photography services, or a friend can take a photo using diffused or indirect lighting and minimal background distractions. For tips on using a phone’s camera see: How to take amazing photos with your cameraphone.
  • Vanity URL. Instead of the standard, non-specific link to a profile, professionals should create a custom URL by clicking on the pencil in Edit Profile. The URL should be unique and feature a name or a business to elevate search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Six-second elevator pitch for Your Professional Headline. Just under a profile name is a 120-character space for a quick and meaningful sentence to explain unique and valuable services.
  • Summary statement. “Make this an interesting and compelling story offering your personal insights and knowledge,” says Fitts. “People prefer doing business with someone they know and trust so write in the first person, be sincere, and don’t restate your resume!”
  • Website and email links. In the Contact Information rolodex icon below the profile photo are spots for an email address and up to three website links. This area also includes links for instant messaging and twitter, plus phone and address information.

2. Cyber Sleuthing

“Google Search is a great way to conduct research, but LinkedIn lets you glean information directly from the profiles of your key contacts, clients, and competitors,” Ms. Fitts notes. With a little LinkedIn sleuthing she says professionals can learn the following:

  • People’s interests and hobbies. Look for business, education or personal connections to ease introductions and elevate contact.
  • Marketing strategies and positioning; particularly useful with competitors.
  • Business and professional emphasis; learn what’s important to clients and potential clients.

For more LinkedIn sleuthing suggestions visit: What Did You Learn Today?

3. Build Contacts, Curate and Share

“Build LinkedIn contacts as you would your friendships,” Ms. Fitts says. Make contacts meaningful by using common sense and etiquette:

  • Send Connection requests immediately after conferences and meetings while the contact is still fresh.
  • Don’t send generic Connection invites. Delete the standard request text and replace it with a personal note.
  • Reject requests. Not all requests are good ones; if a request seems questionable, reject it or send a reply asking for more information.
  • Watch out for compliance issues with endorsements. Most retirement plan professionals cannot accept endorsements or recommendations; hide these by selecting “do not show my endorsements” when editing Skills & Expertise.

About ShoeFitts Marketing
ShoeFitts Marketing is a Portland, Oregon-based company specializing in marketing strategy and social media development for the retirement plan industry. The company’s approach is simple: use the right tool for the right job. ShoeFitts knows how to work within the parameters of the regulated environment from decades of experience working in the financial services marketplace. The company has galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products and customized training sessions, and using progressive strategies to provide fresh opportunities for clients to establish standout roles in their industry.

401kWire Names Sheri Fitts to 100 Most Influential People List

Expertise from a 20-plus-year career in defined contribution market brings ShoeFitts Marketing President Sheri Fitts accolades from retirement plan industry members.

Portland, OR

December 23, 2013

ShoeFitts Marketing President Sheri Fitts is one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Defined Contribution Industry according to the recently released annual 401kWire.com survey. “I’m extremely honored to be recognized and join such esteemed company in the defined contribution industry,” said Ms. Fitts.

ShoeFitts is a marketing and social media strategy leader that specializes in helping retirement plan advisors, third party administrators, and financial service organizations. “Our specialized focus allows ShoeFitts to hone in on industry-specific solutions for social media and digital marketing best practices within the parameters of this highly regulated marketplace,” Ms. Fitts explained.

Ms. Fitts launched ShoeFitts in 2012 and has quickly created recognition for both herself and the company. The 100 Most Influential People in Defined Contributions survey conducted annually by 401kWire.com is the most recent accolade for Ms. Fitts.

Ms. Fitts is also a celebrated global speaker and presents keynote addresses, breakout sessions, webinars, and daylong boot camps. She engages audiences by sharing stories of her own experiences and experiments, successes and learning moments, as well as a sweeping range of marketing and social media strategy-based topics, weaving humor and sincerity into her delivery.

About ShoeFitts Marketing
ShoeFitts Marketing is a Portland, Oregon-based company specializing in marketing strategy and social media development for the retirement plan industry. The company’s approach is simple: use the right tool for the right job. ShoeFitts knows how to work within the parameters of the regulated environment from decades of experience working in the financial services marketplace. The company has galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products and customized training sessions, and using progressive strategies to provide fresh opportunities for clients to establish standout roles in their industry.

Sheri Fitts Stresses Social Media Etiquette for Retirement Plan Professionals

Well-crafted social media and marketing messages need courtesy and manners to avoid common decorum errors and the wrath of Nana.

Portland, OR

October 30, 2013

Marketing and social media strategist Sheri Fitts is following in her Nana’s footsteps by stressing the value of proper correspondence etiquette and values in today’s competitive retirement plan industry.

“We live in a world of conversational messages and hashtags. A limit of 140 characters creates the demand for shorter bits and bytes,” explains Ms. Fitts. “Even so, there is no substitute for a well-crafted message.”

For Ms. Fitts, and Nana, spelling, punctuation and grammar matter, and saying ‘thank you’ is an important part of any relationship. “A note with a preposition at the end of a sentence was unacceptable 50 years ago and it is still intolerable today,” relates Ms. Fitts.

To avoid the wrath of Nana, Ms. Fitts recommends retirement plan professionals use the following tips:

  • Always spell check. If you know you’re a challenged speller, or wonder whether ‘persuasive’ has one ‘s’ or two, get help. “I love my Mozilla Firefox web browser because it points out any misspellings for me — a great little shortcut,” Ms. Fitts notes.
  • Proofread your postings before you submit them. Granted, leaving out a word or typing something incorrectly isn’t the end of the world. But to a reader, your postings can demonstrate your brilliance, or reveal your lack of care. Be part of the conversation, or be ignored. Why invest time in social media if you’re going to be ignored?
  • Remember that manners matter. If you’re reaching out to connect with someone, include a personal note in your request. The hollow and generic request on LinkedIn is just that, hollow and generic. It doesn’t provide any context, personal or otherwise, about why you’re interested in connecting.
  • Your friends are a reflection of you. If you’re ever concerned about a connection request from someone, simply decline. If they don’t know you, they aren’t likely to be offended. If you feel compelled to respond, simply reply (without accepting) and ask them to share a bit more about their request and why they think connecting would be a good idea.
  • Say ‘thank you.’ Finally, in keeping with Nana’s rules, always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ When someone sends you a connection request and you accept, quickly send a thank-you note. It helps solidify the relationship. And you can use it as an opportunity to position your business and share a bit about how you help your clients.

Read the full blog post here.

Ms. Fitts is the president of ShoeFitts Marketing, a marketing and social media strategy leader that specializes in helping retirement plan advisors, third party administrators, and financial service organizations. She launched ShoeFitts in 2012 after 20-plus years in the 401(k) industry. Both the company and its owner are quickly garnering recognition and praise throughout the retirement plan industry. Ms. Fitts was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Defined Contribution industry by the 401kWire.com annual survey.

Ms. Fitts is also a celebrated global speaker and presents keynote addresses, breakout sessions, webinars, and daylong boot camps. She engages audiences by sharing stories of her own experiences and experiments, successes and learning moments, as well as a sweeping range of marketing and social media strategy-based topics, weaving humor and sincerity into her delivery.

About ShoeFitts Marketing
ShoeFitts Marketing is a Portland, Oregon-based company specializing in marketing strategy and social media development for the retirement plan industry. The company’s approach is simple: use the right tool for the right job. ShoeFitts knows how to work within the parameters of the regulated environment from decades of experience working in the financial services marketplace. The company has galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products and customized training sessions, and using progressive strategies to provide fresh opportunities for clients to establish standout roles in their industry.

ShoeFitts Marketing Presents Social Media Series for Retirement Wholesalers

“Harnessing the Power of Social Media – for Wholesalers” is a three-part series that will give wholesalers what they need to jump into the social media world.

Portland, OR

September 11, 2013

ShoeFitts Marketing announces a webinar series designed to give retirement plan wholesalers a new way to access and interact with their advisor prospects. “Harnessing the Power of Social Media – for Wholesalers” is a three-part series that will give wholesalers what they need to jump into the social media world.

“Wholesalers know how to pick up the phone and call prospects. But today, business is done online. If you’re not using social media to connect with your prospects online, you’re missing out on an invaluable opportunity to deepen your relationships,” says Sheri Fitts, President of ShoeFitts Marketing. “Social media is an undeniably valuable and relevant marketing resource. Our series will teach you how to use it to your advantage.”

In “Harnessing the Power of Social Media – for Wholesalers,” participants will:

  • Familiarize themselves with the social media landscape, quickly, effectively and compliantly
  • Learn how to take charge of their online presence
  • Learn how to use social media for competitive intelligence
  • Get a head start on the fourth quarter selling season
  • Apply what they learn to their own business by developing a short-term social media plan to fit their specific business needs

Registration is currently open. In order to provide personal attention to each attendee, the number of participants is limited to 20. Sessions will be held on October 4, 11 and 18, from 12-1 pm EST.

Each one-hour session will cover the basics of using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other new media to find prospects, learn about them and engage them where they are – online.

The complete course is $279, and includes:

Three 45-minute, weekly presentations with significant time for Q&A, recorded for busy schedules
One individual, 30-minute strategy session with ShoeFitts Marketing
Offline assignments designed to reinforce what is learned
A short-term social media strategy to nurture leads and drive sales

“This special social media series will inform, motivate and inspire. Offering hands-on training, it is designed to help participants jump in with both feet and get the most benefit from their time and effort,” Sheri says. “Those who join us can expect to learn quickly and hit the ground running.”

To register for “Harnessing the Power of Social Media – for Wholesalers,” visit http://tinyurl.com/ShoeFitts-SocialMediaSeries.

About ShoeFitts Marketing

ShoeFitts Marketing is a Portland, OR-based leader in marketing and social media strategy that specializes in helping retirement plan advisors, third party administrators and financial service organizations. Our approach is simple: use the right tool for the right job. We know how to work within the parameters of this regulated environment from decades of experience working in the financial services marketplace. We’ve galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products and customized training sessions, and use progressive strategies to provide fresh opportunities for clients to establish standout roles in their industry.

(K)onvergence Summit Appoints ShoeFitts Marketing to Manage Social Networking

Social media to support the (K)onvergence Summit outreach efforts.

Portland, OR

June 12, 2013

Today, the (K)onvergence Summit appointed ShoeFitts Marketing manager of Social Media for the first-ever (K)onvergence Summit that will take place June 17 and 18, 2013 in New York City, NY.

The program of this first edition of the (K)onvergence Summit will consist of general sessions addressing relevant macro themes as well as breakout sessions where Retirement Plan Advisers and Analysts may hear first‐hand from investment portfolio managers. Additionally, there will be sessions for attendees to discuss best practices for asset allocation models, analytical tools, and the role of fees in the construction of retirement plan investment menus and opportunities for registered attendees to meet in small groups with select portfolio managers.

The need to help retirement plan investment advisers, analysts and others follow industry influencers through the Summit drove the search for a partner able to formulate and help implement a solid Social Networking practice. The savvy and Social Networking expertise of ShoeFitts Marketing made it very easy to forge a partnership. ShoeFitts will manage the @Konvergence Twitter profile during the event and participate actively in the LinkedIn Group already established for Summit organizers, sponsors, speakers, and attendees. To follow the unfolding of events during the Summit, individuals unable to attend are invited to follow the #konverge hashtag on Twitter.

“Social media is changing the way we interact and learn. By embracing an active social media effort as an adjunct to the Summit, (K)onvergence is able to reach many more Advisers and Analysts impacting their value to plan sponsors. We are thrilled to be a part of this unique experience.” says Sheri Fitts, President of ShoeFitts Marketing.

About the (K)onvergence Summit

The (K)onvergence Summit provides an opportunity for top retirement plan investment advisers and investment analysts to meet face‐to‐face with portfolio managers from 10 leading investment management firms and to complete due diligence on these firms simultaneously, sparing the need for multiple meetings. (K)onvergence was born of the realization that there were no industry‐wide 401(k) plan conferences for Advisers and Analysts with an exclusive focus on investment funds. Ten investment management firms sponsor (K)onvergence including

  • American Century Investments
  • Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Goldman Sachs Asset Management
  • J.P. Morgan Asset Management
  • John Hancock Mutual Funds
  • MFS Investment Management
  • OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
  • PIMCO
  • Putnam Investments
  • RidgeWorth Investments.

Detailed agenda posted at http://www.401konvergence.com. The (K)onvergence Summit is organized by EACH Enterprise, LLC.

About ShoeFitts Marketing

ShoeFitts Marketing consists of an exceptional team of marketing and social media strategy experts who specialize in helping retirement plan advisors, third party administrators, and financial service organizations. ShoeFitts Marketing knows how to work within the parameters of a regulated environment such as the retirement investing industry; gained expertise from decades of working in the financial services marketplace. In addition to its extraordinary staff, we’ve galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products, customized training sessions, and through the dynamic speaking engagements and workshops of Sheri Fitts.

Introducing Voila

Ann SchleckVoila & Co and ShoeFitts Marketing have teamed up to offer Voilá, an innovative marketing and branding program for retirement plan advisors. The first full-day workshop will kick off in Boston, MA on July 23, 2013 and is designed to provide a hands-on opportunity to improve each advisor’s brand and provide new marketing collateral focused on that brand.

Unlike most marketing workshops, Voilá moves beyond theory into immediate execution and results. Retirement plan advisors who attend this innovative day-long workshop will work with experienced retirement plan branding and marketing experts Ann Schleck of Ann Schleck & Company and Sheri Fitts of ShoeFitts Marketing to create a tangible and easy-to-implement marketing plan along with a complete set of customized marketing collateral.

During this space-limited workshop, experts will engage with leading retirement plan advisors, who will learn what makes a good brand better and how design can transform a corporate image. Building on those lessons, advisors will gain knowledge in how to transform their brands via an effective marketing plan and a related collateral system. Leveraging that plan and collateral through social media techniques discussed during the workshop will amplify the power of the retirement plan advisor’s brand, resulting in increased awareness of each advisor’s distinctive value proposition, leading more powerful engagement with prospects and an opportunity to increase retirement plan sales.

The marketing collateral includes professionally written and designed full-color brochure, customized personal and team bio and introduction sheets and branded presentation deck.

Registration for Voilá is limited to qualified retirement plan advisors and is open through June 10th. The cost is $1,500. To learn more about attending contact Sue Kelley, sue@annschleck.com or 651.236.8280.

VIEW INVITATION–>

ShoeFitts Marketing Recommends Cybersleuthing for Advisors Sales and Fact-finding Efforts

The online world allows many opportunities to discover more about prospective clients, competitors and industry trends. Rather than a broadcasting-only approach to social media, financial advisors should create a listening channel to raise awareness and build connections.

Portland, OR

June 03, 2013

All too often, social media is viewed as a one-way street – an opportunity for financial advisers to push their marketing messages to their audiences. By actively employing social media channels to cyber sleuth – research consumer trends, investigate competitors and actively engage with clients and prospects – social media channels become a two-way highway by which advisers can leverage social media as a brand differentiator, according to Sheri Fitts, founder of ShoeFitts Marketing.

Employing social media in this way requires intentional time and effort. “Remember that social media is a two-way conversation,” Fitts says. “Just as your teachers said, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should be listening twice as much as broadcasting.”

Advisors would be well served to follow the example of major Fortune 500 brands, which expend vast resources to safeguard their brands, on a smaller scale. Fitts recommends that advisers check out several online resources that can help them listen more effectively to their clients, prospects, stakeholders and others. Google Alerts is one of the best ways to stay on top of news in a specific location, client activities, prospects, competitors and your own firm. Newsle is a service that will help you track when your contacts – including clients, prospective clients, referral sources, members of the media and others – are mentioned in newsletters, articles and white papers.

For the social networking minded, there are a number of targeted tools you can use to keep up with what your contacts are doing. Twilert is a Google Alerts version geared to Twitter, while LinkedIn Signal will allow you to search the updates of everyone in your network using specific phrases or words. Both Facebook and Twitter have settings that provide a simple way to be notified if someone mentions your name; access these through your setting on mobile devices and e-mail.

About ShoeFitts Marketing

ShoeFitts Marketing is Portland, OR-Based leader in marketing and social media strategy that specializes in helping retirement plan advisers , third party administrators, and financial service organizations. Our approach is simple: use the right tool for the right job. We know how to work within the parameters of this regulated environment from decades of experience working in the financial services marketplace. We’ve galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products and customized training sessions, and use progressive strategies to provide fresh opportunities for clients to establish standout roles in their industry.

Cybersleuthing for Sales Success

Over past few months, I’ve been hit with identity fraud issues through my bank account. Several weeks ago, I headed to the bank branch where my account was originally established. Within 24 hours, they had ironed out 75% of my issues—and had my balance resolved by Friday afternoon. They took a horrible experience and, through their actions, created a more loyal customer.

While I plan to bring cookies to the banking team that went above and beyond, I needed to do something more immediate to express my appreciation. So, I took it to Twitter. At 4:16 p.m. I wrote:

 

At 4: 45 p.m. I received this Tweet:

How did @AskUSBank know about my Tweet? Why does a huge national firm even care what I Tweet? How were they able to respond so quickly? They were listening.

At ShoeFitts, we work with advisors and advisory firms to establish effective profiles, social media strategies, and listening channels. (love this.)

Cybersleuthing for Sales Success

Many folks view social media as a one-way communication vehicle—a broadcast and marketing medium meant to sell products, share news, and post opinions and ideas. They miss out on the opportunities to research consumer trends, investigate competitors, and actively engage with clients and prospects through listening. So many thoughts, opinions, and dialogue are transmitted through social media channels. If you’re not being a cyber sleuth, you’re leaving one of the most valuable pieces of social networking uncovered.

A recent Forbes article, “Who is Your Chief Listening Officer?,” points out some firms that are using social media listening as a brand differentiator. Though these initiatives tend to source from multi-national brands with vast resources in place to safeguard their brands and brand experiences, they still provide a valuable model for advisors. Paying attention to the two-way communication in the social media space provides valuable information and feedback; it’s worth dedicating time to this effort.

Set Up Your Listening Channel

To develop a listening channel, here are a few tools to get you started: (I suggest you create a separate email address (ex: listen@sherifitts.com) to help you sort through all of the email updates you will receive.)

• Use Google Alerts to stay on top of news in your area, specific clients’ activities, and prospect news. Track your name, as well as the name of your firm and the names of your competitors.
Newsle is a service that helps you track when your contacts are mentioned in newsletters, articles, white papers, etc.
Twilert is a Google Alerts version geared for Twitter.
LinkedIn Signal allows you to search the updates of everyone in your network using specific phrases or words.
Mention, currently in beta mode, claims to be a be-all and end-all in monitoring personal and professional brands, offering a Google-like alert for most every online space.
• I am experimenting with IFTTT (If This Than That) as a way to create automated filters and notifications. This is an extremely powerful tool that requires additional digging.
• Social profile settings provide a simple way for you to be notified when someone Tweets your name. Check the setting area under mobile and email. Facebook has a similar function.

Take a step; embrace listening.

Remember that social media is a two-way conversation. Just as your teachers said, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should be listening twice as much as broadcasting.

______________________________________________

In our upcoming Social Media Boot Camp we’ll spend one complete session focusing on cybersleuthing and listening. More information on our site.