Updated Thursday, April 24, 2014 as of 6:04 AM ET
Blogs - The New Generation's Practice
Facebook Ads: 2 Lessons for Financial Advisors
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
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If you read my first blog post about setting up my RIA, you’ll know that one of the first things I did was set up a company Facebook page. This allows people on Facebook to get Finance for Teachers blog posts and videos in their Facebook newsfeed, allowing me to reach potential prospects “where they are” -- they don’t have to find my content on their own.

As well as setting up a page, I also rolled out a simple ad. Or so I thought -- as it turns out, I actually launched four by mistake. I wasn’t too concerned, though, since I had set a total ad budget of just $200 for a one-month campaign.

Facebook ad campaigns offer users a lot of data -- you can check your stats to find out how many people have seen your ad, how many people clicked on the ad (or “liked” the destination page, in my case), and what that those numbers cost you.

But I learned two things from this process -- and those gave me some ideas about what to change going forward.

1. DEFINE YOUR TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC

Initially I wasn’t sure who would “like” my page, or if anyone would at all. After one month, though, I have had 90 people click on the ad and “like” the page. So far, so good.

I failed to define my ad targets specifically enough, however. The original criteria that I used was that someone had to be above 22, in the U.S. and not already connected to Finance for Teachers. That turned out to be 122,00,000 people.

For future ads, I will narrow down these criteria dramatically, trying to get the ad in front of educators. It has been good to get the exposure so far, but random likes lead to another problem.

2. FOCUS ON ENGAGEMENT

When you have a Facebook page for your firm, you can see who has liked your posts. As an admin on a business page, you can also see how far that like has reached, and see page view fluctuations on your posts.

That’s illuminated a downside: By having random people like the page, I’ve ended up with minimal engagement. I’m hoping that will change in the future.

Facebook is just one of many things I’m implementing to get brand exposure. We’ll see what impact it has.

Dave Grant, CFP, a Financial Planning columnist, is the founder of Cary, Ill.-based planning firm Finance for Teachers. He’s also the founder of Fee Only Consulting, which focuses on developing the skills of Gen Y planners. In addition, he’s the founder of NAPFA Genesis, a networking group for young, fee-only planners.

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