Brokers beware 'shiny object syndrome'

by Adam Smith21 Mar 2012

A business specialist has warned brokers must master the basics before trying to dive into social media.

MFAA research has indicated fewer than 30% of brokers are utilising social media, and FrontRunner Consulting Group founder Doug Mathlin has claimed brokers who don’t engage with social media may find themselves out of business. But consultant James Veigli of Orange Advantage has admonished brokers to get the basics down before launching into more advanced marketing.

“Sure, less than 30% of brokers are using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn in their business, but the bigger problem is that a much higher percentage of brokers don't even have an adequate and effective client retention strategy in place. It's dangerous to promote that brokers should be getting on Facebook and other social networking sites when most aren't even using the basics to full effect.  The ‘latest shiny object’ syndrome can be a disaster for business owners,” he said.
Veigli conceded that social media could be an important tool, but said it only worked when brokers understood how to properly market themselves.

“I agree that brokers who embrace social media will be able to better engage with their audience, prospects and clients, but just because more people are on Facebook than watching TV, doesn't mean a broker will be able to generate new business from this medium without following advanced marketing strategies,” he said.

And for brokers who were unfamiliar with the use of social media, Veigli said starting a social media marketing campaign only to abandon it could do more harm than good.

“Starting a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business, then not updating it for weeks or months also doesn't reflect well on your brand,” Veigli said.

Veigli urged brokers to work on marketing fundamentals before trying their hand at outlets like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

“Essentially, business owners and brokers love to jump on the latest technology or fad, before they've mastered the basics.  If you're a broker and you don't have a solid, proven marketing and client retention program designed to consistently generate new leads, maximise conversions and referrals and ensure repeat business - including the use of email communications, direct mail marketing, phone and mobile communications - then forget the shiny social media object for now. Get the basics right and then move in to take advantage of social media,” he said.

Related stories:

TV: Brokers 'anti-social' networking

Brokers must wield social media sword

Systematic approach yields social media success


  • by ozboy 21/03/2012 9:27:47 AM

    Some very good advice in that article. Need more like this.

  • by PeterT 21/03/2012 11:23:12 AM

    I attended a social media workshop yesterday. It turns out that I'm already engaging a lot of clients very successfully in this space, just not on the regular platforms of Facebook, Twitter, etc. Obviously I've got room to expand here.
    In the space where I do operate, I've seen a lot of brokers come and go. Even many of the ones who persist aren't particularly successful, likely because they they don't understand how to utlise it properly. Sitting through the seminar yesterday it was very apparent that some of the attendees had almost no understanding of how social media even works.
    Social media is a powerful tool, but it does need to be utlised properly to be effective. It can also backfire massively if not managed well.