ebroking 2012: Brokers must use internet to their advantage

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Brokers need to be more mindful of how they are using the internet to promote their business, according to Craig Freeman, digital account manager at Brand Formula.

Mr Freeman told delegates during his closing speech at the 2012 ebroking event that they should ensure everything they put on their firms’ websites should add value. He warned: “Otherwise people will not engage.”

He advised his audience to regularly update websites with fresh information, such as on a blog, and pointed out: “Most of you will already be producing some sort of content already that can easily be added to a website.”

Mr Freeman added that using the internet strategically can make a huge difference to a business, and said: “The benefits are clear.”

He advised: “Brokers need to look at analytics to understand how people are using their website.

“And what you can then tell from analytics is what content is of real interest to users – the key to success is in that content.”

And once brokers have established which content will best serve to help grow awareness of their business, they need to distribute it.

“The way to do that is to use social media,” said Mr Freeman. “It’s very easy to do, and it doesn’t take a lot of time."

LinkedIn
Mr Freeman advocated maintaining a presence on a few social media platforms, especially LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn is a great way to keep track of people you have done business with in the past, to keep abreast of what’s being discussed and what your competitors are doing,” he stated.

He went on to claim that firms could “punch above their weight” on the social network, because it is possible to represent a company in a way that makes it look bigger than it really is.

While Twitter is not as corporate as LinkedIn, Mr Freeman said, it is still a useful digital tool: “You can dig under the other stuff and find the niche you want to talk about and the people you want to talk to.”

He gave an example of how using the platform to converse with consumers could be used to a firm’s advantage: “Developing products and using customer feedback during the development process is a great idea," he continued.

Finally, Mr Freeman issued a warning to the listening delegates: “The key element is that we have all seen digital make a difference across the globe, in everything we do.

“Around 21% of economic growth is due to the internet – you need to understand it at least on a basic level so you don’t get left behind.”

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