Infographic: The Growth of Social Media in 2014 for Financial and Insurance Advisors


As social media continues to grow, the idea that social media is just a trend or fad is no longer viable as more and more demographics, and more and more industries are moving towards using it on a daily basis. Businesses are increasingly looking to social media to spread their message, make sales and collect prospects information. It has quickly become a part of businesses communication plans.  More baby boomers, seniors, executives and affluent consumers are using social media then ever, and they are engaged, sharing and looking for information. In fact, 70% of millionaires have profiles on one or more platforms.

With a business that is fuelled by networking, Financial and Insurance Advisors are increasingly integrating social media as a core element of their marketing efforts.   It has moved from early adoption to mainstream, for prospecting strategies, in the industry.  Facing a competitive disadvantage by being left behind by early adopters, Advisors are becoming inclined to improve their understanding of how to best implement social networks in their business.

Below is an excellent Infographic for Financial and Insurance Advisors, from Search Engine Journal, that provides a visual of social media statistics, and growth.  The Infographic includes data indicating that 72% of all Internet Users are also social media users.

Social Media Growth 2014

The FInancial and Insurance Advisor's Guide to Blogging

Social Media Considerations for Advisors: Google+


In this series of articles, we will look into the most popular social media platforms and provide some key considerations as it pertains to Financial and Insurance Advisors.  This article will focus on Google+.

Launched in June 2011, Google+ is a social networking site that is owned and operated by Google Inc. With more than 540 million users, Google+ sees its number of users increase daily. Curiously enough, Google+ seems to be one of the most frequently neglected by Advisors. If you are unfamiliar with Google+ and its background and features, get to know Google+ by checking out this article before reading on.

So, how does Google+ relate to Financial and Insurance Advisors? Let’s look into some key considerations to take into account when you’re deciding whether to embrace Google+ as part of your social media strategy.

Demographics of Google+:

  • 369 million active users
  • 67% males
  • 25-34 are the most active demographic on Google+
  • Tends to be used by professionals
  • Users tend to work in the engineering, software and design industries

The Concept of Circles

Google+ allows you to post videos, links, pictures and text content, however, introduces the new concept of Circles. Google+ connections are placed into circles, which are similar to mailing lists. For Advisors, one of the most significant benefits is the ability to segment audiences into these circles. Google+ allows you to break up your audience into circles so that content can be targeted toward those who would be interested in it. For example, Advisors could create a circle for current clients, and a circle for prospective clients. Circles make content sharing among like-minded people and organizations easy.  This means you can use circles to closely target your messaging.


Google+ allows you to create, or participate in, focused groups called ”communities”, of both individuals and companies who share a particular interest. Joining these communities could be an excellent way to raise awareness for your business and help to nurture relationships in the industry. You can also create communities to help in knowledge sharing, or based on shared interests.

Search Engine Optimization

It is important to remember that Google+ is Google, the largest search engine in the world. Search Engine Optimization is all about getting your website found by prospects, and Google owns 75% of the market share when it comes to search. Although Google+ is a social networking website, it also integrates with the entire Google network and is said to carry significant weight in terms of Search Engine Optimization and organic search visibility.

As Hubspot points out, Google is eager to provide plenty of incentives for people to actively use Google+, and has tied the platform very closely to all of its Google Search features.  Google rewards its own users in their search engine. Bottom line, Google+ can help to increase your business’ visibility in Google’s organic search results; therefore increasing the likelihood of potential customers finding you.


Google+Local is an important part of Google+ and focuses specifically on businesses and their locations. These pages are similar to Facebook business pages, but include many more features geared to help businesses connect with local prospects on a social level.  Google+Local pages are indexed in Google’s searches. Using this feature will not only improve your business’ SEO, but will increase online visibility by providing prospects with a link to your website, contact information, services offered, travel directions, customer reviews and recent Google+ posts.

Content Sharing

Google+ is ideal for content sharing not only because of the Circles feature, but also in terms of SEO. Google+ posts are crawled and indexed almost immediately. Google Search treats Google+ pages just like regular websites, so they have PageRank and can be just as powerful as other websites in terms of search engine ranking. You should start noticing your content showing up more in Google searches when you share it on Google+. Google+ content can rank in search results in instances where your website may not.

Google+ can be a powerful platform to help enhance your company’s visibility on the web. It has quickly pocketed the title as the second largest social media network and continues to gain momentum.  The belief by many is that Google will continue to place increasing SEO weight on Google+ making it important to consider when developing your social media and content marketing strategy.


Has your business fully taken on Google+? What Google+ features do you find most beneficial for your business? Share your comments below.

The Top 4 ‘In-Browser’ Front End Development Tools of 2015


It wasn’t that long ago that we depended solely on photoshop as a means to design the visual look of a website. That of course meant that someone (usually someone else) was tasked with the job of coding it. This usually lead to more than a few headaches along the way as the designer tries to visually describe and detail exactly how the webpages should come together, look, animate, etc. The developer was then obliged to describe and detail how none of that was either possible, useful or likely to happen.

It’s not always quite so dramatic, but as you can see, it can lead to some problems.

In the past 2 or so years, a few tools have come together to bring the two worlds together. Why not create an application that sort functions like Adobe Photoshop but instead of creating an image that looks like a website, it is actually building a ‘real’ website?

Let’s take a look at some of the leading applications in the field:

1. Froont


Froont was the first version I had a chance to try.  I have had the opportunity to chat a few times with one of the developers, Sandijs Ruluks. The app is everything one could hope for. I still have some issues moving content around as easily as I’d like, but that is likely due to the fact that I haven’t learned the app well enough yet. Aside from a few simple issues like that, Froont is a fantastic application.

 2. Webflow


Webflow is probably the biggest player on the block for in-browser web development. It is sophisticated, detailed, and can be a bit of a steep learning curve for some. It is also pricey. I’ve had some success with using this app, but frankly, the price is a bit too steep for me to use it as much as I’d like to. All that aside, it is the tool of choice for someone with the pockets to choose the best. I would consider this application as the Photoshop of the pack.

3. Stackhive


Stackhive started its existence as ‘dockPHP’….”lets code websites visually”. A very noble idea.  This is exactly what we’re talking about here today.

However, it seems somewhere along the way, they decided to re-brand as Stackhive. Along with their re-branding, it appears that they decided to pivot exactly what their app would look like. Some argue that they pivoted a little too close to Webflow.

I, however, am not going to enter this debate. I will, however, say that I find Stackhive to be every bit as sophisticated and detailed as Webflow is and in some ways, a bit easier to work with. It is also much more accessible for the pocketbook. The regular account has cost me nothing so far, and I can already do a few more things with it than I can with the free account on Webflow. All of the power of Webflow, some extra tools and gimmicks but for less money, makes me a happy camper.

I’ve noticed one or two bugs with Stackhive, but with any luck, they’ll sort that out.  The main bug being that you can download a zip of the project that you’re currently working on but unfortunately the zip comes up with errors, making it useless.

4. Generator


Generator is quite possibly the easiest to use, and the simplest version of these apps. It is also one of my favourites. It allows you to quickly put together a simple page by dragging and dropping simple template pieces. Once the page is complete, you can simply output the the html/css code and save it. The beauty of this for me, is that I can use it to quickly throw the basics of a page together in a few minutes, then spit out the html/css to then go further and tweak and expand upon the page. It’s a really fantastic way to get a project started quickly.