Editor’s Note: One of the secrets of social media (well, we believe it is obvious but underleveraged) is you really don’t have to be everywhere at once. Instead, you choose where it makes sense for you to stake your claim and be consistently active. If you believe that it’s LinkedIn, then this checklist is for you. Ms. Schlapia reminds us that not only is our target market of investors using LinkedIn, but in order to separate yourself from the surface noise, you have to be disciplined. We believe a great profile is only the starting point…
Nearly every day, there are more studies and articles about the importance of a social media presence for financial advisors. All of the statistics point to the fact that clients and prospective clients alike are conducting research online. And, they are looking for YOU!
Advisors will often present us with skeptical questions – “How can social media really help grow my business?” Take a look at the results from a study performed by Cogent Research and LinkedIn:
- More than 90% of high-net-worth investors use social media
- The average age of the HNW investor/social media user is 56.8 years
- 5 million investors with $100K+ assets use social media to research their financial decisions
- 46% of investors using social media do not have a financial advisor
- Brand perception is improved with active use of social media
- 52% of investors would interact with their financial advisor via social media if given the opportunity
The study clearly shows that financial advisors have an opportunity to connect with high-net-worth investors and increase their brand awareness. Presented with the adoption rates of clients and prospective clients utilizing social media, advisors must change their social perception by viewing challenges as opportunities for growth.
You have to first understand that your clients are already using social media to research, network, and connect. Connecting with clients and prospects through social platforms is pro-active, non-intrusive, and a natural extension to your existing relationship. In addition, you will strengthen your relationship by providing services, timely updates, and relevant content to your social circle.
It’s vital to get your social media presence started if you haven’t done so already. Avoid feeling overwhelmed and stick to a quick daily routine. Here’s a checklist to keep you on task, maintain your presence, and prevent connections from losing interest in you.
LinkedIn Checklist for Financial Advisors in 10 Minutes a Day
Update Your Status: Provide updates to stay top of mind with your connections. Don’t be pushy with sales pitches. Provide industry updates and relevant news about your firm.
Respond to Messages: Check your LinkedIn inbox just as you do email. Be professional and timely in your responses and make sure your replies are meaningful.
Share Content: Share links to articles or videos to educate, inform, and empower your connections.
Invite Others to Connect: Invite people you have met to connect with you. Personalize your invitation with a brief message mentioning how you met or reflect on a discussion you had. Avoid using the canned default message for invitations.
Engage: Scan posts made by your connections. If you see something you like, let them know. You don’t need to make a comment every time; give a “like” to their update. Doing so will show you are interested in what others have to say.
See Who Your Connections Are Connecting With: This is a great opportunity to search for potential clients, centers of influence, or other people you want to connect with. Ask your connection to introduce you.
Take Action: LinkedIn provides a great feature that allows you to see when your connections are promoted, leave a company, or were mentioned in the news. Congratulate them on their success and take it a step further by sending a handwritten note. Human interaction still remains valuable.
Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, professional, and engaging. In time, your social reach will expand and you will have built influence and credibility for your firm.