For many financial advisors, the thought of diving into social media for their business is frightening. The most common objections are “I don’t have the time” and “I have no idea where to start and how to use social media,” however those reasons alone should deter you from using social media for your business. If done right, it can be a powerful tool to build rapport and relationships with existing clients as well as prospects. Keep in mind this is a long-term strategy, so don’t look at this a quick-fix for your marketing and lead generation ailments.
For those bold enough to use social media, they quickly understand that you can’t be all things to all people. In addition, you can’t be everywhere all of the time. My recommendation is to start small, build a foundation (choose 1 or 2 platforms) on platforms with the highest density of your clients and ideal prospects. To help you get started, here are 10 quick tips to maximize each platform.
LinkedIn – the social media gateway drug for the financial services industry (most widely used platform for financial advisors)
- Tip 1: Optimize your profile
By this I mean complete all of the components, including a picture (and not one that is 10 years old), and used key words in your profile to explain how you can help your target audience (makes you more searchable)
- Tip 2: Join Groups and Interact
The key here is to join groups with like-minded individuals (industry professionals), but also join groups that have your potential audience (i.e. small business owners in Phoenix), then begin to ask questions, respond to postings, and start building rapport
- Tip 3: Create a Company Page
If this is where your clients are on a regular basis, shouldn’t you be here as well? In addition, it will create another record of your company and enable you to connect with your clients/prospects and build relationships. The key to Company Page success is to give them a reason to come back. One time visits won’t help your efforts.
- Tip 4: Build the Experience
Facebook is a great way to show the lighter side of your business. For those doing client events, share pictures of your events on Facebook and connect with your clients and prospects. It’s ok to show the light-hearted and quirky side of you and your staff (in moderation of course)
- Tip 5: Start Following Lists, News Outlets & Industry Organizations
There is a wealth of companies (@Actiance, @MorningstarInc, @RegEd, @CTCapp etc…), news outlets (@WSJ, @BW, @finplan, @Marketwatch, @WealthChannel), and experts (@BillWinterberg, @MichaelKitces, @rpseawright, @BehaviorGap, etc…) to follow and learn from on Twitter.
- Tip 6: Listen and Learn
Most people when they think of Twitter think about the noise and distractions. In reality, people are sharing more than what they had for lunch. Breaking news happens every day on Twitter. Leverage this tool as a listening tool to learn and stay current on industry trends. I get my news first from Twitter (not Facebook, LinkedIn, or even the TV)
YouTube – Great for building a diversified content strategy (more than just text and pictures). Video shows the real you!
- Create a Channel to Show Your Personality
Video can bring out the personality in everyone if done right. Unlike other content mediums, video allows you to showcase your personality. It is also one of the most engaging forms of content to receive.
- Compliance is Key: Have Scripts reviewed before you shoot the video
Nothing could be worse that taking the time to create a video, only to find out that your compliance department won’t approve it. Have them review the scripts in advance and stick to the script during production.
- Tip 9: Build a Personal Page to Maximize Google Author Rank (Essential for Bloggers)
For no other reason than claiming authorship for your work in Google Searches, you should have an account and set up the authorship links in your profile to claim your work (“Contributor To” in account profile)
- Tip 10: Build a Company Page
By creating a company page, you also create another record of your company (name, website, logo, etc…) in the search results besides your standard website. This simply makes it slightly easier for Google to identify your company in a search because there will be multiple records for your company.