Today, a strong social media presence is a must-have for financial advisors. If you’re not committing much effort to your activity on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, or if you’ve tried and aren’t getting much engagement or gaining followers, here are some tips that may help you raise your social media game.
- Find your own voice. You may envy another advisor or industry figure who regularly posts clever content to a large following and feel daunted about matching their example. But you don’t have to copy anyone else to be successful. Your own personality and style will be what resonates with your followers and connections. Share your take on matters that you think are important to clients and prospects. Don’t resist getting personal, either. While your experience as an investment professional will always be the main draw, sharing tidbits about your family life or personal interests could get surprisingly high levels of engagement.
- Identify your niche. You may be tempted to cast a wide net into your local pond, but a targeted approach is likely to be more effective. If a number of your clients are self-employed, for example, do some research to find all the issues that are top of mind for them, if you don’t already know, and publish content that addresses those matters.
- Use a variety of media. People consume media differently. Readers like to peruse blogs, others prefer to watch videos, while some might have time only to listen to podcasts while they’re driving or taking walks. Use the full array of media, and if your talents excel with any one of them, use it heavily but leverage that content across other formats as well. The transcript of a clever video could be a blog, for example.
- Join a larger conversation. To get attention, always participate when you can in a large conversation. Take advantage of hashtags and, when appropriate, make direct addresses to other people using “@” before their name or handle. Talking about college savings on May 29 (5/29) or charitable donations and estate planning on National Giving Day (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving) can help you join a bigger conversation. You’ll find a calendar of all the national days throughout the year here.
- Focus on building relationships. Social media shouldn’t be handled like advertising. To attract followers and broaden your connections, promoting products and services can’t be the first priority. You’ll want to engage people by focusing on topics they care about, making clear your goal is to help and offer informed insights.
- Remember that it’s a community. Posting social media isn’t like giving a speech. They are interactive forums, so invite people to comment on and share your posts. Share and comment on other posts to show you’re engaged and interested with others and not simply standing on a soapbox, shouting your own message. When people want to say good things about you, remember that the new rules permitting testimonials will now allow clients, under certain specific circumstances, to sing your praises on your social media channels. Contact your compliance department for guidance on limitations.
- Post regularly and appropriately for each platform. Followers will engage with you as they see that you can be counted on to deliver informative, insightful or entertaining content on a regular basis. Consider posting on a set schedule and develop an editorial calendar so you can plan and be ready to keep generating a steady stream of content. Polls, infographics, and shared content can help you fill the gaps when you don’t have time to write a blog or video script. Also, remember that different platforms have different purposes. Post engaging videos and pictures on Instagram, tell personal stories about yourself, or people at your firm on Facebook, connect with colleagues and post professional content on LinkedIn, and deliver short, insightful takes on trending topics and financial planning issues on Twitter.
You’ll discover what works best for you
There isn’t a prescribed course of action for every advisor to follow. By exercising patience at the beginning and trying out different approaches, you will likely discover a style for posting that best suits you and resonates most with your clients and the prospects you’re targeting.
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