The way that financial advisors interact with their clients has changed, with more than 90% of advisors using social media marketing to make up for the word-of-mouth promotion that the financial industry had been traditionally relying on.

Many advisors have found new clients through social networking, and most believe that these opportunities will continue in the future.

It is no longer an option to have a strong social media presence, but it is necessary in order to get new clients and maintain existing customer relationships.

Tips to Leverage Social Media for Financial Advisors

The financial industry has a set of rules and regulations designed to protect businesses and consumers from harm. This means that financial service providers must have policies in place that tell their employees what they are allowed to do when using social media.

Although it may be difficult, it is possible to use social media in a way that follows the rules.

1. Check Your Company’s Social Media Policy

Your firm’s social media policy and risk management programs will be defined for its advisors. If you have a clear social media policy, you will be compliant with every post.

You will be able to tell if the content they are posting is in line with the company’s social media policy and request help if necessary.

Since social media is connected with security risks, your company’s policy should address how to deal with these risks. There should be regulations about how often passwords need to be changed and software updated.

Before you start planning your social media marketing strategy, make sure you know your company’s rules and regulations regarding social media.

2. Define Your Niche

If you want to make your content creation process easier, you should narrow your niche to specific types of topics. That way, you’ll know exactly what you should be writing about. This is a tactic that many marketers advise and many successful financial advisors have followed.

For example, Tyrone Ross Jr. started tweeting about bitcoin when he was the CEO of Onramp Invest. He now has over 19,000 followers on Twitter. He found his area of interest and pursued it, gradually expanding into podcasts and then extending his focus to adversity in the financial sector.

Your areas of expertise may be focused on tech founders, business owners, multi-generational transfer of wealth— issues you can speak on at length. Start the conversation today.

If you are struggling to come up with ideas, look at what has already been published and try to identify a niche that you could fill. You can keep up with the news by using social listening and marketing automation.

3. Create Your Personal Brand

Tesla is synonymous with the image of Elon Musk. Your perception of Creative Planning will be affected by what you know about Peter Mallouk. The way a company is perceived by the public is influenced by the personalities of the people who represent it. The following examples show how this can be the case.

A personal brand will help you to remain consistent in your communication with others. Having an intention and matching it with everything you say creates coherence in your message. If you remain focused, you will develop your skills and knowledge and instill trust in those who you work with.

4. Choose a Social Media Platform

Try to find out where your potential audience is spending their time and go there. Each social media platform has unique features that can create certain advantages and disadvantages. Facebook may feel too personal for some people because people post photos of their kids on a beach.

Twitter may feel too restrictive with its character limits. Although Instagram is mostly used for sharing photos and videos, the type of content your audience wants to see may not be appropriate for this platform. LinkedIn is not the primary social platform for many financial advisors even though it may be where your target audience prefers to engage.

Before you dedicate your time and resources to a particular channel, spend some time testing which channel your target audience is most active on.

One aspect of social media is that how you present yourself is important. Twitter is an exception when it comes to social media platforms, but even it requires a well-edited profile photo.

If your company does not have a requirement for a corporate photo, consider creating one to show your professionalism. The way you present yourself at meetings should be reflected in your social media profile.

Images are simpler for the human brain to process than text, according to studies. Rather than stating something in a caption, consider how you can depict yourself doing it.

5. Build Your Network

You can start building your social media network by inviting people you know to follow you. It’s important for LinkedIn to have this strategy in place because you can only see up to 3rd-degree connections.

In order for people to pay attention to you on other channels, you need to have a certain number of followers already.

After connecting with your colleagues, search your network based on chosen criteria. This can be people who are high up in a company, or who have just changed to a new company. Most platforms allow you to filter by geography and occupation.

Invite your potential clients personally and tell them how you can help them specifically. Valuable content that helps your audience solve their problems is the key to a successful presentation.

Make sure you get approval from compliance before sharing anything with your company.

6. Join the Conversation

Join existing conversations where you can provide your expertise. The key to creating successful posts is to focus on writing content that is both valuable and interesting to your readers. If you can keep your readers engaged, they will be more likely to return to your site in the future. It is more important to post high quality content rather than post frequently. Depending on how much time you have available, set a schedule for yourself that will allow you to have enough time to research, write, and publish your work on a regular basis.

Social media is about communication. Be sure to keep an eye on your timeline and connect with other accounts. If you see someone celebrating a special event, send them your congratulations. Hashtags can be very useful in online communities for organizing content and keeping track of what is going on.

Hashtags are keywords that make content searchable. If you want people who are interested in a certain topic to see your posts, you can improve your visibility by adding niche-specific hashtags to your caption. The debate about how many hashtags is best for each social media channel is ongoing, but it’s generally recommended to avoid using only the most popular ones, as your post is likely to get lost among all the others.

7. Know Who You’re Targeting

With social media, you can potentially reach millions of people. However, the real magic of social media comes when you determine, in advance, the audience to whom you wish to market yourself.

Both Facebook and LinkedIn have thousands of groups. These are places where people who share a common interest get together. If these people are in your target market, you need to hang out where they hang out.

Plus, social media platforms typically offer hyper-targeted ads that can be delivered to the exact type of person you want to reach. For example, someone I know sells coloring books for adults.

He found out that the ideal customer for his product was a 34-year-old woman who likes meditation AND yoga.

Because of social media, he can do something called “layered targeting” (where he only targets people who like both meditation and yoga) and develop an incredibly focused marketing strategy.

You want to narrow your focus when advertising because the wider you cast your net, the less likely you are to get high engagement rates. If you don’t get high engagement rates, the more you will pay for your ads.

8. Engage with Others and Respond to Prospects’ Queries

Social media is never really “off”, so if you’re only logging in once a month, you’re missing out. If you’re continually sharing engaging content on social media, you have to keep track of responses and feedback given by other social media users.

If you’re doing social media “right”, then it will lend itself directly to real relationship building. I don’t necessarily mean posting every meal on Instagram or Snapchatting your every waking moment.

What I mean is giving the world an update on how your business is doing – have you had any recent successes, challenges, setbacks, or awards?

Plus, a strong social media presence plays a big role in building brand loyalty. A report published by Texas Tech University found that brands who are active on social media have more loyal customers, probably because they are constantly interacting and engaging.

9. Leverage any Charitable Functions, Events or Press

If you are sponsoring a charity fundraiser, attending a major trade show, or volunteering your time at a charitable organization, post it on social media! Depending on the time and context, you could even be picked up by news outlets.

In my own life, I support Donors Choose because it allows me to give directly to classrooms across America. I talk about Donors Choose on social media and how proud I am of the work we do over at The Advisor Coach.

These types of posts almost always get above-average engagement. However, please refrain from getting involved with charities simply to get exposure.

People can tell when you aren’t being genuine. In my case, I truly believe that supplying low-income classrooms with materials and resources is the right thing to do and people can see my passion. 

If you are picked up by a news outlet (assuming it’s for something positive), spread it all over social media. This is called “newsjacking”, and it helps to shine the spotlight in your direction.

10. Learn About your Prospects, Clients, and Competitors

Social media lets you peek into other people’s lives. Whether it’s that girl snapping a picture of her fancy Starbucks drink or that neighbor of yours with the Mercedes S-Class (you can’t quite figure out what he does for a living…), all these networks give us a glimpse of what people value and what’s going on.

When you learn more about your prospects and clients, you have some talking points for when you meet with them. Plus, it allows you to stay in front of them during the times that they aren’t on the phone with you or in your office.

In the same way that financial advisors can learn about their prospects and clients, they can also learn about their competition.

Is one of your competitors doing well on social media? Does it seem like his or her posts get tons of engagement, while yours are ice-cold? When that happens, you should take a moment to analyze what they’re doing that you aren’t.

Once you learn which types of content work well for your audience, you can leverage that information outside of social media into your website, direct mail pieces, email marketing, and more.

Because if someone resonates with your niche on one channel, it’ll likely resonate across others as well. 

Take a look at what they post, who they follow, who follows them, and their most popular posts. This will help you understand what’s working for your competition and why they’re successful with their social media. 

11. Use it for Content Distribution

The real power behind social media is the ability to scale. If you have a piece of relevant content, you can get in front of thousands of people, quickly.

Imagine writing an article about planning for retirement in your fifties and targeting that piece of content, via Facebook ads, exclusively to people in their fifties.

Or if you already have some followers, fans, or connections, you can share that piece of content with them. Never before has this been possible.

LinkedIn is especially cool because it has Pulse. If you’re not familiar, Pulse is a publishing platform on LinkedIn that allows people to self-publish their own content.

It’s what you see by your status update that says, “publish a post”. Pulse stands out in social media because it allows people to showcase their expertise to interested audiences.

One of the most effective things financial advisors are doing right now is sending people from social media to their email opt-in page.

This works well because it gets people away from “rented land” (after all, you don’t control social media) to “owned land” (because you DO control your email list). 

Using social media for content distribution is especially powerful because it gets your prospects to consume your message in multiple places.

Continuing with the email example, your prospects may get an email from you in the morning, as well as see you every night when they log in to their social accounts. This works wonders for building familiarity in your market. 

This is also great for overcoming skepticism. Because a prospect may initially interact with you on social media but avoid reaching out to you directly because of skepticism.

However, once that prospect views your website, joins your email list, etc. then he/she is more likely to accept you as legitimate. 

About the Author Brian Richards

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