Whether or not financial advisors should have a presence on social media isn’t really a question we grapple with any longer.
It’s a foregone conclusion.
Yes, you should be on social media.
If you’re not, feel free to use this as permission to pause reading and go sign up for any or all of the social media platforms of your choice (except maybe, let the kids have TikTok for a little longer before their aunts come to wreck that one too).
The research and statistics all point to the same reasons why it’s important to be on social media. It’s as simple as this: It’s where the people are.
Nearly 100% of affluent consumers use social media.
And you can bet they’re using it to research you and your company—but we don’t need to spend much time on that. If you didn’t know, now you know.
Instead, we need to focus on asking, and answering, a simple question:
Here are five ways you can use social media to enhance your professional and personal image, and use it to grow your company too.
If you don’t control your brand, someone else will.
Advisors everywhere should be using social media as the primary driver of what they want to be known for and to emphasize their personality and values. If you love working with clients with rare collections, go crazy talking about your extensive baseball card collection and get deep into why your Mickey Mantle rookie card is so important to you.
If your primary mission is to use your status to help others in need, get out there and use social media to let people know how they can participate, give back, and (as Tyone Ross puts it) “get proximate” in their local communities.
When used correctly, your social media accounts can give people a snapshot of the real you and let them know what you value and what you and your company are all about.
Social media has helped me find new friends and develop those friendships into more than a passing acquaintance at a conference. It can do the same for you.
One research initiative found that 98% of advisors use social media for either personal or business use. If there is someone else in the profession you want to connect with, it’s likely that you can find them on one of the major social networks.
The best network to build relationships with peers is Twitter. It’s the most open social network, and it encourages conversations between many individuals. You don’t have to connect with someone and then get into their direct messages, so it’s a much less intimidating way to meet new people and make natural conversation.
Yes, it’s true that overall people still prefer email as their primary communication method. But that doesn’t rule out using other channels to talk to your clients.
Social media can help you communicate with clients by giving you another avenue for them to get information from you. Even better, it opens up immediate conversations if they reply to something you posted, as opposed to an email which is not an instant medium.
It goes without saying that if you want to use social media to communicate with clients, then it’s not something you should be shy about promoting. Put your social media channels in your company brochure and encourage interaction.
Advisors absolutely need to use social media with an interest in how it can be used to grow their business. Simply posting relevant, timely content is one way to attract a wider audience and grow your potential circle of influence.
Almost 50% of advisors have said they’ve had success with using social channels to turn a prospect into a client, so it’s almost weird if you’re not using social for business development at this point.
If you want to use social media for business development, understand this: You need to educate. Create content and answer questions relevant to your niche audience, and give away your knowledge with no expectations. Your entire social content strategy should be about education, not selling.
The last piece of advice for how financial advisors should use social media is a simple one. Have fun.
Be yourself, share as much of your story as you’re comfortable, and let your personality out.
If there’s one thing I want advisors to understand more, it’s that it’s ok to be a little weird. Clients understand you’re a human being, and you’re not a professional in a suit twenty four hours a day.
So go ahead and tweet that new meme you saw, drop a selfie on LinkedIn, and post a video of your dog on Facebook. It’s what makes you human.
Before we wrap up, I want to hammer home a point I made earlier in case you glossed over it.
Social media is not for selling.
Your social channels are an opportunity for you to be real, authentic, and empathetic.
Create content on social that addresses needs and provides answers, and do it with the intention and understanding that the more you freely give, the more you will get in return.
If you try to create an atmosphere where what you’re really doing is selling, it will quickly become apparent.
And it will turn people off.
Using your platform to sell is the one major Don’t of social media.
Think of your social marketing as less a part of traditional sales, and more part of your service. When everything is done with a service mindset, it’s done with the client at the center. (Your sales should be under this same mindset, but that’s a topic for another article.)
Keep an attitude of service and gratitude, and you’ll be happier with the role social media plays in your business growth.
Featured Image: Photo by Adam Whitlock on Unsplash