There was a time not long ago when the marketing strategies a financial advisor could rely on to build a successful business had a distinctly analog flavor—referrals, networking events, print ads, direct mail and even cold calls.
As our June 19 webinar, “Social Media: Critical to Financial Advisor Success,” makes clear, the marketing tactics used by the most successful, fastest-growing advisors today are almost entirely digital—and their primary area of focus is social media.
The webinar, in partnership with Broadridge Financial Solutions, provided an introduction to social media marketing for advisors who may not have used it in the past.
As David Briggs, Broadridge’s Vice President of Corporate Training, explains in the webinar, social media can be a powerful engagement tool, helping advisors deepen relationships and develop trust as never before by maintaining an ongoing dialogue with existing and prospective clients. When used strategically, social media can be a highly effective tool for helping advisors add clients to their books and keep them for the long haul.
The webinar began with an overview of the best-known social media platforms and how they can be useful in building advisors’ businesses. LinkedIn is the most business-focused channel utilized by college-educated, affluent professionals to achieve specific objectives, and Facebook serves as a relationship and community-building tool that can help ‘humanize’ an advisor’s message. Twitter, on the other hand, is a means of providing quick-hit status updates and responses to developing events that can establish financial advisors as thought leaders.
Using Social Media Effectively
In tactical terms, advisors need to focus on three elements in order to translate their social media strategies into effective client engagement and retention: consistency, credibility and connection.
Social media can be a powerful engagement tool, helping advisors deepen relationships and develop trust as never before by maintaining an ongoing dialogue with existing and prospective clients.David Briggs, Broadridge’s Vice President of Corporate Training
Consistency. Briggs emphasized that, once advisors are up and running with their social media accounts, a good cadence to aim for on LinkedIn is two to three posts per week (eight to 12 per month) and three to five updates on Facebook per week (12 to 20 per month). Unless you think you have to be glued to your computer, these platforms allow for scheduling of posts ahead of time, so as long as advisors have the content, they can set posts up and the platforms will take care of the rest.
Credibility. Today’s clients and prospects are experienced social media users, and they will quickly disregard channels that they perceive as being mass-produced or entirely sale-focused. With this in mind, balance is key in establishing credibility via social media.
Advisors should feel comfortable sharing high-quality content assets that demonstrate their value proposition and thought leadership, including market summaries, commentary on topical events and videos that investors can use to make better financial decisions.
At the same time, however, advisors can achieve an element of personal credibility by providing genuine, personal posts, as well, whether it’s a photo of a family outing or a casual dinner with clients. (Advisors should work with their firm’s compliance teams to get approval for such posts.)
Connection. Clients today expect all the people who work on their behalf—financial advisors included—to be digitally engaged and technologically competent. It’s not just millennial investors that use social media; it’s also baby boomers and Generation X. As older generations prepare to leave their wealth to their descendants, advisors must know how to connect with both sides of the transfer. Social media is the way to do it.
For advisors, this means taking time each day to engage with the clients and prospects who view your social media content. Respond to their comments, and by all means, make sure to engage with clients’ and prospects’ social media channels, as well.
Demonstrating this kind of connection can help establish strong relationships with not only current clients, but the next generation, as well—a key strategic imperative for advisors as we move closer to the largest generational wealth transfer in U.S. history.
Powerful Marketing—Without a Sales-y Feel
The Marketing Rule of 7 suggests that a potential customer has to come in contact with a sales pitch at least seven times before they will start to take action on it. As the webinar made clear, social media is a great way to achieve this consistent reiteration of an advisor’s value proposition without coming across as overly insistent or intrusive. When done right, it can blend an advisors’ marketing messages with simple updates on their lives, current events or topics both they and their clients care about.
As always, financial advisors should check with all relevant compliance personnel to make sure that social media use falls within the policies of the firms with which they affiliate. Provided it’s allowed, social media is an excellent tool for turbocharging growth.