What constitutes ‘great social media’ varies wildly across sectors. This month our founder Jodie Cook discusses social media for financial planners with Financial Planning Today magazine.
Read the interview plus Jodie’s dos and don’ts for financial planners below, and find the whole magazine here.
Here’s the transcript:
Social media for financial planners
Social media for professional service providers is all about building trust and credibility. Sharing valuable information as well as demonstrating a human side to the business can help grow their social sphere of influence, helping to both raise brand awareness and generate leads.
Financial planners, paraplanners, wealth managers and advisers should be using social media regularly to keep in touch with people they meet, staying in their minds and becoming the go-to person for their services in the future.
What is the best social media platform to boost awareness of their businesses and potentially attract new clients?
If I had to pick one for financial planners, it would be Twitter. Facebook has strangled the organic reach of business pages so you pretty much have to put cash into boosting your page and posts. Unless you have fantastic original content and a way of capturing data, Facebook is unlikely to offer ROI in this sector. Personal pages can be used to stay in touch with existing contacts but it’s not ideal for generating new leads.
We’ve run dozens of LinkedIn lead-generation campaigns incredibly successfully and if you know the typical job titles that your clients have, it’s a great place to start.
However, Twitter provides the opportunity to build brand awareness, generate traffic to your website, and reach out to potential clients. The public nature of Twitter makes it the only true social network for businesses. I know that many people are intimidated by Twitter for precisely this reason but with some expertise, it’s the perfect arena to achieve a range of marketing goals.
Aside from the obvious sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn what other forms of social media should Financial Planners, paraplanners, wealth managers and advisers consider using? For e.g. snapchat?
To those in the financial planning sector, social media holds the greatest value as a tool to connect with people they meet, build a digital rapport with them, and ensure that they are an authority within that growing network. This doesn’t require any fancy content marketing, just a genuine interest in helping other people and these people tend to hang out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
What is the biggest benefit to financial planners, paraplanners, wealth managers and advisers from using social media well? Is it driving people to their websites? Boost awareness of financial planning in general? Gaining potential clients?
Driving people to their website, boosting awareness of financial planning and gaining potential clients are all benefits to be gleaned from effective social media use, but it is imperative that the main goal is identified from the start. This goal and the key performance metrics should shape the social strategy and measure its impact and success.
For example, becoming an authority on the subject is incredibly important but it should have some metrics associated with it. If leads are the goal, activity on LinkedIn must be geared up to reaching prospects and engaging them with InMail messages.
What are your top 3 dos and don’ts of social media for financial planners, paraplanners, wealth managers and advisers?
- Show some personality. Look to strike a balance between professionalism and being personable and approachable.
- Share information that is relevant and engaging to your audience. Demonstrating that you understand what resonates with individuals is the fastest way to build their trust.
- Adapt to your audience. Shift your focus based on what works and what doesn’t. Social media requires both proactivity and reactivity when it comes to optimising your approach.
- Don’t leave all your social media until a quiet Friday afternoon. No one is online and no one is going to take the action you need to generate leads.
- Don’t try and cover all your bases and post on six or seven social networks. Focus your efforts on two or three channels, the ones you’re seeing the most benefit from.
- Don’t be too salesy in your language. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are usually regarded as someone’s personal space and few welcome pushy messages, especially if they’re not well targeted. Always attempt to add value to your audience somehow.
What social media tools should financial planners, paraplanners, wealth managers and advisers look at using to boost efficiency? I.e hoot suite, tweetdeck, Buffer etc.
Buffer is an excellent choice and the platform we manage most of our clients’ content from. A tool like buffer helps you save time by scheduling content in one go and help maintain consistency, something incredibly important when it comes to building an audience. These tools usually provide useful analytics and insights to your content, which helps you adapt your content.
It also allows you to ‘re-buffer’ any past tweets and posts that have been of interest to your audience, to amplify the message further.
For any doubters/skeptics who think social media is a waste of their time and effort, what would be your key messages to convince them otherwise if you had just a minute or two to win them over?
Yes, tweeting about what you’re eating for dinner is not going to win you new clients, but social media is so much more complex. We can target people based on all kinds of information and reach out on an individual basis.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, virtually every business is P2P; person to person. No matter how corporate your business may be, you are still building relationships with people, through people. If you’re one to say “we get all our business through referral and word-of-mouth”, social media is the 21st century’s equivalent.