Relationships between financial advisors and their clients have shifted online, with more than 90% of advisors using social media marketing to fill in for word-of-mouth promotion that the financial industry had been traditionally relying on.
Over 70% of Advisors have gained new clients through social networks and believe the opportunities presented by online platforms will remain in the future. It’s safe to say that a strong social media presence is no longer an option, but a must for those who want to acquire new clients and foster existing customer relationships.
Benefits Of Social Media Marketing
Financial services spend a lot on digital ads, almost as much as the entertainment industry. They target the most avid online financial services consumers, which now consist mostly of Gen Z and Millennials. Considering that an independent study estimated the spending power of Gen Z to reach up to $143 billion, the investment of financial services brands in digital advertising wouldn’t be wasteful.
Other Benefits Include:
- Create Personal Brand Awareness
A personal brand communicates to potential customers why they should choose you over your competition. Building a brand image also involves identifying and informing your audience of your values and goals, thus drawing relevant followers to your account.
- Build Relationships
Consumers want to deal with companies they know and trust. Due to its visual nature, social media duplicates that effect of personal presence which helps you gain your audience’s trust. In the mentioned earlier Putnam survey, 74% of financial advisors said they used direct messaging to chat with their prospects and over 90% of them managed to gain new assets.
- Humanize Your Services
Customers find it easier to deal with a human rather than with a faceless corporation. Consumers prefer strong brand personalities that speak friendly and conversationally. Social media allows brands to have personality by leveraging visual materials and brand voice.
- Gain Industry Insights
There are a variety of social media listening tools that provide you with information about your competitors. You can learn about their new products or identify issues they’ve been facing. You can also learn more about your prospects and their expectations. In fact, social media can serve as a knowledge base thanks to the massive amount of data one can extract from it.
- Less Effort on Customer Service
Social media messaging can be a great alternative to on-website live chat and phone support. Having your customers’ questions answered right where they are — and an average consumer spends almost 3 hours per day on social media — boosts their satisfaction and inspires trust.
7 Tips to Leverage Social Media For Financial Advisors
The financial industry has rules and regulations aimed to protect businesses and consumers. Thus, financial service providers are required to have policies in place that guide their employees' interactions when using social media.
Still, there is a way to effectively use social media while remaining compliant.
1. Check Your Company’s Social Media Policy
Your firm will have a social media policy defined for its advisors as well as risk management programs. With a clear social media policy, you will have what you need to be compliant with every post. You'll be able to estimate whether their content aligns to the company’s social media policy and ask for guidance as needed.
Since social media is connected with security risks, your company’s policy should include security protocols. These should regulate how often passwords need to be changed and software updated.
Before you start planning your social media marketing strategy, get familiar with your company’s corporate policy.
2. Define Your Niche
Narrowing your niche specifies the types of topics you'll cover, thus making it easier to create content. In fact, many marketers advise this tactic and many successful financial advisors have followed it.
For instance, Tyrone Ross Jr., currently the CEO of Onramp Invest with over 19K followers on Twitter, started with tweets on bitcoin. He found his niche and stuck with it, gradually growing into podcasts and then extended his niche to adversity in the financial sector.
Your niche topics may focus on tech founders, business owners, multi-generational transfer of wealth — choose the topic you can speak on for hours and start the discussion. If you run out of ideas, research what has been already posted and try to find the gap you could fill. You can keep track of the news easily by utilizing social listening and marketing automation.
3. Create Your Personal Brand
Tesla is closely linked to the image of Elon Musk. If you think of Creative Planning, your perception will most likely be affected by what you know about Peter Mallouk. These examples illustrate how a company’s image is coloured by the personalities of its most recognizable team members.
Having a personal brand also helps you stay consistent in your communication. You have an intention defined and should match it with all that you have to say. By staying focused, you develop your expertise and instill trust in your clients.
4. Choose A Social Media Platform
Identify where your potential audience is present and be where they are. Each platform has its own specifics which can create certain benefits, as well as limitations. For example, Facebook may feel too personal with people posting photos of their kids on a beach. Twitter may feel too restrictive with its character limits. Instagram may be too photo or video driven for the content your audience will want to consume. While many financial advisors choose LinkedIn as their primary social platform, it may not be where your target audience prefers to engage.
Spend some time testing which channel your target audience is most active on before dedicating your time and resources there.
Another component of social media is that presentation is important. Twitter can be called an exception, yet it requires a nicely edited profile photo too. If your company doesn’t require a corporate photo, invest in creating one that will reflect your professionalism. Think about how you look at meetings — your social media presence should be equally as presentable.
What’s more, studies show that the human brain finds images simpler to process than text. So, rather than saying something in a caption, think about how you can show yourself doing it.
5. Build Your Network
Start building your social media network by reaching out to people you already know and inviting them to follow you. This strategy is vital for LinkedIn as you can only see up to 3rd-degree connections. For other channels, you still need some initial following to encourage prospects to give you their attention.
After you've connected with your colleagues (current and former), begin searching your network based on chosen criteria. This can be c-suite executives or individuals who have just changed companies. On most platforms, you can filter by geography and occupation.
Send personalized invitations and shortly explain the value you can provide to the person. Treat your audience with valuable content that helps them reveal and solve issues they tend to face. Don’t forget to approve what you’re going to share with your company’s compliance.
6. Join The Conversation
Join existing conversations where you can provide your expertise. When it comes to your posts, focus on creating valuable and interesting content that will drive engagement. While posting consistently is important for social media, quality always comes over quantity. Set a realistic schedule for yourself so that you will have enough time to research, write, and remain consistent with publishing.
Social media is about communication. Remember to monitor your timeline and engage with other accounts. When you see someone having a special event, reach out to them with congratulations. One best practice for keeping track of what’s happening in your online community is by using hashtags.
Hashtags are keywords that make content searchable. You can improve the visibility of your posts by adding niche-specific hashtags in the caption. The dispute on what number of hashtags works best for each channel is ongoing but it is recommended to refrain from using only the most popular ones as your post will likely get lost in the ocean of others.
7. Show Your Personality
Consumers prioritize doing business with companies they admire. A Sprout Social survey discovered that 70% of customers feel connected to a brand when its employees are active online. Instead of merely advertising yourself, aim to create a community around the topic that you’re promoting.
To start a two-way thought exchange with your followers, show them behind the scenes of your company culture. For example, Financial Strategies Group is participating in National Food Bank Day, a yearly tradition that their company has shared to their Instagram page.
Social media can still be considered a fairly new marketing channel for financial advisors, yet, given its popularity, social media can drive a massive amount of traffic to your business website.
Remember, before posting online you'll want to ensure that you're following the social media compliance regulations of your company. From there, you will be able to use these 7 tips to nurture your audience, publish valuable content and attract new prospects.