6 Social Media Musts for Financial Advisors
By Grace Bryan
Community Content Manager, Riskalyze
How to use social media to engage prospects and communicate with clients.
Digitally native investors are in the process of inheriting trillions. With a largely unreached population entering the workforce, combined with the distractions facing them, it is more important than ever for financial advisors to guard their time, deepen trust with clients, and build new relationships that can ride the wave of market volatility right where these future clients are at. Social media can be a secret weapon to generate referrals, grow your online reputation, and secure trust through online validation. It is an essential part of building a brand and growing a business.
Traditionally, companies would share information across billboards, magazines, direct mail, TV, and radio spots without much public feedback or the ability to track inquiry attribution. For the first time in marketing and advertising history, social media has given customers a voice—a virtual megaphone (beyond virtual meetings) to communicate with brands through reviews, feedback, comments, and beyond. This feedback loop on social media has transformed how companies operate, helping companies evolve products and services based on immediate consumer feedback. As an advisor, you too can benefit from this revolutionary two-way communication provided by social media.
If you want to build your online brand through social media but don’t know where to start, the following six tips are for you. If you already have a budding social media presence, you can use this list as a Social Media 101 launch point for new ideas. Let’s dive in.
1. You don’t have to do it all
Let’s face it—social media can be a daunting task. But using social media for your business doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With limited time to work on social media, don’t spread yourself thin and create an account across every platform. You don’t have to use YouTube, Reddit, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter together. Most brands are successful if they narrow their efforts to one or two platforms, where they know they can win with focus and consistent effort.
2. Go where your clients are
Each social media platform has different demographics and ad capabilities. The trick is to use the platforms where your existing and target clients already are. Twitter has highly educated and high-income earning users. Pinterest has mostly female users, ages 50 to 65. TikTok has a concentration of Gen Z users ages 10 to 19. LinkedIn has users primed for business and professional content based on the platform context. Facebook has the most customizable paid ad platform, with the ability to target users based on location and a wide range of demographics.
For most advisors, LinkedIn and Twitter are the primary mediums to connect with prospective customers and industry partners. LinkedIn helps validate an advising business not only to clients but also to colleagues and professionals from whom advisors may receive higher AUM referrals. Twitter is an exceptional platform for reaching clients, sharing market news, and participating in conversations online.
You may find that another platform works better to reach your target audience. Perhaps you gain most of your clients through personal referrals—Facebook may be the right channel. Maybe you love writing financial and educational content—Pinterest may be the best platform. Select one or two platforms that make the most sense for your audience.
Additionally, referrals are largely becoming digital. Generating referrals from social media and messaging apps is the future. “How can people share about my work online?” is the question advisors need to ask themselves for every new social status, blog post, or webpage.
3. Plan it out
The easiest way to have a consistent presence on social media without spending a significant amount of time is to have a content calendar that includes the dates you will post, content topics, pre-written captions, corresponding images, and hyperlinks. You can develop topics you will post about throughout each month, such as financial education, philanthropy, office culture, or news. Each topic represents a different type of value a post will provide to your audience. These topics are part of your overall social media strategy to educate and inform clients about the market, gain client trust, validate your services, share your expertise, and generate referrals.
You can develop this content calendar the old-fashioned way, in an Excel spreadsheet and post manually, or you can utilize one of the many software that will post on your behalf, such as Later, Hootsuite, and Planoly. Choose in advance the days you will post and dedicate time each month to pre-writing out captions and selecting images to complete your content calendar. The amount of time you spend will depend on how many posts you create, and two posts per week is a great number to start. Shorter captions are highly successful on social media, which leaves you with eight short captions to write for any given month!
If you want to go a step further, research the best times to post, which will vary from platform to platform and your audience. Discover hashtags that are relevant to your business and incorporate one to three hashtags in each of your posts.
4. Get personal
You don’t have to keep it professional. Oftentimes the best marketing your firm will ever do won’t look like traditional marketing. Social media is a way to share what you’re doing, your interests and passions, and the charitable organizations you support. People don’t want to connect with a company; they want to connect with a person. Social media is a critical channel to connect with customers that align with your philosophy.
Showing your personality on social media is especially relevant to financial advisors who help guide clients through personal financial decisions. Many clients may view their investments through an emotional lens. Selecting an advisor is a highly personal decision and requires a lot of trust. You can break down barriers to trust by showing who you are on social media. A client can get to know you and feel trust with you before they walk through your door.
The 80-20 Rule underscores this point. This rule suggests that 80% of posts should bring value to your audience through information, education, entertainment, or problem-solving, and 20% should be sales-focused and explicitly business-related. Part of building a positive online reputation is seeing social media in light of your business and personal goals. If you find that you want to post about yourself, your accomplishments, or your family announcements, you’re on the right track.
Bottom line: share things online because you believe in them, not because you want to fit a certain persona.
5. Make magic with engagement
Engagement is when a user takes action on social media, including liking, commenting, or clicking on a post or ad. Engagement can signify that your audience is interested in your services. Through engagement, advisors can glean timely information about public feelings about the market, have conversations about current financial events in real-time, and receive testimonials and referrals from existing and prospective clients.
Engagement is easy to measure but difficult to generate. Including calls-to-action (CTA) in your posts is a sure-fire way to increase engagement. CTAs add a sense of urgency to your post, making users more likely to take action. An example could be urging users to comment with, “We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments.” or encouraging users to sign up for your newsletter with “Join our community.”
6. Find your North Star
So you’ve set up your social media accounts. Now what? One way to strategize for success is to set social media SMART Goals. These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Social media goals could look like the following:
- Receive 100 likes on a social media post in one week.
- In one month, have five social media users click a link to fill out a form from a social media post that transforms the users into prospective clients.
- Get ten existing clients to post positive reviews or testimonials on social media and tag your account in one month.
These goals will guide the types of posts you create, how often you post, and how you measure social media performance. If you establish SMART Goals, you are on the road to social media success and can track your progress over time!
Whether you’ve been in the industry for many years and have a booming business, or just started as a new advisor, social media can positively impact your firm’s strategic goals. Social media is a direct channel to share company-wide news, promotions, and alerts with existing clients, as well as your passions and philanthropic endeavors. In the Information Age, having a social media presence is key to winning the next generation of clients and rising high-income earners.
There are many ways to gain attention on social media to reach your target audience, from developing specific social media campaigns to creating social media giveaways, promoting events, and working with influencers. You may even curate paid social media ads. The possibilities are endless. If you want to ramp up your social media platforms, don’t be afraid to try something new and iterate based on your results.
At Nitrogen, our team is here to help you shine. If you have any questions about winning with social media, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Content Marketing Manager, Grace Bryan at [email protected]. You can also get social media inspiration, content, and images through the Advisor Marketing Kit in Nitrogen Elite and incorporate a link to the Risk Number® Questionnaire in your social media posts to attract prospective clients. Learn more at www.riskalyze.com.