While today’s investment advisors are fully aware of social media powerhouses like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, many of them are still lost in the dark when it comes to successfully utilizing these outlets as a primary tool in their respective marketing campaigns. This is problematic, as younger investors are gathering steam and pulling ahead of older financial advisors in terms of using social media to better manage their money.
According to a new study by the social media software provider Sysomos and the business news data channel Marketwired, upwards of 60-70% of all investors surveyed admitted to still using traditional sources of information. These include newspapers and analyst reports like those found in the Wall Street Journal. Of these investors, around 40% of them claim to use social media as a primary investment information source. These are glaring figures, especially considering the relatively young age of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Another study that surveyed 400 U.S. financial advisors found that 48% of them admit to using social media on a daily basis as a means of communicating with investors. Of these same advisors, 50% reported that they’ve successfully used social media to turn prospects into clients.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the use of social media to reach out to new clients and to communicate and facilitate with existing clients provides a distinct advantage to those advisors who can effectively use social platforms. That trend is only going to grow more pronounced in the near future. There are opportunities to be grasped here by those firms who already utilize social media and its importance is becoming more critical as investors are employing online resources to help them better understand investment advice and strategies.
What follows are some tips that experts say every financial advisor should have in their social media marketing canon:
Diversify the Usage of Social Media.
Financial advisors should not be using social media for the sole purpose of selling their products/services. Firstly, there is a dizzying array of regulatory concerns that must be taken into account. Secondly, social media platforms are not exactly fitting for the delivery of financial products/services. However, social media can work as a potent distribution platform for content, which can give advisors the ability to display intellectual capital. It can also serve as a vehicle for the promotion of corporate and personal brands. The key is to find a suitable way to make Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms work for you.
Create and Share Content.
Investment prospects and existing customers yearn for advice and helpful tips that will allow them to plan out, as well as grow and solidify their financial standing. Creating content, such as blogs, videos, white papers and case studies can help these investors to increase their awareness of hot topics that are making waves in the industry.
By joining relevant discussion groups, connecting with customers and potential prospects becomes much easier and it’s a great way to build brand awareness. LinkedIn and similar sites allow advisors to use personal messaging to reach other members of a group. Although this can make the process of communicating with customers more personal, this functionality needs to be handled with intelligence and care. Being potentially labeled as a spammer is no fun at all.
Use Social Media to Support Your Advice.
As previously stated; Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be used to build trust and understanding with customers. Sometimes recommendations are not enough. Trust can be damaged if advisors do not take the time necessary to explain their own advice. A smart option could be to make a recommendation and then push information related to the recommendation using links to outside sources and send them directly to a client’s computer or tablet. This is a quick and easy way to allow the client to spend the necessary time considering your advice.