Nearly two-thirds of Raymond James (RJF) advisors are actively using social media, according to Chief Marketing Officer Mike White. The firm’s challenge now is to get the remaining one-third on board and the rest to embrace Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with even more gusto.
“We are in the middle of a learning-curve lifecycle,” said White, in an interview Tuesday during the independent channel’s national conference in Las Vegas. For the process, advisor go through compliance training, review best practices “and then they grow [their social media presence] from there.”
The company relies on a platform developed by Hearsay Social, which makes posting both compliant and easy, he says. Some advisors need a bit more appreciation of social media’s value, while others could benefit from further training in how to make their social-media presence dynamic and sophisticated.
“You can always sharpen what you are doing online,” the CMO explained, “by asking, ‘How do I take the next step in networking and posting for my community?’”
At Raymond James Financial Services' 2015 National Conference for Professional Development, different speakers, including White, shared ways for advisors to get started and lay out a social media game plan. Other advisors want to target niche client audiences or do more general branding and public relations via social media, and there is training for them, as well.
Indie advisor David Adams of Nashville, for instance, promotes his connections to the community via Facebook.
The objective, he says, is to give clients and prospects “a sense of who I am as a person.” He’ll post information and photos of his activities as an active member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation “to let them get to know me personally.”
He often shares posts on Facebook after a fundraising event, like one he recently supported for a private school in the Nashville area that brought in about $20,000. “But sometimes I will post about a public event before it happens, so my clients can get involved.”
Randy Carver, whose practice is based in Mentor, Ohio, has used Facebook regularly for years. He also writes blogs for his group’s website.
By using an inexpensive advertising service on Facebook, called Blast, he generated 12,000 hits for a blog he posted in April on tax-code reform. “It’s cool and it’s cheap,” said Carver. “It’s a branding tool.”
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