By now, even the most computer illiterate of us has heard of the life-altering cyber phenomenon we now refer to as social media. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, we are all becoming obsessed with reaching out and touching each other. Especially, if we can do it without having to actually speak to anyone.
Financial advisors, being exceptionally savvy, have long recognized the potential in this cold-calling panacea. Many have tried to jump on this bandwagon only to have the door slammed shut by their firm’s dreaded “Business Prevention Department.” But in defense of compliance departments across the country, the very instantaneous nature of social media must be a nightmare to police. That’s why they get the big bucks.
Apparently times are changing. More and more broker-dealers are allowing their advisors, within parameters, to use social media. In fact, many firms have entire departments devoted to helping their reps utilize the various social media. Not wanting to be left behind, more and more time and resources are being devoted to this craze well before any of us has a clue if it even works in our industry.
If I were an advisor today, I don’t think I would put a great deal of time and effort into this media experiment, yet. Save your money until someone you know has success with it.
I’ve come to this conclusion after attending a two-hour seminar on promoting business through social media. The instructors had built their company helping small businesses set up social media programs. While I did see lots of neat graphs, charts and web pages, nobody would say for certain that by creating a social media presence I would benefit financially. I couldn’t help but think about the $15 I just wasted on parking.