For John Jenkins, president and CEO of Asset Preservation Strategies, and Josh Gilliam, managing director of Gilliam, Mease & Associates, social media is a marketing and branding tool, rather than a way to interact with clients and prospects.
“It’s an information gathering tool,” Gilliam told AdvisorOne on Tuesday at the Securities America conference. “It’s a component of branding and marketing” and a way for advisors to drive clients and prospects to their website. “The website is the hub,” he said.
Jenkins (right) uses social media as a way of “mapping clients and prospects.” Clients and prospects look at advisors’ myriad online profiles before meeting with them, but it works both ways, Jenkins said. By looking at your clients’ contacts, you can initiate a referral request; it’s easier for the client to say yes if you ask to be introduced to someone by name, while an open-ended request is likely to end with the client drawing a blank.
His firm’s Facebook profile is a “static page,” Jenkins said. They don’t allow comments on the page because they don’t have control over them, but having the profile gets the firm “higher up the Google tree.”
Compliance plays a major role in shaping Gilliam’s and Jenkins’ social media strategies.
“Advisors need a good grasp of general compliance issues,” Gilliam (left) said. “Then they can look at specific” issues for each platform. Both firms use Smarsh for social media compliance and archiving. “You can’t post changes without it going through compliance,” Jenkins said, a process that, depending on how complex the post is, could take as much as a day. Simple posts like a check-in at a conference can be approved quickly, while sales and marketing posts may take longer.