With nearly nine in 10 private clients active today on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, social business is no longer optional for advisors. It’s mandatory.
Indeed, two-thirds of U.S. millionaires say they would like to use electronic media to communicate with their advisors, according to a Fidelity Investments survey. And that figure is still growing.
Probably the single greatest advantage for advisors is that social networking sites are perfectly suited to help them do what they’ve always done–build relationships, educate clients, garner referrals–but much more quickly and efficiently. For example, instead of having to manually scan through newspaper wedding and birth announcements, or try to discover job changes serendipitously from one-on-one conversations, today’s savvy “social advisor” can simply scan her social media feeds to hone in on the right signal and reach out with the right message at the right time.
Not surprisingly, seven in 10 advisors in North America are already using social networks to both cultivate new client relationships as well as grow existing relationships. Some advisors use social media to build their brand, while others are engaging with customers to stay top of mind and offer thought leadership. The best are doing both.
Keys to Advisor Success in 2014 and Beyond
To see the returns from being on social media, financial advisors need to do more than just launch a LinkedIn profile and call it a day.
Instead, the best financial advisors will take the best practices that already work for their business and apply them to the social media realm. Here are the four steps to becoming a social advisor.
Step 1: Be Findable
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have become the “Yellow Pages” of our era. The first step is just to be present and findable. If you are in institutional asset management or work with high-net worth and ultra-high net worth clients, start with LinkedIn.
Retail advisors may want to start with a Facebook Business Page. Ask your clients and ideal prospects on which social networks they would like to communicate with you. Build a profile that is the best professional representation of your brand and your firm, but which feels authentic. Your profile photo, credentials and expertise are all important components by which prospects may judge you.