Just as advisors are being asked to do it all for clients in general, they are being asked to do it all on social media, experts say.
The plus side? “There’s the power [social media] can have to help you make a difference with retail investors as clients plan for retirement, get kids through school, etc.,” said John Maurello, head of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s private client group. “And social media fits so nicely into the fabric of helping investors fulfill their financial goals.”
Believe it or not, Keith Watts, head of Facebook’s financial services business unit, says this work makes the industry “sexy.”
“The work you do is so personal,” he said during a panel discussion at SIFMA’s Social Media Seminar on Thursday in San Francisco. “Your role is to talk people through the emotional value you bring to their lives.”
The audience comprised about 150 broker-dealer executives, marketers, regulators and others.
Social Steps to Follow
The first expert to break down the best social media strategies for firms and advisors at the SIFMA event was Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih, who also serves on the board of Starbucks.
Her tips: Be “findable” online. Grow your network. Hear or listen to clients and prospects, “so you can tailor your message.” This means “going from manual and cold to automated and warm,” she says. Next, say and tell — succinctly and in way that establishes your credibility.
“People don’t want to read 20-page white papers,” Shih said. “They like 140-character messages that tease” and link to this information.
The popularity of Amazon, she adds, means “we want highly personalized [online] interaction. All ultrahigh-net-worth and mass-affluent investors want communication that is just for them from a real human being.”
And these social-media communications have to be “on their terms, not just 8-5 but any time on any device — omni channel,” Shih said. “Online signals lead to offline conversations.”