I recently participated on several panels focused on how advisors can use social media. This can be a complicated subject, especially considering the variety of ways advisors can adopt and leverage social media.
Advisors had many questions during the panels: How do you start? What about compliance issues? Do you need to be a power social media user? Does social media really matter? Let’s take an opportunity to address these important questions.
Where do you start with social media? That’s a loaded question. The answer depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For the “entry level” user, a good first step is gathering information. Learn how others (including advisors, financial institutions, press, etc.) are using the technology. For example, you can start by viewing how they use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. Then you are better equipped to decide how you should use the technology and what “presence” your firm should have on the various platforms.
It’s important to have a strategy. For example, should your Twitter handle be your name or your firm’s name? Should you set up two accounts? Again, the answer is “it depends,” but whatever you decide will become a new identification address for you and your firm.
How a firm handles compliance is often where plans for using social media die on the vine. A lot of angst is due to simply not knowing the best approach to meeting social media compliance obligations. First, look to your existing compliance providers. Frequently, the same companies you use to meet compliance obligations related to email have similar solutions for social media.