The benefits of social media for individual advisors’ success, and thus firms’ business overall, have long since been established and proven in terms of new connections made, qualified leads generated and sales achieved. Having said that, for some firms and advisors, the prospects and process of getting started on social can be overwhelming, and they may just disallow or avoid use of the medium altogether as a result.
Social success doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s also achievable for firms that are willing to continually invest the time and resources. Here are a few considerations and recommendations for firms to be sure they’re setting advisors (and their expectations) up for victory:
Strategize with the right people at the right junctures. Assemble a social media team that includes representative stakeholders from every group that will touch the the program: marketing, compliance, IT and advisors. Having a diverse set of viewpoints and business objectives helps chart strategy, which should be reviewed and adjusted on a quarterly basis. One of the most important aspects of developing a strategy and surrounding policies, as well as selecting technology to aid the program, is to determine how to measure ROI and track effectiveness. If all parties involved don’t sign off on how to determine if advisors are “winning,” a program leader is going to have trouble recruiting advisors and proving value down the line.
Cultivate champions. Specifically, a program needs a champion from senior management, as well as a top brand ambassador to drive the day-to-day success of the program. Find an executive who understands the benefits of social (or is at least willing to listen) and can sign off on program costs, resources and staffing. Additionally, enlist a central figure from the executive bench or a digitally-savvy advisor who is active on social platforms to help boost program awareness, recruit and put success on display. This role model will also give hesitant advisors reassurance that they can use social effectively and without negative consequences. Serving as a champion should not be an expectation of every advisor, but there is typically an early adopter or core group willing to make the commitment.