By now, most financial advisors are aware of the benefits of social media to keep them in front of clients and prospects, but simply signing up on Facebook or Twitter is not enough. When it comes to truly leveraging social media to strengthen relationships and increase referrals, there are tangible tactics that advisors can put into place.
In fact, according to a 2015 Putnam Investments social media survey, nearly 80% of advisors gained new clients using social media. For this reason, among several others, it’s important for advisors to raise their social media game if they want to reach and retain today’s digitally savvy client.
Here are three tips to keep in mind to maximize your opportunities on social media.
1. Create or curate relevant content
Figuring out what to post on social media can be daunting for many advisors. With tight budgets and limited time, advisors aren’t always able to build and maintain a strong content pipeline to attract visitors to their social media pages.
While you don’t have to become a content marketing expert, you do need to make a strong content showing to stay relevant to your target audience. Providing useful content and establishing yourself as a thought leader can help. The key is to get your content in front of the right people at the right time. Here are a few things that can help:
Tap into your firm’s library of resources; many companies have ready-to-use content that you can tailor to fit your particular needs
Create custom content, but realize that not all of your posts need to be developed by you or specifically cover financial topics; Include articles or videos you find online that are relevant to your target market, motivational quotes, or photos from local civic and community events
Author and publish long-form blog posts on your website, then consider breaking it up into manageable chunks to get the most mileage from your effort. For example, summarize each key point of your post in 140 characters or less and share them on Twitter over a period of a week or two
2. Measure user engagement
Ever wonder if anyone engaged with a post on your Facebook business page? Or, how many “impressions” your LinkedIn marketing campaign received? Measuring user engagement is another challenge advisors face, but it’s essential to track your social media efforts if you want to increase leads and referrals.
Many advisors set up company social media pages then take a “wait and see” approach to increasing followers, but simply looking at the number of fans, likes and followers is not the end goal. In fact, some studies reveal that the majority of Facebook users — 90% — don’t return to a business page once they click the “like” button. Instead, you need to track and measure who is actually consuming, engaging with and sharing your content — and you don’t even need to be a marketing whiz or spend too much time doing it.
Here are just some things you could be doing to boost your referral engine:
Pay attention to what your “friends” and “followers” are sharing on social media and use this as an opportunity to reach out. This will inevitably help you build and strengthen relationships and increase ongoing engagement
Utilize URL shortening tools like bit.ly to track the content that you share and use that to gather information about the performance about a particular post
Learn how to use Facebook Page Insights or other social media analytics tools to measure the success of a particular post and use those learnings to craft similar posts
3. Take full advantage of your firm’s social media program
Advisors often state that they don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination to successfully grow their business on social media. Yet, many of these same advisors work for companies that have technology in place that could help with these exact challenges. Check if your firm currently has a social business program, and do yourself a favor by taking advantage of its capabilities; many corporate-driven initiatives provide advisors with the ability to:
Select from a list of curated content that you can then customize and share on your social media channels
Receive automated status updates on activity from contacts in your social network
Save time managing social media by scheduling, analyzing and publishing posts all in one place
An effective social media strategy can have profound effect on deepening relationships and maintaining a solid flow of prospective clients. If you want to connect with today’s digitally savvy clients you must take advantage of the tools, best practices and technology that awaits you.