Social media – you only get out of it, what you put into it!

I’m fortunate that my job allows me to travel around the country and talk with financial services professionals about how and why they should use social media. One of the questions I field the most is, “how much time will it take?”, but what you really want to know is: “is it worth my time?” 

My response: “you’ll only get out of it, what you put into it.”


Social media is about interaction and conversation. It’s about creating and maintaining relationships. If you’re not a part of the conversation, how can you gain any value from it? 

Maximize your time on social media

Social media can help you build your business, but to do so efficiently, you need to take a strategic, targeted approach. Here’s how:

Step #1: Create a social media strategy (which I discussed in my last blog post)

Step #2: Develop a content strategy (which is the focus of this post)

Step #3: Execute/Measure

Develop a content strategy

Think of content strategy as “your voice” on social media. What do you want to say and why? Start by answering these questions:

  • What publications/websites do you read to learn about your industry?
  • What types of articles do you enjoy reading?
  • Do you have specific areas of expertise or focus?
  • What types of articles/information would you like to share with clients?
  • What types of information is of interest to your clients?

Next, put your strategy on paper. An easy way to do this is to write down the months of the year, and then add topics by month. If possible, identify natural themes for your content, such as holidays, local activities, and industry recognized events, (i.e. 401(k) Day). Then draft sample posts for each topic. This workbook provides an example.

Play around with your content and have fun with your posts. As long as you’re sharing value-add content – and not pushing products/services – your audience won’t mind if you’re not clever, creative or inspiring. A few examples:

  • Value-add Content – Start thinking about your #taxes. Maximize your deductions through #retirement plan contributions <link to educational article>.
  • Selling Yourself – Congrats to Will & Kate on their Royal Baby! College is expensive but there are options to save for it. We can help!

Sources of relevant content

You can write your own content or share content from others.

  • Blogs – consider writing a blog or even guest blogging. If you aren’t comfortable writing, there are plenty of educational blogs you can find easily on the Internet.
  • Live Twitter Chats – this is a great way to join the conversation and showcase your expertise. Just be sure to join chats that fit your content strategy. Remember, don’t sell … educate. #AdvisorTalk is an example of a chat you might be interested in joining.
  • Research – white papers and survey findings are relevant, so share as you see fit.
  • Videos – don’t forget YouTube! There are plenty of educational and informational videos if you just search for them.
  • Followers/Connections – Your Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections can be a never-ending source of content, so check their posts regularly and re-share as appropriate.

Being thoughtful on social will help you get more out of it.

Remember, your goal with social media is to create conversation, not sell. Share content that’s of value to your clients and you’ll get more out of it.

Do you have a content strategy? Why/Why not? What advice do you have for creating a content strategy? What successes have you had? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so drop me a line in the comments or on Twitter.


For more information, check me out on Twitter, where I regularly share social media tips, advice, trends and more, including how to build your business with social. Follow me at @jonferchen.

Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company, member of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.

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