If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I’m passionate about social media and, specifically, about using it to market your business. I believe social media offers a lot of opportunities for minimal time and cost. So, I’m often perplexed when I hear that financial advisors aren’t using it. Here’s an example of an all too common conversation that occurs when I walk into an advisors office…
Me: ‘Hey, it’s nice to meet you. Tell me how you’re using social media.’
Advisor: ‘I’m really not. Our firm doesn’t allow me to do anything so I don’t use it.’
Me: ‘Really? Do you know that your firm allows you to use LinkedIn and Facebook? Or that you have access to a robust content library, which allows you to market your business? Oh, and your firm’s website has tools and resources to help you get started.’
Advisor (with a surprised look on their face): ‘Um, no, I didn’t know that. I guess I haven’t done much with it in the last few years.’
Unfortunately, that scenario plays out more often than I’d like to see, but things are changing, and quickly.
Financial services firms are embracing social media … and so should you!
Advisors, join the social media party! It’s no longer 2013 when many financial services firms – wouldn’t allow you to play in this space. Sure, there are still some holdouts, but many firms now have monitoring tools to archive your activity and provide content libraries, which not only serve up approved marketing material, but provide suggested high-quality articles as well as analytics around your activity, audience engagement and more.
“Advisors often come to me looking for ways to be innovative or differentiate themselves, and to positively impact their clients. Social media can accomplish precisely that,” says Andrew Ruggiero, Regional Director of Business Develpment for Principal®. “Utilizing social media allows advisors to share their trusted knowledge and experience with clients and prospects alike with the click of a button.”
Before you jump in or decide to up your game, make sure you:
- Understand your firm’s social media guidelines: Based on my experience, every broker-dealer has their own views on social media, which determines their overall level of support as well as the flexibility they offer their advisors. Most firms I’ve dealt with, however, allow the use of LinkedIn, which is certainly a start.
- Leverage any tools, resources or support offered by your firm: I’ve talked to thousands of financial advisors, representing 30-plus broker-dealers, from around the country over the last few years. And I’m often asked, ‘where does our firm rank compared to our competitors?’ Unfortunately, it’s not an easy answer, nor one I try to answer. It really doesn’t matter. What’s important is that your firm has social media guidelines and, more specifically, given you tools and resources to help you market yourself. So, the question really is, why aren’t YOU taking advantage of an easy and efficient way to market your practice?
- Create and follow a social media strategy: A social media strategy will be critical to your success! It’s that simple. So, I’d encourage all of you to draft a strategy based on your firm’s guidelines. Doing so will help ensure any time or effort you spend on social media will be focused, well-intentioned and efficient. Be sure to consider outlining a content strategy as well if you’re going to market yourself. A content strategy will help ensure you’re positioning yourself correctly in the market.
Social media is here to stay … don’t let it pass you by
I’m here to tell you that social media is here to stay and, more importantly, that advisors around the country are using it to help build their businesses. Is it easy? No. Is it quick? No. Does it work? Absolutely, but you have to be willing to put in a little time (20 minutes a week or so) and effort, and stick with it!
Ruggiero says, “Advisors I work with on social media have the same conclusion after our discussion. That conclusion is, ‘I had no idea it was that easy’ and ‘why haven’t I been doing this already?’”
Are you a late adopter to social media? What’s been holding you back? Why have you decided now is a good time to join the party? How have you used social media to build your business? Let me and the rest of the world know. I’d love to hear from you so drop me a line in the comments or on LinkedIn.
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.
Principal Funds are distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc.
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