As the social media landscape rapidly changes and expands, we are noticing finance industry professionals are embracing social as a vital tool to build their portfolio. Financial advisors are watching what's going on online and using its saturation into everyday life to expand their reach. In a recent study conducted by Putnam Investments, 80% of advisors who use social effectively have gained new business online. Recently, I spoke with Enrique Gonzalez, a financial representative with Westpac Wealth Partners and he notices the trends shifting towards increased social engagement. "Social media is an efficient way to keep up with relationships as well as building new ones by always being visible." said Gonzalez.
Before the rise of social connecting with people via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn as a financial advisor almost always alerted the compliance departments. But, times have changed and being a social advisor is a growing trend. "In order to grow our business, we need people to keep us and what we do, in mind so that they can reach out to us when needed, or whenever they decide to start taking action with their finances." Looking to be a "social advisor"? I have five important steps for you to embrace when using social media.
Learn from your peers. If you're not sure where to begin on social, take a look at your colleagues and watch what they are doing. Do you have a mentor? Find out what works for them and apply it to your strategy on social. Do you cringe at some of the tactics used? Don't be like that.
Check your corporate policy. I don't want you getting in any legal trouble by utilizing social to grow your business. If your company is already on social, find out a way to implement their content into your personal brand. Gonzalez stated that Westpac consistently has “training sessions and compliance reviews so that we keep ourselves in line and not post anything that could jeopardize the company.”
Don't pitch to us. Everyone is selling something online and people can see through that. Loyalty and trust is built through genuine relationships. I always say it's best to be genuine in your approach because sooner or later your "sales pitch" posts will be marked as spam. “My purpose is not to have more clients; My purpose is to share my ideologies and philosophies regarding wealth management and connecting with those that agree with them.” said Gonzalez.
Choose your platform wisely. Chances are you have personal profiles on all the major social media platforms. With LinkedIn remaining as the preferred platform for those in the financial industry, ask yourself if you can transition to your Facebook or Instagram profile into a place where being social will benefit you. This goes back to identifying your messaging and how you will reach prospects.
Show me that you're not a robot. Who are you? Show me your personal side, what you like to do when you're not working, etc. If you're not being a real person, why would I trust you with my cash? When posting pictures and sharing content online, remember the general rule. If you're using your profile for business, throw in a little personal content the reflects you. It's a proven fact that people do business with people we enjoy and who share some of our passions - So be real.
Have other tips to share with your peers in the finance industry? Let me know what they are.