5 ways advisors should be utilizing social media

May 3, 2017 by Katelyn Rattray

A man checks a social media account on his phone.

about the author:

Katelyn Rattray

Senior content marketing specialist

With a background in content marketing, public relations, and social media management in a variety of industries, Katelyn strives to deliver high-quality educational content to advisors in the financial services industry and empower them with tools to boost their marketing efforts through content marketing and technology.

With the financial services industry becoming more competitive, advisors must find new ways to engage with prospects and clients as well as demonstrate their value above robo-advisors. For advisors within small firms or running their business independently, it can be difficult to scrape together a budget or the time to devote to marketing. With the recent marketing shift from an outbound strategy to an inbound strategy, engaging marketing tactics have become more attainable for small businesses.

How to enhance your social media presence

With nearly one-third of the world utilizing social networks regularly, engaging in social media as a marketing tool is becoming increasingly effective. According to Social Media Examiner, 66 percent of marketers also see lead generation benefits with social media by spending as little as six hours per week.

1. Leverage a social media management tool.

Financial professionals and advisors simply do not have the time to sit on social media networking sites all day in order to post content and engage with other users. By leveraging a social media management tool, such as Sprout Social, enables advisors to “set it and forget it.” Advisors can spend a few hours each week curating the content they would like to share and schedule it to publish throughout the week. Through consistent publishing of content, your followers will have the opportunity to engage with your brand even when you are in meetings or completing other projects.

Additionally, only 42 percent of marketers say they are able to measure their social activities. The importance of tracking your social media efforts cannot be understated. Without analytics, advisors will not know if the content they are sharing is successful or the extent to which their followers are engaging. Social media platforms often provide information regarding impressions and engagement. Many social media management tools that allow users to schedule posts, however, also provide varying amounts of analytics in order to track success on social media beyond what the social media platforms provide.

2. Share relevant content from multiple sources, and make it visual.

According to NewsCred, “interesting content” is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media. Before you begin sharing content, you must understand why you are writing for your audience. This understanding will also enable you to develop the plan of what you are communicating to them. When determining what type of content and information to share, you must think about it from the reader’s perspective. Why should they read this post? What are they gaining by reading it? What actionable takeaways do they have from this content? By answering all these questions for yourself prior to publishing, you will ensure that your content not only aligns with your personal brand strategy but also benefits readers.

Many business who leverage social media struggle to determine how to make their content more engaging. I would encourage you to reflect on your own personal social media habits in order to understand the prospects and clients you would like to engage. When you are scrolling through LinkedIn, do you often stop and read the posts that are four paragraphs long or the posts with an image containing a stat or quote? Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content, add visuals to yours posts as often as possible.

3. Leverage your company profiles as an extension of your brand.

71 percent of people are likely to buy a product after a good experience on social media. By engaging with prospects on social media and sharing relevant content, you are creating more opportunities to engage with your brand prior to them even purchasing your services or products. Sharing content via social media is beneficial in all steps of the financial planning process — from attracting prospect to converting them to clients and continuing to delight and educate them after they begin working with you.

When people engage with posts you published on social media and follow a link to your website, they should experience a similar look and tone as the content on your social media platforms. If the experience following your social media posts is too dissimilar from your website or in-person experience, the prospect or client may begin to view you as disingenuous and cease communication. No matter what way clients or prospects are engaging with you, however, they must have a consistent experience.

4. Run contests or offer incentives for engaging with your brand.

Once you have created a consistent brand experience on your social media pages, contents and incentives can help you increase engagement and gain feedback. 61 percent of social networkers are willing to give feedback on brands and products, so do not be afraid to leverage this tactic. Whether they have positive or negative feedback, it is beneficial in building an effective presence on social media.

Depending on your audience, you may want to provide different content or reasons to engage with your brand. According to Sprout Social, there is often a generational difference in what people are seeking from your brand on social media:

  • 60 percent of Baby Boomers are looking for promotions on social
  • 70 percent of Generation X will likely purchase something from a brand they follow
  • 30 percent of Millennials engage with a brand on social at least once a month

Running contests or offering incentives such as discounts or giveaways can be a great way to engage your audience and offer another positive brand experience to your audience. You can even consider partnering with local business and organizations on contests to show your commitment to the community.

5. Actively participate in conversations relevant to your prospects and clients.

It is not enough to simply publish content or information about your business, products, and services. You must seek out and actively participate in discussions on social media in order to gain added attention. This strategy can help you develop thought leadership status in the community on a given topic, discover prospects who may have otherwise gone unnoticed, and demonstrate that you are not simply on social media to sell but to engage.

Follow trending hashtags related to financial planning, personal finance, banking, FinTech, student loans, retirement, or a plethora of other financial decisions your prospects may be facing. Answer questions and provide helpful resources and you may just find yourself with some new followers — or new clients.

By 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human; therefore, a strong social media presence is becoming more beneficial not only to enterprises but also regional banks, independent advisors, and financial services brands around the globe. Use these tips to start enhancing your social media presence and growing your book of business.

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