Social media is no longer an optional marketing tactic for financial advisors. According to a survey conducted by Putnam Investments, 84 percent of financial advisors use social media for business purposes, and of that number, 91 percent have gained new clients through social media marketing. On average, they have seen an increase of $4.9 million in AUM from the time they started using social media.
Finding success on social media often boils down to two questions: who am I and who am I serving? If you know the answer to those questions, it becomes easy to tailor your content to your customer’s needs. Done correctly, social media becomes a significant tool for lead generation.
Though you may be using social media to promote your financial advisory firm, the question becomes, are you maximizing your efforts by understanding the specific channels and using best practices. Here, we’ll cover a few quick tips on how to use the various social media platforms to acquire and retain new clients for your firm.
1. Facebook Marketing – Best for Reaching Out to Family and Friends.
With more than two billion daily active users, Facebook is no longer for reconnecting with old college roommates and friends. The rise of Facebook Groups and Pages makes this platform a great way to build brand awareness and connect with your current and prospective clients. It allows you to have a direct and open dialogue and creates a space where your clients can get their questions answered.
More so than LinkedIn, people use Facebook to interact with personal connections, so it’s a great place to start a discussion about personal finance and saving for a family. While there are specific times and days of the week that get a lot of engagement on Facebook, a general rule of thumb is to post at times when people are at home or on breaks at work.
How to use it effectively:
- Though you’ll need to start with a personal profile, businesses need to create a Facebook Page to comply with Facebook’s regulations. Pages also allow for more functionality, including analytics and the ability to run ads. In addition to crafting posts about your company’s activities, make sure your Page contains information about how to contact you, such as your phone number, address, email, and business website. You can also customize the button on your Page so clients can contact you, book an appointment or make a purchase.
- Consultants have also found success by creating Facebook Groups to connect with clients and nurture leads. Groups are also a good way to share your value in a more controlled and exclusive space.
- When creating content for Facebook, make sure images and videos are part of the equation. Posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images and more than 500 million Facebook users are watching videos every day. And you don’t need an Oscar-winning film crew to post video. Even a short video of yourself simplifying a complex investing concept or answering frequently asked questions can go a long way.
2. LinkedIn Advertising – Best for Connecting to Like-Minded Individuals and Establishing Your Expertise
LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for financial advisers, used by 73 percent of people in the industry. Advisors turn to LinkedIn to connect with peers and like-minded individuals to improve their referral network. Because the audience and content is much more business-oriented, your posting habits should be slightly different here than on Facebook. Think about posting more during the workday. The platform also offers tools that enable you to search for prospective connections based on basic demographics like location and language, as well as more specific details such as their company information, seniority and industry. So if you’re looking to build a portfolio of Spanish-speaking lawyers in San Francisco, you can really hone in on that audience on LinkedIn.
How to use it effectively:
- Take advantage of marketing solutions and sales tools like sponsored content, text ads and Sales Navigator, a paid feature of LinkedIn that allows you to connect with more prospects, run more advanced searches and close more deals.
- When sending connection requests, especially to 2nd or 3rd degree connections, send a personalized message that states how you can offer value. For accepted connection requests, follow up with a short message and a clear call to action, whether that’s to schedule a call, join a group or visit your website.
- Conduct research on which groups your peers and prospective clients are a part of. Join those groups and jump into the discussions to share your expertise. By offering advice and answering questions— rather than pushing a sales message—you’ll form connections and gain the trust of your prospects without spending a dime.
3. Twitter – Great for Reaching Out to More People
With only 280 characters, a tweet may seem too short to get your message across. But Twitter’s appeal comes from the fact that people like to consume information in quick tidbits — specifically news. According to Pew Research Center, 71 percent of Americans on Twitter are using it to read news, and though you don’t need to use Twitter exclusively to share company news, it’s a great platform for that.
Twitter also has an added benefit for your website—it can help boost your SEO rankings. You also have the opportunity to show up on page one of search results by making it into the tweet carousel.
How to use it effectively:
- Hashtags remain an important element in running a successful Twitter campaign. Conduct research to identify relevant hash-tags and use them in your tweets so they can be found when someone is searching for information on a topic you are an expert in. When it comes to links, put them early in the post. Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella analyzed 200,000 tweets with links and found that putting the link approximately 25 percent of the way through would achieve the highest clickthrough rate. Just remember to use link shortening tools such as bit.ly and tinyurl to save on space.
- Much like other social networks, Twitter is just as much about listening as it is about speaking. Be sure to retweet content your followers and colleagues are tweeting and tag them in the post. You’ll also want to spend time each week liking posts and engaging with your audience because the relationship should be a two-way street.
4. Instagram – Best for Storytelling
Instagram is a visual storytelling platform that, according to Sprout Social, is being used by roughly 73 percent of US businesses—the majority of which are small businesses. With 95 million photos and videos being posted every day, the challenge is to create visually appealing content that stands out. One way to do that is to create a brand style guide and adhere to it when creating posts. Photo filters, brand fonts and brand colors can help create a recognizable brand and cohesive social presence.
How to use it effectively:
- Though you may think Instagram is just for selfies and photos of your dog or your food, it’s important not to “wing it” when it comes to your content. Make sure to identify a goal for your Instagram efforts and make sure you’re actively creating thoughtful content.
- Use hashtags in your posts and comments. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post though it’s recommended to use five to nine. Best practice calls for a mix of niche, general and brand-specific hashtags to reach and engage more followers.
- Instagram stories are photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Stories are a great way to further engage your audience and show “behind the scenes” photos and videos of your office to humanize your firm and get people excited to work with you.
The Takeaway – Social Media Marketing for Financial Advisors
Regardless of which platform you decide to use, it’s important to remember that social media is meant to be social. It’s not the place to exclusively push out salesy messages about your products and services. Build your brand around authenticity, and be sure to connect and engage where possible. Offer your clients valuable tips, share news, ask questions—and truly listen to the responses. If you approach social media as one-way communication, you’ll likely see a lot of unfollows.
Let’s face it, being active on social media eats up a lot of time. If you don’t have the time to invest in creating a solid social strategy and presence, it might be a good idea to outsource your social media activities to a team of specialists, allowing you more time to take care of your business.
Let Peregrine Consulting Group help you. We are a team of digital marketing and technology professionals specializing in the financial advisory niche. Contact us to know more about our products, services, and other solutions to grow your business.