Advisors looking to enhance awareness, engagement, and growth in today’s crowded and busy world are increasingly embracing social media. It makes sense as social media activity can help advisors share timely and relevant insights, build credibility with target clients and prospects, and network with peers and influencers. We asked the DeSola Group, a marketing agency specializing in financial services, to provide some tips to help advisors put their best foot forward when staying top-of-mind through social media.
Depending on the target market, social platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provide advisors with a cost-effective opportunity to post original insights, share perspectives from third parties, and create more emotive connections by associating their brand with non-financial or even lifestyle topics that reinforce each firm’s purpose and belief system, along with helping them get to know the people behind the business and further understand the value they create as trusted partners.
In addition, social media has recently empowered a new level of value by connecting advisors and clients who were otherwise separated by social distancing and unable to get together for in-person meetings and events. Social platforms allowed advisors to broadcast to a larger audience base to help bring a sense of calm amid a volatile and uncertain marketplace, offer real-time perspectives, and share timely and relevant news and information.
Even when social distancing is no longer our norm, social media will continue to be a vital way for advisors to stay connected, shape new dialogue, and reach key audiences. Below are tips to help bring your social media presence to the next level.
1. Be Authentic
Don’t be generic! Authenticity is key to making real connections and instilling a sense of trust and credibility. On social media, that means understanding your target audiences and focusing on what is relevant to them – audiences will see through purely self-promotional posts and campaigns. For example, your content approach should look different based on your target audience whether you are trying to appeal to up-and-coming Gen Z clients, retirees, small business owners, and others as each will have different needs, personas, and lifestyles. It also means staying true to your brand and keeping the message concise – quality over quantity as unfocused content will get lost in the clutter and audiences will likely ignore your communications if they’re not finding regular value in your posts.
2. Utilize The Power of Visuals
Don’t overcomplicate! The human brain can process visual cues in less than a second. Perhaps that is why content packaged into engaging visuals tends to receive almost 100 times more views than content without relevant images. Video content generates even more appeal and engagement than static visuals. In addition, positive visuals convey positive emotions which can create brand loyalty and entice audiences to “share” and “like” your posts – expanding awareness in an organic, cost-effective way. Keep in mind that your typical client or prospect is not an expert. In turn, rather than inundate them with complex content or technical jargon, use the power of visualization to engage, educate and enhance your value to them.
3. Track and Measure Your Posts
Don’t set it and forget it! It is critical to continually track results and advance your approach. You can start with the basics – for example, tracking clicks, likes, comments, shares, website traffic, etc. You can also go deeper to better understand how your message was perceived and what audiences are sharing or discussing. You can even get creative by looking at new meetings held as a result of your social engagements, whether certain tactics led to new assets from existing and new clients, and overall how it helped you expand your network. As you study the data, remember that marketing is an integrated process – put differently, do not simply look at social media metrics in a vacuum but also within the context of all marketing efforts to analyze what is working and what is not.
4. Leverage Your Events, Press and Other Content
Everything you do could be content! Not all social content needs to be focused on what’s happening in the markets or with tax legislation. By diversifying your content, you can showcase your personality and interests beyond financial advice and investments. Did your team volunteer at a local food bank for the holidays? Post a picture. Did your team get a byline in your local paper? Share it. Is a holiday coming up? Wish your network joy as they celebrate. This kind of content creates more client touch points, as well as providing an opportunity to build your personal brand and showcase your team and firm culture in action. This can foster more of a genuine interaction for your clients with you while experiencing your message through social media.
5. Make Social Media a Habit
Don’t wing it! Consistency is critical to any marketing process – especially on social media as it can help build an audience, increase engagement, foster trust, and allow your followers to look forward to your next post. Remember, it takes multiple touch points to engage audiences so do not stunt growth by “winging it” with random or sporadic posts. To get started, develop a “content strategy” (story levels, audiences, topics, etc.) and “content calendar” (a specific schedule of posts throughout the week and year) that can be used as the social media playbook to direct your team’s internal efforts and responsibilities. In effect, you’re creating a repeatable process to make social media a habit to enable ongoing timely and relevant content.
While there are many impactful benefits for advisors from leveraging social media, strict restrictions by regulators can be a deterrent, as social media is considered “advertising” and those rules must be followed. Partner with your compliance team and share your content calendar and planning strategy early in the process. By sharing your plan and the benefits of social media for your business, you can work with them to make sure your efforts are compliance guided.
In the end, the changes to how people communicate in a virtual world may be here to stay. Make the most of your digital presence now so you’re prepared for whatever may come in the future.
Looking for more tips on navigating changing times? Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 836-4265 today.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely the opinions of Segall Bryant & Hamill or an unaffiliated third party. You should not treat any opinion in this article as specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of opinions. The opinions expressed in this article are based upon information considered reliable, but completeness or accuracy is not warranted, and it should not be relied upon as such. Market conditions are subject to change at any time, and no forecast can be guaranteed. Any and all information perceived from this article does not constitute financial, legal, tax, or other professional advice and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with a qualified professional. The opinions and statements are subject to change without notice and Segall Bryant & Hamill is not obligated to update or correct any information in this article. For illustrative purposes only.