Effectively Using Social Media As A Financial Advisor

What Game Are You Playing?

Not only ‘what’ game, but, ‘whose’ game? These are the two important questions all #financialadvisors and #financialplanners need to answer before they commit to any sustained use of #socialmedia.

Remember, if you don’t have a plan for your time on social media…YOU are the product.  Your time on each of the platforms you use is what is marketed and sold by those platforms to people and companies that want to sell to you.  Are you a consumer or producer?

When you purchase the automated and compliance approved ‘social media’ plan from your parent organization or outside vendor you aren’t playing your game…you are playing someone else’s game.  You aren’t going to get any substantive results because you aren’t really doing anything except adding more noise and chaos into an ongoing dumpster fire of noise and chaos.

Think about it.  What are you actually communicating to current and prospective clients when you share pre-approved, clearly corporate, canned content on your social channels?  Seriously, what actual benefit are you getting?

Don’t tell me that you are getting more visibility…unless you can show me hard data on views from your target market, shares by clients and comments from new connections.  You can’t.  That is the old mindset of advertising and that only worked when there were less channels and less choice for your future clients.

Here is something to write on a rock and keep on your desk:

Compliance controls and monitors the communications that your current and future clients don’t actually want to see

That’s right.  None of your clients are interested in posts about IRA’s and 401k contributions.  They also aren’t interested in articles that are clearly an automated share from an outside vendor.  You are doing something to just do something and you are teaching everyone you most desire to interact with this:  you are just like everyone else in your field.

Congratulations if that was your goal.  I suspect, however, that isn’t your goal.

What are people interested in?  Real stories and creative stuff.  You don’t need to run your video about your hike past compliance unless you mention product and/or service.  Guess what…everyone can see where you work so you don’t need to remind them.

I get it.  It can be confusing as heck to try and figure out how to be effective when marketing your business.  How about we get back to the stuff we know works on any platform, any social gathering whether online or off?

That’s right, we are talking about referrals. 

I admit I am biased towards referrals having co-wrote a bestseller on them and being in the process of writing another book on referrals coming out this fall.  There is a really good reason for my bias:  nothing works better than #referrals for advisors and planners to scale and grow a business of their dreams and that their clients love to share with other ideal clients.

So, how do we make social media effective as a financial advisor?

We do something different.  We show that we are human and we do what works offline to generate referrals.

Show that you are human

Stop all automated content.  This is an unnecessary expense and it is actually hurting your brand.  Instead, start sharing stuff that is about you.  This doesn’t mean you need to bare your soul to the internet.  What do you like to do when you aren’t working?  Talk about community organizations that you support (you do give locally don’t you?)  If you have a particular area of specialization, start a regular posting series just on that area (maybe a newsletter like this one aimed at a particular audience), or, if you have a particular niche like hunting, start talking about that.

Be consistent

If your clients never see you…they very rarely remember you.  The same thing goes for social media.  You need to show up to the event (post) and you need to do more than just sit on the sidelines.  Start small and start sharing all kinds of posts.  Also, it is vital that you start intelligently commenting on other people’s posts.  This will increase your #network (provided you aren’t dumping a sales pitch on somebody else’s efforts…don’t do that) and it will increase the likelihood that more people will notice, react to and comment on your stuff as well.

Be a giver

Make introductions on social media.  How?  First, connect to all your normal business contacts that are on the platforms you use.  A great content idea is to feature other business people or clients in your posts.  What does everybody love?  Testimonials.  Guess what you are allowed to give…that’s right testimonials.  Talk about your client that is the world’s best chimney sweep and help other people to discover their business.  When you see opportunities to introduce trusted members of your network to others, as you are reading and commenting on posts, seek to make introductions.  

Conclusion: Play YOUR game. When you look at and strategize your use of social media from a context of what will help you get more referrals some awesome things happen. (1) you are going to have more fun because you are going to be authentic (2) you are going to be more consistent because you don't feel fake and predatory (3) your audience will be growing in their knowledge about who you really are and (4) they will be far more likely to take the next step you really want: to engage with you in actual conversations vs. ignoring spam.

Related: Niche vs Specialty: What Is Best for Financial Advisors That Want to Predict Referrals?