Average internet users spend over two hours a day on social networks. That’s almost 15% of their waking hours. If you’re a financial planner prospecting for new clients, social media is where you can find them. To help you get started with your campaigns, here are some top social media marketing strategies for financial planners.
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A Note on Compliance
Not too long ago, the concept of social media marketing in the financial services space was strictly taboo. Launching any kind of campaign on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter was sure to cause you a compliance headache. That’s no longer the case.
Compliance officers now consider social media a legitimate venue for prospecting and communicating with investors. Most firms have compliance guidelines for creating social media marketing campaigns.
Run Everything Through Compliance
Just in case we didn’t stress this enough, don’t do anything on social media until you have completed the required training and installed the automated monitoring software.
We can’t stress how important this is. Social media marketing is effective and will bring in more financial planning prospects for you, but it can also be dangerous from a compliance standpoint without the proper post-use and supervision implemented.
Select Social Media Platforms
Choosing a social media platform is not a comparison exercise. Facebook isn’t better or worse than LinkedIn. They serve a different function. Here’s a quick overview of common social media platforms and their uses:
- Facebook. Investors are more likely to click a link and read something on Facebook. Be sure to include an image or video along with the link in your posts so they don’t get lost in user’s feeds.
- Twitter is primarily a text-based platform. That makes it a great place to engage in conversations and establish yourself as a thought leader.
- LinkedIn is a platform for professional networking. It’s a great place to connect with potential clients, network, build relationships, and gauge interest.
Define Your Target Audience
Most social media platforms provide targeting features for paid advertising. Examples of this are Facebook Boost and LinkedIn Ads. Find a niche that you want to market to and use these tools to grow your audience. It’s one of the fastest ways to build a following.
You can also find prospects in social networking groups and by using hashtags. Find discussion groups where folks in your target market engage. Start a conversation. Use hashtags so others can see those conversations when they run related searches.
Create a Personal Brand
Find a good photographer and get some professional headshots done. Your image is the primary element for your personal brand. Another element would be your tag line. Combine the two and make sure you use it on your website and social media profile.
Make your brand unique so readers remember it. Marketing is all about repetition. Internet users are attracted to images. Put your brand out there, and eventually they’ll read your content. That’s how you build a fan base. Write great content and others will share it for you.
Invite Your Friends and Colleagues
We get by with a little help from our friends. Invite those closest to you when you start to build your social networks. These are the folks most likely to say nice things about you, and having an initial base of followers can help encourage others to follow you as well.
When launching your social media profiles, connect with colleagues and peers who know you on a professional level. You can also add other financial planners to your network. Today’s competitors could end up being partners tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to open up a dialogue with others in your field.
Write Quality Educational Content
This may very well be the most important tip on this page. If your content isn’t useful, your audience won’t engage. Write about what you know best. Become the go-to authority on all subjects related to financial planning, retirement, and your niche. That’s what brings clients in the door.
The most effective social media strategies for financial planners are run by advisors who are thought leaders in their area of expertise. They’ve built huge followings because their content is unique, educational, and relevant. You can do that too. Don’t be afraid to outsource your marketing to ensure you can produce top quality content!
Automate Your Social Media Posting
According to a recent study conducted by Accenture, a multi-national professional services company, roughly 50% of financial advisors interact daily with investors on social media. Automated communication tools are what makes that possible.
Most content management systems offer social media integrations that will auto-post your content to multiple platforms. You can also schedule articles to go out at timed intervals, making it possible to write batches of content in one sitting, then publish daily. Of course, just ensure you get approval from compliance before scheduling your post for publication.
Engage in Online Conversations
Once your content is out there, start a conversation. Engage with those who comment on your posts. There’s a reason for their interest. Try to discover what that is by probing online. Answer questions to the reader’s satisfaction and they might just schedule an appointment.
You can also pick up leads by engaging with another party’s content. Try to stay away from being the dissenting opinion. No one likes a naysayer. Only comment if you have something to add to the conversation. Good vibes tend to generate positive responses.
Do Not Promote or Sell Your Services
No one goes on Facebook looking for a financial planner. They might buy clothing or other retail items if they see an interesting ad. They’re be less likely to buy your services—not directly anyway. Instead, keep posting quality content and build a community, and some will eventually visit your website. That’s where the sales opportunity is.
This should not be a new concept to you. We’ve all been taught to be open about what we do yet never push our services on those who don’t express a need for them. Social media marketing is essentially the same thing. Don’t promote. Educate, build a following, and establish yourself as a leader in the space.
Let’s Get Started
Unsure where to start with your social media strategy or feel like you don’t have the time or resources to produce quality content? Good Life Companies can help. In addition to a full range of compliance and marketing services, we offer a full suite of tools to help financial advisors establish, manage, and grow their practices. Contact us today for more information.