Some financial advisors might feel like digital connections are more distant than in-person ones, but the reality of today is that a social media strategy should be an integral part of any advisor’s practice. Today, just about everyone is on social media, and it can be a beneficial tool for connecting with clients, developing relationships, and building your practice.
The point isn’t to take the personal element out of the practice; it’s about meeting new clients where they already are and in a way that’s familiar to and convenient for them. Believe it or not, social media can help you build a solid foundation of trust that can support many conversations to come.
Financial advisors should embrace social media to expand their networks, reach more potential clients, and build trust. So, if a financial advisor is new to social media, where should they start? Here’s how to do it:
1. Use your network to reach more people.
Starting with LinkedIn and expanding later to Facebook if it fits your brand, find new connections. Start with mutual connections of people you know, and reach out to build your network. It’s also wise to filter by industry if you have specific ones you target for ideal clients. Consider investing in a LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription to help you segment even further.
You’re likely to have more personal connections than your firm’s brand page. In fact, social media posts actually reach more than 560% further when shared on personal pages compared to brand pages. The trick is to leverage both your firm’s brand and credibility, as well as your own personal brand and relationship-building skills. People want to know exactly with whom they’ll be working.
2. Define your expertise with content.
Prospects want to know what you’re good at and how it can help them. Social media can help you define your expertise, and it’s an opportunity to build your profile as a thought leader in the space. For example, do you specialize in financial planning for young high earners? Or perhaps you have expertise regarding the retirement plans of a specific local corporation? These are all great differentiators for you.
Create and publish content on your social channels to address these specific audiences, and do so frequently. You can use a social media scheduling tool to make posting easier by planning out what you’ll share each day in advance. When your prospects see regular, relevant information from you, they’ll be confident you’re the right choice for their specific financial needs.
3. Engage to build trust.
As you share information that directly relates to the needs of your prospects, you’ll create authentic connections, and they will begin trusting in your expertise. However, if they’re going to put their financial wellness in your hands, they’ll need to trust you on a personal level, too.
Communicating openly, regularly, and proactively on your own social media profiles can help you build deeper trust by showing your prospects that you’re relatable and human. Remember that social media is not a one-way communication channel. It’s about a conversation, so encourage prospects to reach out to you directly and personally.
Show them you care by responding promptly to their comments and messages. Like their posts and engage with their content. Engagement can help prospects get to know you as a person, not just as a photo or a name on LinkedIn. People trust people over brands, after all.
4. Make sure to stay compliant.
As a financial advisor, you’re likely aware that you are subject to FINRA or SEC oversight and, therefore, must stay compliant with social media guidelines. Your broader financial institution may have additional guidelines you’ll need to follow as well.
Be sure to check with your compliance and marketing departments to learn exactly what you can and can’t do on social media and familiarize yourself with the proper policies and procedures to follow. Your institution might already have a tool in place to automate approval workflows, but if not, look into one to help streamline the process. Remember that a social media strategy can’t be strong if it’s not compliant.
Financial advising is a people-first business — it always will be. With the right execution, social media can be an effective people-first strategy, too. Using the steps above, build a solid basis of trust and credibility with more clients to set the stage for many connection points to come.