Financial Advisor Social Media

My pastor uses Twitter to announce his sermon topics and share scriptures. My daughter’s Girl Scout Troop uses Facebook to post upcoming events and share pictures from camping trips. My wife’s hair stylist posts new styles and creations on Pinterest. What about my financial advisor? Does he need to use social media?

More financial advisors and wealth managers are beginning to embrace social media as a valuable tool to connect with their clients and generate new leads. Almost 75% of advisors use at least one social network for business. Of that number, 91% use LinkedIn, 32% use Facebook and 22% use Twitter.

However, as I facilitate training workshops and webinars across the country, I regularly hear three concerns:

  1. Am I maximizing my efforts?
  2. How do I get started?
  3. Will I get in trouble?

What the Pros Do – Look at the LinkedIn profile of Michael Kitces or Bill WinterbergEven if you can’t add publications or conference presentations to your profile, include your work experience, a detailed summary and a professional picture. If you have a regularly published blog, add that to your profile. Be consistent about tweets, shares and posts. Connect with and follow the companies or groups you respect.

Getting Started – Talk to other professionals in your industry and find out what platforms they are using. Before you commit to a particular channel, do some research and learn the pros and cons. Once you have decided, pick 2 platforms and dive in! Many organizations and companies offer webinars on effective use of social media. Participate in a few of these to learn special tips and tricks.

Policies and Procedures – I’ve talked to some people who are afraid to add a picture to their LinkedIn profile because they fear they will get in trouble with their legal department. Ouch! A safe rule of thumb for social media is to not publish anything that could not be on the cover of the New York Times. Tweet publicly available information. Tweet pictures and data from a conference you attend. Post and share interesting pictures and articles. If an investor has a detailedquestion about the information, set up a meeting or phone call.

Statistics show that 78% of sales people who use social media will outsell their peers. However, it’s not a popularity contest. Don’t just use it because everyone else is doing it. Choose the social tools that will work for you and allow you to effectively communicate with your audience. Your clients are already out there talking; join in the conversation.

Scientifically Speaking, of course.