I confess I’m not the biggest fan of social media. I have always preferred face-to-face interactions or, at the very least, a phone call.
But social media is here to stay. I was introduced to Twitter in 2008 (it launched in 2006). I remember feeling as though I was shouting into the Grand Canyon. It took me some time to adjust to its quirkiness. Yes, you can feel as though you’re shouting into the void. But you can also gain important insights from it while offering your own.
Social media platforms are Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Reddit, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, and more. You can check out Wikipedia’s list of social media platforms with at least 100 million active users here.
It’s recommended that you choose 1-3 social media platforms to update, especially if you’re the only one in your business who handles the marketing. You can’t be on all the platforms, so find out where your target market is hanging out and then join them.
Social Media Best Practices
There are much more knowledgeable social media experts out there, but I will share the basics when it comes to using social media for your business.
The traditional recipe is: Like, Comment, Share.
Too many businesses will post a social media update and then never check back on it. They don’t respond to comments or thank someone for sharing. This is considered rude by many social media experts and is a big “no-no.” If a business continues to do that, there is a good chance they’ll lose followers as a result.
Some adhere to the 80/20 rule for social media updates: 80% of your updates should bring value to your audience and only 20% of your updates should promote your business.
I like mixing it up. I will post my updates, but I also intentionally look for other people’s updates that I feel would benefit those who follow me. Some people will thank me for sharing but sometimes they don’t. The ones who thank me are the ones I remember and stay on my radar.
Although it is easier to hit that “Like” button on social media and move on, I would like to challenge you to go a little further. Comment on someone’s update. I will guarantee you that it will make their day. Many businesses who are active on social media realize that the majority of readers won’t comment. Even when it’s obvious that a lot of thought has been put into crafting that update. So set a goal of commenting on at least three updates a day.
Another benefit of commenting is that now you’ll be on someone else’s radar. They’ll appreciate it and also keep their eyes out for your updates and add a comment.
Don’t be a social media boor. Don’t just post updates constantly about your business yet add nothing to a larger conversation happening online. Trust me on this one. I’ve been using social media now for 15 years. I’ve seen some platforms come and go. I’ve also seen a few “influencers” come and go. The ones that are gone were self-absorbed and didn’t engage much with their audiences.
An easy way to remember this is how you would behave at a party. You’re polite, you ask questions of new people you just met, you offer information that might help someone, and then you thank the host for inviting you. Social media etiquette is similar.
5 Social Media Strategies to Market Your Authority
Financial advisors have the unique opportunity to use social media to build trust with potential clients and establish themselves as authorities in their space. Here are five strategies independent financial advisors can use to do just that.
#1 Share Authority Knowledge
Social media is a perfect platform for financial advisors to share their expertise and knowledge with current and prospective customers. Use it as an opportunity to educate your audience on financial topics, the markets, and advice that pertains to them.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Share Client Stories: You can use social media to put a face and story behind the work you do with your clients. Show people the true impact of your advice, their successes, and how their lives have been changed for the better because they trusted in you.
- Curate Content: Don’t just rely on creating all of the content yourself – curate content from other sources as well. This will allow you to provide valuable information from other industry experts, while still maintaining your own unique voice and brand.
- Use Visuals: Social media is highly visual, so make sure to use visuals such as photos and videos to draw attention to your posts. You can also use graphics with financial data or other interesting facts to make your content more appealing.
- Engage With Your Audience: One of the best ways to build trust with your audience is to engage with them on social media. Ask questions, answer their queries, and really get to know your potential clients so that they feel comfortable trusting you with their finances.
By implementing these strategies, you can use social media to build authority and trust. As a result, you will be able to better serve their clients and develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with them.
#2 Participate in Conversations
Rather than just posting content, take time to actively engage with customers by responding to their comments and questions. This is an excellent way to build trust, as it shows clients you are willing to listen and take the time to address their concerns.
Here are a few tips you could use when engaging with people on social media who may have questions about financial planning:
- Make sure to listen carefully and understand their needs before providing advice.
- Use simple language that is easy to understand, avoiding technical jargon as much as possible.
- Ask clarifying questions if necessary to make sure you have all the information needed for a thoughtful response.
- Offer helpful advice or resources such as links to more information.
- Be respectful and professional when responding, even if the client is frustrated or angry.
- Always keep your clients’ best interests in mind.
- Follow up to make sure they got the help they needed and that their concerns were addressed effectively.
That last one will definitely separate you from the pack. Very few businesses will follow up with those who are investigating their services. If someone asked you a direct question, it would make an impression if you follow up with them within a week to check their status. You will be remembered, that’s for sure.
By engaging on social media, you can build trust with customers and develop relationships that will last for years to come. Be responsive and you’ll reap the benefits.
#3 Showcase Successes
Celebrating success stories is a great way to show potential clients the value you bring to the table. Sharing positive client outcomes can also help build trust and demonstrate your expertise in financial advising.
Although you won’t be able to fit an entire success story in a social media update, like Twitter, there are some ways you can still promote them.
- Have a dedicated page on your website where you post your success stories. Link to that page in your updates.
- Create a PDF of your success story. Post it on LinkedIn in your Featured section. Just click the large “plus sign” and then “Add Media.”
- Use the webpage link to your success story page and feature it in your profile links.
Remember, whatever the marketing asset may be, you want to “get it out of the house.” Share links and PDFs whenever you can with your social media followers. Only a small percentage of people will visit your website. But a lot more of them will see you on social media.
#4 Utilize Video Content
Video content has become increasingly popular on social media, and it’s a great avenue for financial advisors to showcase their knowledge. Create videos discussing financial topics or provide advice on how to make smart investments.
Here are a few tips for how to choose a topic for your video:
- Choose topics relevant to your target audience. Let’s say your audience is Gen X who has questions about social security. Explain the pros and cons of starting social security benefits early, at the full retirement age, or at 70 years old.
- Focus on topics that are timely and likely to be of interest to viewers. Are there new regulations regarding benefits, such as IRMAA and Medicare? This would be of extreme interest to your audience. Recording a video on how to avoid expensive surcharges would be welcomed.
- Make sure the video adds value by providing helpful advice or information.
- Think outside the box – consider creative ways to present financial concepts in a more engaging way. Recording your video outdoors or in another location other than your office will add visual interest. You also could add a few short video clips to demonstrate a certain point. These clips are often referred to as B-roll or B-footage.
- Research what type of videos are already popular in your profession and consider how you can offer a unique perspective or take on the topic.
Video content is an excellent way for you to present your knowledge, experience, and expertise in a more engaging and personable way. People are looking for reasons to trust—or not trust you. A video gives your prospects the opportunity to get to know you better. With the right strategies in place, you’ll be able to use video content to build that trust and demonstrate your authority.
#5 Leverage Influencers
Look for influencers in the financial space who align with your values and message and leverage them as a way to reach more potential clients. Connecting with trusted influencers can help build credibility, trust, and authority in the eyes of prospects.
Wondering what types of influencers could be a good match for what you do? Here are a few:
- Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
- Investment Bankers
- Financial Analysts
- Personal Finance Bloggers
- Lawyers, especially those who focus on divorce, estate planning, and selling a business
- Investment Groups or Organizations
- Estate Planners
- Business Consultants
- Tax Professionals
- Funeral Directors
Follow influencers and if you’re on LinkedIn, click the bell in their profile so you’ll be notified when they post an update. Comment on their updates and share them. Interesting conversations may start as a result and the influencer may comment on something you post, which will result in your information being introduced to a wider audience.
By following these strategies, financial advisors can leverage social media to gain trust and become authorities in their field. Utilizing social media in the right way can be a great way for you to increase your visibility, build brand awareness, and ultimately reach more potential clients.