If you’re in the financial industry, what can social media do for you? Many brokers and advisors may be hesitant about investing in social media due to the age of their clients, the learning curve, concern about compliance, or doubt about a real return on investment. But social media engagement has proven to make a difference. It has become a vital place where your clients gather information for business and make decisions about relationships. 68 percent of U.S. adults reported in 2018, for example, that they use Facebook and three-fourths of those that they engage it daily. Though it is undeniably the youngest segment of adults who are most active across social media, even baby boomers are on Instagram and other platforms like never before.

So what does that look like regarding running a financial operation? What can social media do for you? Though social media rarely translates into direct sales, when used strategically, it can gain you valuable clients and referrals. How does it do this?

Some Great Social Media Tips

Improve visibility

First of all, social media casts your net wider. Simply put, a successful, strategically managed social media presence can improve Google search results, thereby granting you greater access to prospects, as well as allowing you to target localities and groups you want to reach with particular messages, and to do this daily.

Show your character

Daily social media presence also gives you the chance to display consistency, dependability, and authenticity in real time. For example, do you have the ability to clarify complex topics for your target audiences? This is a vital question for those seeking financial partners. Prospects can see immediately in your tweets or Facebooks posts whether you’re relevant to their particular interests, engaged, and clear. You can also drive the conversations you’re passionate about to build a reputation as an industry leader and gain attention from clients who are a good match for your offerings and specialties.

Be accessible at crucial points

Using social media gives you the chance to be instantly at hand when your followers are experiencing important “money in motion events” in their lives: kids going to college, retirement, adding a significant donation to a will, or job changes with subsequent 401k rollovers. You can remain aware of what they’re going through and track patterns of client needs and responses to continually improve customer service. This also shows reliability and responsiveness. If you’re there for a client in a time of need, they will likely refer you to someone else.

Shorten the onboarding process

New clients and referrals can learn a lot about you through your social media presence. By following a business or a particular advisor or broker on social media for a time, clients’ and prospects’ initiative shortens onboarding. You’ve already set yourself up to receive a relationship, and you’ve provided the other party with a base level of familiarity with you and what makes you unique in your industry.

Expand business connections

Through transparent communications, helpful comments, cross-referrals, and treating competitors as colleagues, you can find many ways to expand your business connections. Again, your ROI will be measured only indirectly in sales, but directly in new relationships, introductions, phone calls, referrals, and meetings over cups of coffee.

Here are a few more important insights:

FIRST: Understand compliance

Social media is a relatively new tool for broker dealer communications, but regulations still very much apply. Legal compliance is key. FINRA.org provides a comprehensive suite of social media and digital communications guidelines. Get familiar with this website and visit it regularly for updates. Working closely with your own broker dealer compliance department will also help you stay within bounds.

Observe

Spend time getting a feel for what others in your industry are sharing, what they’re not sharing, how people are responding, and what clients and prospects are asking. Think of it as “intelligence gathering.” Even if you hire a marketing service, the work of knowing what you want to say, why and how, and how it compares to others in the marketplace, is incredibly valuable.

Share what you believe

Your job on social media is to present honest opinions and helpful, accurate information to your audience. If you’ve found, for example, that a particular investing trend doesn’t work in your niche, share the conclusions you’ve come to, and your prospects and clients will appreciate that you’re not just speaking jargon. Create “get real” moments. What can your audience hear from you that they won’t hear from anyone else?

Invite intergenerational conversation

Older and younger advisors tend to approach social media questions differently. Take the opportunity to learn from each other. The more insight you gain in the gap between early and late technology adopters, for example, and the more you explore the reasons behind your confidence (or lack of it) in social media’s payoff, the more you learn about current trends, your client base, and available tools and strategies.

Unify

Don’t adopt several platforms at once, for example. Begin by learning one or two. After six months, use your data to analyze what’s worked so far and what hasn’t. As you post, develop a unified message and strategy for tone.

Get creative

Don’t forget that you can use social media to disseminate a variety of helpful, professional resources in creative ways. You might embed and share introductions to your agency and advisors, tweet helpful slideshows, or link to video presentations. Check all ideas closely with your compliance department, and explore your options.

Enjoy it

Do you like social media? If posting is like pulling teeth, you’re going to lack the passion and energy that make other agencies succeed at it. Even experts require time, trial, and error to get the messaging right, and get it in the right voice. But if you’re not the person for the job, let those who understand and enjoy it take it on.

When it’s time to hire a marketing partner, Range, a Deluxe company, can drive your brand forward with fresh and creative ideas while protecting your company vision and industry compliance. Explore what we offer or contact a consultant.