Clients expect more from the relationships with advisors these days, which means advisory firms that want to retain current clients and obtain new clients must actively engage with their audiences. One of the best ways to do this is through a well thought out social media strategy.
The following simple strategies can help you build your brand, hone your voice and engage with clients and prospective clients, all while remaining compliant.
1. Know your target audience
To create engaging, relevant content, you first need to know who you’re engaging. To ensure you’re sharing relevant content, imagine your ideal client. What is their age? Occupation? Primary financial goal?
The image that comes to mind isn’t meant to limit you but rather to help tailor your content. For example, if your ideal client is a doctor in their 50s who prioritizes saving for travel, retirement and their children’s education, an article aimed at young people entering the workforce probably isn’t relevant content to share.
2. Create valuable content
Every post on social media should serve a purpose. For example, if you share an article written by someone else about the impact of recent market volatility on a specific asset class, it should include insightful commentary that highlights your expertise.
Since it’s free to post on social media, it’s easy to approach the selection process more haphazardly than you might with a more costly marketing campaign. But this mindset wastes time, resources and could even negatively impact your company’s brand. Clients want to work with credible, organized, trustworthy financial advisors. If your social media content is haphazard, disorganized and irrelevant, prospective clients may assume your firm is, too. And if that’s the case, do you really expect clients to trust you with their money?
3. Prioritize consistency
Posting regularly is the ideal, but more important is posting consistently. If you post every day for a week, then disappear for a month, you’re not staying front-of-mind and you may appear unprofessional.
If you’re a smaller shop, you may be doubling as the entire marketing department, in which case you may not have time to post every day. If you can only post four times a month, do so once a week. And again, keep the quality of the content in mind. Four insightful, engaging posts that highlight your firm’s voice will almost certainly have a better ROI than daily posts made only for the sake of posting.
4. Engage with others to build relationships
Scheduling posts ahead of time is a great way to increase efficiency, but you still need to engage beyond posting. If you only log in to social media once a month, and then only to schedule posts, you’re missing out on a major benefit of social media and are unlikely to grow your reach.
A huge part of social media, both in terms of algorithmic effectiveness and branding, is engaging with other accounts. Comment on relevant posts, reshare content you find interesting and respond to comments on your posts.
5. Use social media as a learning opportunity
Social media doesn’t only provide a channel for you to let others know about your firm. It’s also a great way to learn more about your competition, prospects and clients. If you’re new to social media, or looking to improve your existing social media strategy, look at how competitors handle social media. Figure out what you do or don’t like about their social media marketing and use that as a starting point for building your own social media presence.
You can also learn a lot about prospects and clients through social media. What sort of content do they share? What accounts do they follow? What causes or values do they talk about?
6. Share your values
Sharing your firm’s values is a great way to connect with clients and prospective clients. If creating a supportive work environment is important to you, post content about your employee appreciation day. If you value giving back to the community, share the causes and organizations where your team volunteers. If financial literacy is a priority, share events or resources that support financial literacy education.
7. Keep compliance in mind
Posting on social media is marketing, and as such, all financial services-related marketing rules apply. While it may feel more informal, non-compliant social media can still lead to fines.
Information you cannot share on social media (or any marketing material) includes, but is not limited to: investment advice; performance data; guarantees of future returns or market/asset performance; and any content a reasonable person may consider misleading.
It’s especially important to keep in mind that any social media content your firm shares constitutes distributed marketing materials and therefore must also be compliant. In other words, any content you share must be compliant, whether you created it or not.