Why You Should Never Give Up on Social Media as a Financial Advisor
Most financial advisors know social media is an important marketing strategy, but they don’t always understand the how or why. It’s confusing (and understandably frustrating) because there are plenty of marketing articles touting the impressive ROI for both paid and organic social media posts. Consequently, advisors are often disappointed when they post for months on end and see no tangible return for all their work.
But here’s the thing—most of those articles weren’t written with you in mind.
It’s one thing if you’re a gelato shop sharing enticing pictures of ice cream and asking customers to spend ten dollars or less with you—but the strategy for a business asking for a lifetime of trust and access to your personal finances is an entirely different ballgame.
If you want to integrate social media into your financial firm’s marketing plan, you need to understand how it works—and more importantly, how it works specifically for an advisor’s business. When it comes to advisor marketing, there are 3 primary ways to use social media:
- To build relationships and increase referrals and retention
- To increase conversions by creating a positive impression during the vetting process
- To reach new people who are unfamiliar with or unconnected to you
The first two goals are driven by organic (i.e., unpaid) social media, while targeting strangers requires a paid strategy. In a previous blog, we discussed how advisors can use their personal profiles to build relationships and increase referrals—and in my professional opinion, this is the most important way for advisors to leverage organic social media. You want to use your personal online presence to connect with people because as you do so, you can enhance your client relationships—you become more like friends, which increases referrals, retention, and the amount of business they do with you. Simply put, this strategy is too simple and too beneficial not to incorporate into your marketing plan.
Lots of advisors (and business owners in general) start using social media because they want to reach new markets, and while this is certainly doable, it requires a somewhat aggressive budget—and patience. We’ll discuss how to leverage paid social media in a separate blog, so for now, it’s important to understand the other purpose of organic social media—making a great impression during the vetting process after someone is referred to you.
What an Advisor’s Professional Social Media Presence is Actually For
Contrary to what some people think, posting a steady stream of content (without paid ads) isn’t likely to attract new business to your firm. Instead, maintaining an active social media presence for your practice does the following:
- Improves your search engine results and perceived viability during the vetting process
- Builds credibility and authority with current clients and prospects (hello, thought leadership content)
- Helps you stay top of mind with clients and prospects
All of these things impact the vetting and conversion process, which is why your professional profiles are so important–even when you can’t “see” them working. And to grasp the importance of the vetting process, you have to understand how referrals work…
How Referrals Work
Despite what some might assume, when someone is referred to you, their first step is not to call or email you. It’s to vet you—they’re going to research to determine if you’ll be a good fit for them, if they should call you. Consequently, lots of advisors get more referrals than they realize—they just don’t always “pass the test” when someone is deciding whether to call them.
That’s why the vetting process is so important—you have to make a great impression before you even know someone is looking at you. And your professional social media profiles play a big part in that process.
When you understand why you have social media profiles and what they can do for your practice, you can better leverage them to market your firm. In Part II, we’ll dig a little deeper into the specific ways your company profiles impact the vetting process and how they affect your overall brand reputation, referability, and conversion rates.