The ClientWise Blog

5 Actions Financial Advisors Should Take on Social Media TODAY!

Posted by Alix Purcell on Sep 11, 2014 10:00:00 AM


In August we published a blog about going digital in one weekend. Have you done it yet? Well, if not, you’re missing out. Social media expert Amy McIlwain, who specializes in the financial services industry, explains exactly why in her recent article “20 Astonishing Social Media Statistics for Financial Advisors.”

 

At ClientWise, we’re extremely focused on the shifts that occur not only within the industry, but within the world of the investors our clients serve as well. There are millions of trends and social influences that impact investors’ behavior and their relationships with money, many of which have nothing to do with industry performance. Fortunately, thanks to outside research like McIlwain’s, and careful monitoring of our methods with The ClientWise Research Approach™, we understand how to better build relationships between advisors and their clients to address these behaviors and maximize these shifts.

 

The shift that’s been getting the most attention lately is the need for succession planning as the demographic of investors begins to change. While it’s important to target the younger demographic to ensure succession, financial advisors don’t want to ignore or shut out the investors they’ve worked with for years: The Baby Boomers who’ve generated the most stability for advisory businesses up to this point. With good reason, most advisors fear that if they put too much attention into one channel that focuses on a particular demographic, like social media for generation X and generation Y investors, they will end up ignoring those investors with whom they’ve worked with for longer. As it turns out, however, this doesn’t have to be the case.

 

According to McIlwain’s article, a lot of investors in both the older and younger demographics are accessing social media sites on a regular basis, and using them for some targeted actions that advisors, depending on the restrictions placed on them by their firm can easily use to connect with them, whether they are current clients or clients they have yet to acquire. Here is a breakdown of the most intriguing statistics we read in “20 Astonishing Social Media Statistics for Financial Advisors” and how we recommend taking action on them:

 

STAT: “Two thirds of American adults with an investment account have profiles on Facebook LinkedIn, or Twitter. (Crewnetwork http://bit.ly/11PgTiK)”

 

ACTION: It’s clear that an important demographic that’s active in financial services is using the social media space. Get online however you can, even if you need to take your firms restrictions into consideration in doing so. Start by considering what a meeting with current or potential investors looks like. What information do you share with them? What advice? What is it that keeps them coming back for more? Can any of this be broken into more digestible pieces for digital consumption? If you are bound by the restrictions your firm, contact your marketing department for ideas. If you’ve hung your own shingle, start thinking creatively about what you respond to online and consider creating some similar material based on the content you’re sharing with current investors.

 

STAT: “The 55-64 age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter. (Business Insider http://read.bi/1aXmSYN)” 
 

ACTION: Use Twitter to become a resource to your Baby Boomer investors, while peaking the interest of younger observers through targeted hashtags. While you may not have the freedom to post through your firm, having a presence on Twitter, even if it’s personal, allows you to share ideas and insights you wouldn’t otherwise be able to. The limited character count simplifies the process of sharing an opinion about a recent industry shift, and will make it available to a wide audience in 40 characters and one click. Hashtags will make you easily accessible to more informed general Twitter users, who may be younger and not necessarily in your network… yet.

 

STAT: “60% of boomers and 40% of seniors say watching online video on sites like YouTube has become an important part of their day.  75% of boomers and 68% of seniors report taking some sort of action after viewing a video. (Media Post http://bit.ly/1evgLrb)”

 

ACTION: Use video to bring clients to your site or engage with your material online. Often, you can find compelling ways to do this without actually creating videos yourself, as long as you give credit to an outside source and cite appropriately for someone else’s contribution. Because videos are becoming such a popular means to absorb information for all demographics, many financial services sites and publications are creating them to inform investors. Post one of these with a link-back to the original source, and then include your professional opinion regarding the content of the video within the text of your post. You’ll share some valuable insights, reach a greater audience, and open some discussion around some perspectives that are broader than yours alone. 

 

STAT: “54% of Ultra High Net Worth ($5million-$25 million not including private residence) investors between the ages of 55-64 use LinkedIn for financial communication and research. (Millionaire Corner)”
 

ACTION: There is no confusion as to why financial advisors target high net worth clients, but because this is the case for so many it’s important that each advisor is clear about which specific segments of this demographic he is targeting. First, determine which of the high-net worth clients you’ve worked with in the past have experienced the most success, and narrow down your focus based on this. Then, take advantage of the wide array of tools LinkedIn Premium provides to find these types of clients within their pages. We wrote a blog on LinkedIn Premium, which you can access here for starters. The benefit of doing so could be greater than you imagine because, as McIlwain points out, “54% of Ultra High Net Worth ($5million-$25 million not including private residence) investors between the ages of 55-64 use LinkedIn for financial communication and research.” (Millionaire Corner) 

 

STAT: “More than two-thirds of millionaires 47 and younger use LinkedIn. (Think Advisor http://bit.ly/15tWKOE)”

 

ACTION: Now that you’ve hopefully become more familiar with LinkedIn Premium, consider how it could help you work ON your business, rather than just IN it. What are your plans for accessing the two-thirds of millionaires 47 and younger who use Linked In? Having a succession plan in place is key, but having the financial advisors who are going to be adept at implementing this succession plan is incredibly important as well. In addition to helping with client acquisition, LinkedIn Premium is also a great tool for finding the financial professionals that can help your business grow into the future. 

 

Coaching questions from this article: 

  1. What’s really holding you back from using social media… and are you finding, after reading this article, that you’ve been making inaccurate justifications for your lack of online presence?

  2. How are you able to double the roll of your current marketing material, by slightly repurposing something you’re doing in another channel for your digital and social media efforts?

  3. How can you bring the daily interactions you have with clients online by better utilizing your current resources or those of your firm?

  4. What opportunities to work ON your business is social media providing outside of client acquisition?

 

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Topics: Client Acquisition, Social Media, Technology, Communication, Marketing Approach, Client Engagement