From time to time, I write about the growing relevance and importance of social media. Unfortunately, for many of you affiliated with broker-dealers, the topic has proven to be a veritable minefield of shifting internal policies and procedures. Let’s be honest – a social media policy that relies on pushing out pre-approved “canned” messages and insights that bear little to no resemblance to your unique personality, style, tone or views, is by and large doomed to fail. But just how engaged with social media are your wealthy, older clients? Is it a genuinely viable communication channel?
While less than one-quarter (23%) of your HNW and UHNW clients find the content of your periodic newsletters to be engaging, interesting and useful, and less than one in ten (9%) find great value in your blog posts, it’s the quality of the content and not the medium that’s failing to connect.
A clear majority of your clients have not only embraced social media, it’s become an integral part of their daily lives – even among clients over age 65. More than one-third (35%) of your millionaire clients and one-quarter (25%) of your UHNW clients access their Facebook pages at least daily and often multiple times per day. And LinkedIn and YouTube aren’t far behind.
Increasingly, wealthy clients are turning to social media as their preferred method of communication with friends, family and business associates. For advisors relying on phone calls, emails and face-to-face meetings, in many instances you’re essentially out of the conversation. Granted, the use of social media as a vehicle for the dissemination of investment information is still in its infancy, with about one-in-ten HNW and UHNW clients relying on YouTube videos and other social media avenues to learn about wealth management topics. But those percentages are bound to continue rising.
Jumping into social waters
Taking the plunge need not be arduous or time-consuming. Pick a platform and simply start connecting and engaging with your clients. Schedule a designated time during each day to spend 15 or 20 minutes posting and responding. Whether you post about your day, your take on the latest economic news, or simply share some personal family news, what’s most important is to be visible and connected. Make sure you engage in other people’s content, and mention other people in your posts. It not only helps generate goodwill, it’s also a great way to broaden your network.
Take time to explore the platform beyond what’s familiar. Think in terms of what could be useful information and how you can quickly access it and act on it. A dashboard indication that a client or prospect has just changed jobs may mean an IRA rollover opportunity. Isn’t that information you’d like to be able to act on before your competition does?
Coaching Questions from this article:
- Think about your existing client relationships. How well do your clients really know you, your thoughts, ideas, feelings and opinions?
- What, if anything, has been holding you back from using social media as a platform to strengthen relationships and grow your business?
- What particular financial topics capture your attention? In what areas do you have a unique take or slant on things that others rarely address?
- Who else on your team seems to have a strong, clear voice and firm opinions on a variety of matters?