Following a pilot program that gave 600 financial advisors access to Twitter and LinkedIn, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has taken the training wheels off and gave permission this week for all of it’s advisors to use social media marketing platforms. There’s a catch, though.
MSSB financial advisors can use LinkedIn and can tweet from a library of pre-approved tweets; they can’t use Facebook. Those restrictions may change, however, as a very small group of MSSB advisors have been given the opportunity to write their own tweets, a program that may be extended further, according to the Financial Times.
Social Media Finds New Clients
As MSSB ramps its digital marketing volume up, the takeaway for financial advisors both in and outside the wirehouses is that the industry is finally embracing social media. If you don’t take steps to be conversant with digital media, you’re likely to be out of the conversation and left behind when it comes to engaging with your current clients and potential clients in these fast growing networking platforms.
Actually, the most important information about the MSSB experiment isn’t so much that it’s advisors can use social media, it’s that the group of 600 who were involved in the initial experiment found social media made a difference in terms of connecting with prospective clients. According to the Investment News article, more than one-quarter of the advisors landed new clients due to their involvement on LinkedIn and nearly all reported that their networks had expanded or that they identified new prospects via social media.
New Prospects Through Social Media
The bottom line is that advisors who engage in social media marketing identify new prospects previously unknown to them and end up acquiring more clients. So if you want to expand your universe of prospects, don’t wait. Get familiar with your firm’s social media marketing policies and start networking.
The opportunity cost of not engaging with clients via social media is simply too high. If you can, and you don’t, you’re risking too much. Your competitors will be too far ahead of the curve for you to catch up and they will be eating your lunch.
If you’re not sure where to start, ClientWise has created a series of Learning Tools that guides you through some basic and advanced strategies for branding yourself on social media and engaging with clients and prospects. Social media marketing is one aspect of the Marketing Approach that ClientWise coaches encourage advisors to explore as part of their client acquisition and engagement approach.