Why social media matters
Why social media matters
When it comes to financial planning social media, there's no doubting advisers have historically remained hesitant to utilise such channels, citing reputational and compliance risk. The game has now changed and we're seeing a strong reversal of this trend.
Financial services professionals are now realising the huge opportunities on offer via social media channels. It's now clear that the biggest risk for advisers is inaction and a failure to adopt digital engagement.
At the centre of this shift has been compliance departments finally offering better guidance to advisers on the topic of financial planning social media and a realisation by advisers they they need to change the way they engage with clients.
In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, not only financial planners but all businesses are having to reevaluate the way they communicate with clients. While Google still reigns as the king of internet search, there is no denying that people are, in increasing numbers searching social media channels to find businesses, especially Facebook.
This is the first big reason why being on social media makes a huge amount of sense for financial planners - in an increasingly competitive market, making it easy for your clients and prospects to find you is crucial.
Use financial planning social media to connect on a personal level
I can't over emphasise the importance of this - another hugely significant reason why financial planners need to be considering social media is that it allows you to connect with clients on a personal level.
Let's face it, unless you're physically meeting your clients in a more casual setting, there's no other forum where you can connect quite like you can via social media.
These days we're subjected to advertising at every turn, and it's for this reason that people love nothing more than reading material that is genuine and talks to your personal experience. Telling your own good news stories and showing your human side can be incredibly effective.
When we think of striking the perfect balance in financial planning social media, it's important to ensure you're delivering a variety of content through your presence. Content comes in three main forms, being: educational, informational and entertainment.
If you can cover off on all three of these, then you'll be well on your way to keeping your narrative refreshing - variety is key.
If you ever find yourself short of content, don't worry, this is completely normal and we've all been there! Most importantly, keep in mind that it's important to stay relevant to what you are offering. If you are going to post, just make sure the content will add value.
If users find the content useful, then they're more inclined to share what you have to say, this is the holy grail. A great post on social media can last forever and that is amazingly valuable for your end result.
New age marketing and scalability
The ability to scale is undoubtedly one of the most powerful aspects to social media. While many of my financial planner friends these days continue to send out their 'monthly email' to clients, it's my belief that clients seldom devote the time to read these in full.
We only have to look at our own email to know that inboxes these days are clogged with marketing material, making the process of checking emails almost painful.
I also find it a shame to think that such high quality content is being written but not necessarily read.
Don't we want clients to be excited at the opportunity of periodically reading our content? This is where I would argue that social media has a way of engaging clients more effectively than email. I'm certainly not saying that email marketing is a thing of the past.
What I am saying though is that advisers need to start thinking seriously about how they choose to market and engage. I believe there is significant uplift in engagement to be had via financial planning social media.
On another note, how much time will you spend to reach 10 prospective customers by phone? Perhaps an hour or more? Consider the number of prospective customers you can reach through social media in an hour — it's very much scalable.
Tom Loneragan is the founder and director of Latch Consulting.
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