We live in a social media world. At any given moment, there are millions of people posting, sharing, liking, and following. It’s part of daily life.
Social media isn’t just for personal use. There’s more to it that sharing vacation photos. Social media can be a powerful marketing tactic for a financial advisor.
The days of financial advisors ignoring social media are over! It is a must-do strategy in the modern age. In the work I do as a financial advisor coach, I help clients develop marketing and prospecting plans to get more exposure on social media.
This article is a guideline for financial advisors who want to use social media for spreading the word about their services.
Compliance for financial advisor social media
Before you jump online and start posting, we should take a moment to talk about compliance.
Depending on where you work, you may not be permitted to use social media for business use. It could be against company policy. In some situations you won’t be able to use it all, and in others, you’ll have to get posts pre-approved.
If you are concerned about this, check your company policy. Talk to your manager and to someone in human resources. Find out what you can do and how you can do it.
When looking at social media, one of the first things to consider, is which platform to use. As a professional coach, I use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Different platforms have different uses. LinkedIn, for example, is for professional networking. When you consider a platform, consider its main use.
When you are considering platforms, you should stick to the more popular ones. You want to be where potential clients are online.
What to post on social media as a financial advisor
When you first start a social media account for your financial advisor practice, it can feel a bit intimidating. What are you supposed to post about? Well, there are few things to consider and then I’ll give you some ideas.
Your financial advisor target market
The first thing you to have in mind is who is your target market? You have to know who you are trying to reach before you can reach them.
You should think about who you are targeting and what interests them. Do these potential clients need to learn about your practice? Do they need access to financial information? The things that interest your target market, should influence what you post about.
Whoever your target market is, you should focus on influencers for it. Reaching influencers can exponentially improve your social media marketing.
Once you identify your target market, you should develop categories for posts.
Categories can be a great way to help you come up with posting ideas. If you have a list of categories, you will spend less time thinking about what you should post and you will be giving potential clients variability with predictability.
Here are some category ideas you should consider using:
Financial tips – You could post tips that help potential clients manage their finances. However, you should refrain from posting investment tips and recommendations as this most definitely will not be allowed per your compliance department.
Accomplishments – If you accomplish something, such as gaining some credential, you can mention this. It can help improve your image.
Resources – You can provide links to financial resources. This could be anything from articles to calculators.
Events – If you are having any sort of event, you should post about it. Maybe you are teaching a seminar, or hosting a client appreciation event. Even if you don’t think the potential clients reading your posts will attend, it can be good to share the information as it shows you are involved.
Calendar items – I’ll tell you more about having a social media calendar in a bit, but things that have a specific date can be a great to post. This can be anything from business anniversaries to holidays.
News items – You can post about financial news and link to news stories.
Developments – Is anything changing at your firm? Are you moving to a new location? Did you get a new website? Any positive developments at your firm are great for posting about.
Lighter posts – Depending on the tone of your social media account, posts with a lighter subject matter can work well. You could post about pets, parties, or some interest you have. As long as it fits the tone of your account and it is something that will interest your target market, you can post it.
Discussion starters – You can post something meant to start a discussion. You could ask potential clients a question. This can be a great type of post because it builds engagement and also helps you learn about your audience.
A call for questions – You can have a post that asks potential clients if they have any financial planning questions. You can answer things in a similar way to how a radio call in show might work. People could ask things like, “When should I start saving for my child’s college education?” The questions can give you an opportunity to help people, build connections to potential clients, and demonstrate your expertise.
A cause – A great thing to post about is a cause – as long as it isn’t controversial. A great choice is curing a disease. Posting about a cause can be a great way to help out and it can also show potential clients that you care about more than just financial issues.
A social media calendar for a financial advisor
I mentioned above about having a social media calendar. A social media calendar can help you answer the question, “What should I post today?”
A social media calendar is something you create at one time. You note on a calendar all the important dates you might want to post about. These dates could include things such as holidays, events, and anniversaries.
After you note the important dates, you then fill in other dates with category ideas. This can be a great way to ensure an appropriate frequency of posts and keep your posts varied.
On my Private Client Website, I provide my one-on-one coaching clients with a sample social media calendar and key topics to post about so that they can get a head start in this regard.
How often should a financial advisor post on social media?
Once you have your platforms, you know who you’re posting for, and what you want to post, you then have to decide how often to post.
Part of this question is answered with your social media calendar. If you have a date noted, you know you are going to post that day.
Apart from that, how often you post depends on a number of things. These include the time you have for posting, the expectations of potential clients, how many things you have to post about, the platform you are using, and having balance in your frequency of posting.
Using social media takes time. A simple post might take only a few minutes, but a more involved one could take an hour. Given that you might have more than one account, you have to consider how much of your time this could take.
Additionally, an important part of social media is interaction. If you want potential clients to follow you, like your posts, and leave comments, then you have to do the same for them.
All this interaction can take up time. You should keep this in mind when you think about how much time you will spend on your accounts, how much time you have for posting, and how often you are going to post.
Expectations of potential clients
Different target markets have different expectations for how often they want to see your posts. Some target markets might be fine with one post per week. Others might expect one per day. You should match your frequency to what your market expects.
Try to find out what your market would appreciate. You could look at social media accounts of potential clients. How often do they post? How often do the firms they follow post?
You could also experiment with your accounts. Post at one frequency for a time and then another frequency for another time period. Compare the results to see which appeals more to your target market.
How much you have to post about
Your categories and calendar influence how often you post. If your calendar only shows two posts a month and you only have five categories, you won’t post as often as a financial advisor that has more.
The platform you are using
Some platforms, such as Twitter, are geared toward frequent posting. Other platforms could be used less frequently. When you consider how frequently you want to post, you want to make sure to match the platform you are using to meet client expectations.
A balance in posting
When you post you want to create a balance between posting too infrequently and posting too often. You want to have enough posts to keep potential clients engaged, but no so many that they get turned off.
Think about how often you like to read posts from those you follow. You can also experiment and see what frequency gives you a good balance.
On the other hand, you could simply post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and follow that schedule ongoing.
The tone of your social media accounts
When using social media it is important to consider tone. You want to remain positive and you want a tone that fits your target market. For some markets, the appropriate tone might be formal and educational. For another, it might be informal and motivational. Match your tone to your market.
An important point about using social media to market your financial advisor practice, is that while your posts might look effortless, there is a good deal of thought and planning that goes into them. You have to keep in mind that business social media is a marketing tool and you should use it with the planning and thought that you would use with any marketing tool.
When you post on social media, there are elements that can make your posts more effective. They include: text, images, videos, links, hashtags, and tying.
All posts should include text. You can often see posts that are just images or videos. Don’t do this. You need to include text in every post regardless of what else is in it.
Text helps with SEO and it helps people know what the post is about. It is an opportunity to give information.
Images and videos
On social media, it’s good to be visual. Potential clients like to see pictures, graphics, and videos. These can be great for conveying information and they give potential clients an improved experience.
In your posts, you want to include links. Links can be great for SEO and they can help your clients find information. You can also use links to direct clients to your website or to other information you have.
People search on social media using hashtags. Every post you have should have hashtags. When you develop your categories you should develop hashtags to go with them. You would use these standard hashtags every time you post in that category. You would also include hashtags specific to the post.
For example, if you work with business owners as one of your target markets, you could use these hashtags:
Your social media should tie within itself and to your other online presences. You want potential clients to move around your online world. You can direct them to other posts you’ve posted, your website, or your other social media.
Social media is great for search engine optimization. It has lots of content and is updated frequently. If you follow the ideas mentioned above, your social media accounts can be a great tool in helping potential clients find you online, especially now that most search engines are using artificial intelligence.
Goals and statistics
Social media accounts have all sorts of statistics. You can know how many people viewed a post, what country they are from, and what search terms they used. You also have statistics such as likes and follows. There are some important things to consider though when looking at social media statistics.
Social media statistics can be very distracting. It can be very easy to get caught up in how many likes a post got or how many followers you have. Don’t get caught up in this. Statistics have two good uses: they are important for gaining insights and they are important as you work toward end goals.
Let’s say you know that most of your followers are on the east coast of the United States, the most popular day for viewing your posts is Thursday, and the most popular category in terms of views are your financial tips. So what?
This information might be interesting, but unless you do something with it, it’s useless. You need to look at your statistics, draw inferences from them, get insights, and use that to improve your marketing.
From the example above, you might decide to post your posts at noon eastern time, when people on the east coast are having lunch. Additionally, you might post your financial tips on Thursdays to take advantage of the increased views. Also, you might post things related to the east coast, for example mentioning the weather or sports, to draw a connection to your potential clients.
Social media is a means, it isn’t an end. Getting a large number of followers and likes is nice, but it isn’t the goal. The goal is getting new clients, retaining current clients, and expanding services to current clients. When you look at your social media statistics you should keep this in mind.
This is important to keep in mind:
Financial advisor practices that use social media marketing will be viewed as “current” and “up to date” while those that do not will be considered “old-fashioned.” Even if you can never trace a new client back to your social media marketing plan, I am 100% certain that it will have an impact on your ability to bring in new clients!
At the start of this post I mentioned about compliance. If you are at a company that has rules for posting on business social media, you should follow the guidelines from your compliance department.
If you work at a wirehouse like Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, or Edward Jones, their rules must be strictly followed.
If, you are self-employed or have a Registered Investment Advisory, you should develop your guidelines along with a Compliance Consultant.
It can be very easy to have social media regret. It can be very easy to post something and wish you hadn’t. Establishing guidelines can help with this.
You should sit down and develop guidelines for yourself when you post.
One guideline might be to always stay positive. Another guideline might be to never engage with rude comments. Another guideline might be to limit how personal you are on your account. There are a number of guidelines you can develop depending on your personality and situation. Doing so will help you avoid social media regret.
If used properly, social media can be a great marketing tool for a financial advisor. As long as you treat it like a marketing tool and approach it with the appropriate planning, it can help you as you work toward business success.
If you’d like to improve your social media, contact me and I can help.