One of the more frequent frustrations I hear expressed by advisers regarding their social media efforts (behind compliance constraints) is that fitting social media strategies into their day is difficult and takes too much time.
In this increasingly on-the-go society, it is critical that you're able to run your business and your marketing efforts while you're on the go. Our coaching and consulting clients seem to be moving all the time — meeting with clients, attending networking events, handling paperwork, making trades — and when we discuss social media, I am often met with, “When am I going to fit that in?”
Thanks to a few standout mobile apps, my adviser clients can now manage their social media from anywhere — a cab, a Starbucks, an airport, or their home or office. Here are a few of our favorites:
HootSuite. Because it can be time consuming to post to multiple platforms, many companies have sought to provide one-stop shopping when it comes to updating your social media pages.
A number of social media management tools are on the market, but HootSuite is by far the most popular. (If you're not a fan of the user interface of HootSuite, then check out TweetDeck, which has similar features.)
This tool, which features both desktop and mobile dashboards, lets you manage your social media across multiple platforms, scheduling status updates and posts, and following your networks in one easy location.
Though many advisers like to update their networks separately, using different content for each audience or platform, HootSuite will save you a lot of time if you find that you typically post the same content to each of your sites.
On the other hand, if you prefer to update various platforms individually, as I do (I find that the audiences on my networks vary a bit, and I like to customize the content to better fit their needs and further engage them), here are some must-have apps:
Twitter. This app allows you to post tweets (140-character messages), photos and videos easily from your phone. It also lets you manage multiple Twitter handles, providing a quick and easy way to update your followers.
You can also use the Twitter app to follow trending topics or to search for a particular topic via a #hashtag.
Facebook Pages Manager. This app allows you to manage your Facebook business or brand pages and is especially useful if you manage multiple pages for yourself or your practice.
With Pages Manager, you can post status updates, photos and links to relevant articles, as well as respond to comments that followers have posted on your page. This is a smart way to engage clients in real time while you're on the run.
You can also use this app to access page analytics.
LinkedIn. I have written a number of times about my love of LinkedIn and its limitless business applications for financial advisers. When it comes to apps, LinkedIn is continuing to rise to the occasion. While its mobile app is a must for managing your profile, a few others are worth a look.
Pulse, LinkedIn's news reader app, filters articles and content based on categories that the user selects. This is a great way to find relevant articles to repost or share with your network.
A newer app, SlideShare, also allows you to select categories to follow, and features SlideShare presentations around those particular topics.
Bitly. This is another app that has been a must-have for both our firm and the advisers we work with.
Any good social media campaign includes sharing relevant and useful information with your audience. This information frequently arrives in the form of an article or other resources. Sharing it via links on social media platforms is an effective way to engage followers.
Links are often quite long, however, and can exceed the character limit of most posts. With Bitly, a link-shortening application, you can copy and paste your link into a designated field, and the app creates a shortened version. You can then use that shortened link in your post, making it look cleaner and saving that much-needed character count.
Time is a precious resource, and as advisers, we don't have all that much of it to spare.
These mobile tools will go a long way in helping you be efficient and effective at managing your social media efforts.
Kristin Andree (firstname.lastname@example.org) is president of Andree Media & Consulting.