Some secrets of social networking pros

Social media success requires time comittment, smarts, 'nice pieces of content'

May 15, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

By Liz Skinner

Financial advisers need to integrate social media into their work flow so that posting an article on LinkedIn about the upside of foreign equities, for example, becomes a routine part of the day, right along with calls to clients, investment analysis and prospecting.

One way time-starved advisers can work in the recommended 30 minutes to one hour a day on social media is to equip mobile devices with applications that allow them to send tweets from just about anywhere — the car repair shop, for instance — or promote a client event on Facebook between cheers at a child's soccer game, said two experts during an InvestmentNews webcast yesterday.

“Those who are most successful with social media are those who integrate it into their lives,” said Kristen Luke, chief executive of Wealth Management Marketing Inc.

Advisers also should post content relevant to their hobbies and community, as well as educational materials that can help clients with their finances or other aspects of life. However, they should stay away from tweeting things like the breakfast menu at home.

“Look for nice pieces of content that will resonate with your followers, get you noted and identify you as a resource and thought leader,” said Stephanie Sammons, chief executive of Wired Advisor, during the hour-long “Jumping off the Tweet deck” webcast.

WHAT TO WATCH Videocast: Experts answer your social media questions

The people who do well at this are those with the confidence to put their opinions out there and are personally committed to showing who they are as people and what they stand for, Ms. Sammons said.

“They are authentically involved with the process,” she said.

Posting photos and content is important, but advisers also need to stay engaged, with personal interaction a key component, Ms. Luke said.

“The more you can be present, the more you'll see growth in followers,” she said.

Tracy Schmidt, director of social media strategy and consulting for Investment News parent Crain Communications, warned advisers to be careful when sending personal messages through Twitter, pointing to the case of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who was disgraced two years ago for sending inappropriate messages. He thought he was sending a direct Twitter message, but in fact, the revealing photos went out to all his followers.

“Be careful about private tweets to individuals,” Ms. Schmidt said. “Make sure that if a direct message accidentally goes public, it won't be harmful.”

Ms. Sammons also recommends that advisers steer clear of pitching their services through social networks.

“If you are building online influence, giving value and sharing content to help people get smarter or achieve more, they will naturally seek more about you and visit your website,” she said.

All three women stressed the importance of having strong profiles on the three main social media sites — LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The profiles should discuss the adviser's accomplishments and how they help clients. Even if an adviser isn't active on one of those three, their profile will still come up on search results for the adviser's name.

It's not as important for an adviser to be on some of the smaller ones, such as Pinterest, unless there's reason to expect one's target audience to be flocking to that site.

“You want to be where the people are — that's where the opportunity is,” Ms. Sammons said.

On regulation, the panelists said the Securities and Exchange Commission has “softened” its policy on social media in recognition of the fact that it's not going away. Independent advisers need to have a social-media policy in place, and they must archive messages and follow the existing marketing/advertising rules for advisers, Ms. Luke said.

For advisers at large brokerage firms, it will take more time and they'll have less flexibility with what they can do with social media, the women said.

However, even wirehouse advisers can create a personal brand that has nothing to do with business, such as a Merrill Lynch adviser who runs triathlons and raises money for charity.

“Build it around what you're passionate about, and then when you get the green light, then you can integrate business,” Ms. Sammons said.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Upcoming Event

Oct 22

Conference

San Francisco Women Adviser Summit

The InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit, a one-day workshop now held in six cities due to popular demand, is uniquely designed for the sophisticated female adviser who wants to take her personal and professional self to the next level.... Learn more

Featured video

INTV

Regulators' gloves are coming off with cybersecurity. Put up your dukes with these tips

Updated guidelines and some of the first-ever rule enforcements signal that regulators are getting serious about holding firms accountable for data breaches, according to special projects editor Liz Skinner and technology reporter Ryan Neal.

Recommended Video

Keys to a successful deal

Latest news & opinion

Advisers throw cold water on FIRE movement

Millennials love it, advisers don't: Turns out, extreme early retirement is a suitable goal for almost nobody.

10 universities with the most billionaire alumni

These 10 American schools have the greatest number of alumni who are billionaires.

Top-performing ETFs of 2018

The markets took a beating last year, but these exchange-traded funds bucked the trend

Morningstar says investors rushed the exits in 2018

Net flows into mutual funds and ETFs were the lowest since the 2008 financial crisis, while money-market funds captured inflows.

Widow awarded $4.2 million by Finra panel for theft by ex-Royal Alliance broker

The former broker, Gary Basralian, earlier pleaded guilty to theft and is facing up to 20 years in prison.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print