Having just returned from the AFA 2015 National Conference, I am inspired to write this post. While much has been written about why Advisers should consider using social media, little has been written or perhaps read, about some of the most practical tips.
One of the Advice businesses I spoke to at the Conference said that they were just about to outsource their social media to a local company. Curious to know more, I asked the question why? The Adviser explained that they just didn’t have the time to post articles each week. Curious to know more again, I asked if the social media agency they were about to engage with had an endless supply of compliant literature to post on their behalf. And so the conversation went on.
In summary – of course, the social media agency doesn’t have endless compliant information to post for them; they don’t have any content, what they will do is put their fingers to the keyboard and simply upload the posts for a monthly sum. Not that all the information a business posts needs to be financial services focused, it is after all ‘social’ but I would imagine the purpose of using social media for this particular business was to help position their business, engage with clients and increase their word of mouth marketing.
While I don’t want to discourage anyone from outsourcing, way too much research shows the benefits, what I would like to suggest is that an Advice business perhaps puts on the brakes before ‘flicking’ social media to an external source and think about the strategy.
One of the biggest issues for Advisers using social media is the sourcing of the actual content; the articles to share. Those are critical because it’s the articles that will help position you as the expert and educate your readers about the value of advice as well as the fundamental financial elements of their lives.
One of the great things about this profession is the amount of information available via the Internet, product providers and most Licensees’.
Take the time to plan your social media ‘attack’ don’t let anyone make you feel as though your business value will decrease if you don’t get onboard NOW because it won’t. Social media will help your business but not if you do it badly!
Identify what the challenges may be [if any] of using social media. Is it content sourcing, is it posting the information, is it reporting, engagement, identify the potential risks and then find the solution [which may be in front of you].
Whatever you decide to do with your social media make sure you engage with people. Far too many businesses are making the mistake of posting articles and so forth and not monitoring the response and doing something with the response! They are ignoring people!
Another tip I would suggest is to make sure your digital reputation is spot on before you delve into social media. Good marketing should speed up the process of someone finding out what you are really like – so make sure its good!