It is an idea generator, a trend mapper, and a strategic compass. It allows you to engage, enlighten and encourage. It is also the greatest marketing tool in the history of humanity, and it’s at your fingertips.
“It” is social media, the ideal vehicle for increasing your visibility with clients and prospects.
As with any tool, you must operate social media with care. In the right hands, a chainsaw can do a lot of good. Used the wrong way, it can cause terrible damage.
If you’re not using social media to connect with clients, you’re behind the curve. A recent study found 40% of investors use the information they get from social media when making financial decisions. Another study found that 48% of wealth managers interact with their clients daily via social media.
Here are some best practices for launching/maximizing your digital strategy.
For starters, take a good look at your website. Think of it as your calling card to the world. Is it current and up to date? Does it contain everything would-be investors need to know about you and how they can contact you? Above all, does it capture the visitors’ interest and make them want to find out more? Before you do anything else, make sure this important base is covered.
Next, make time on your daily calendar for messaging via social media. Timing is critical to maximizing your social media’s reach. Opinions vary on this, but a good rule of thumb for making sure your messages are read is to post between 1pm and 4pm. Wednesday is the best day of the week for clicks. Be sure to avoid sending new messages on weekends; it’s a social media graveyard. Anything you share then will likely be missed.
Know your audience. You’re not communicating with a random collection of people. You are talking directly to a specific group of individuals. Make sure your messages are tailored to their interests and needs.
Remember, communication is not a one-way street. To make the most of social media, you must interact with your clients. Let them know what you and your business are doing while also being sure to reply to their inquiries and comment on their feedback. Social media provides an opportunity for making participants feel wanted, welcome and accepted, so make the most of it.
Let your followers find out more about you beyond your business relationship. Let them know when you do things like attend trade shows and professional conferences Give them a chance to see your personal side by posting photos of you participating in charity fundraisers or volunteering with a non-profit group. Have a dog or cat? Many people love pets; seeing that you share their fondness for felines or canines creates an opening for making a connection. (Word of caution: Don’t go overboard on the cat pictures. Your followers can get too much of a good thing!)
Remember, too, that social media platforms are perfect for content distribution. Did you find an insightful article that sheds new light on an investment opportunity? Attach and share it instantly. Within seconds, that new information is available to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people, depending on your contacts list.
Don’t be afraid to explore and try new things. Remember, social media is still in its infancy. We’re all learning as we go along. Experiment and see what works best for you.
Always keep in mind that technology is a financial manager’s best friend. Put it to work for you in all aspects of your career, including your social media presence. Use automation to schedule posts and messages. Take advantage of automated actions whenever someone fills out a contact form or requests more info. Have technology do as much of the grunt work as possible to free you up to do what no machine can: stay connected one-on-one with the people you serve.
Finally, as marketing expert Don Crowther said, “People do business with you because you help them get what they want. They don’t do business with you to help you get what you want.” Take full advantage of social media’s many opportunities for giving clients and prospects what they want.