In 2016, Putnam Investments conducted a survey of 1,000 financial advisors about their sentiments on the use of social media. The survey revealed that 85 percent of financial advisors have a social media presence, and that 80 percent of them found new clients in 2016 through this communications and marketing channel.
The Putnam survey makes it clear to financial advisors that they should be using social media in 2017. This is not an option; it is a must since prospective clients are using social media, and many existing clients would probably enjoy getting communications from their financial advisors in this regard.
Before financial advisors set out to do business in social media, they should keep in mind that their line of work requires them to be very compliant with certain codes of rules, regulations and ethics. The first step is to become familiar with social media policies set forth by their employers. Once these policies are known and understood, financial advisors must define their target audiences. It is worth mentioning that advisors who specialize in specific audiences such as IT professionals or affluent families tend to do better.
It is also important for financial advisors to define a personal brand that will appeal to prospective and existing clients. This personal brand can be crafted through hobbies, activities and interests; however, topics related to politics and religion should be largely avoided.
Marketing on multiple social networks is not necessary. LinkedIn is mandatory for financial advisors; other networks should be added with the audience in mind. Twitter, for example, is a good choice for IT professionals while Instagram is better for those who work in the fashion, culinary and hospitality industries.
Finally, financial advisors should not use social media as a very large echo chamber. If they follow others, they must engage with them with active dialogue.