Financial advisors supply an important service to individuals and companies. They know how to make investments, pay off debts and manage budgets in a sustainable manner. However, many potential clients do not know that they would benefit from working with a financial advisor. This is why professionals should create a social media strategy to promote their business and find new clients.
Social Media and Financial Services – Not a Taboo Anymore
Some professionals in the financial world are wary about using social media as a marketing tool. For some companies, social networks like Facebook or Twitter are viewed as unprofessional. At the most, they use LinkedIn which is perceived as a special network for business (which it actually is).
However, given the growing competition in the field, old prejudices are left behind. While large financial services corporations have very strict rules about using social media for business, they are no longer totally adverse to it. As for smaller firms and individual practitioners, social media marketing is an effective and affordable way of growing their client base.
What Should You Know before Starting a Social Media Strategy for Financial Advisors?
The financial field is one of the most tightly regulated industries, and for a good reason. The promises, statements and advice you give can influence people’s decision and cause them to lose money. Or, they may unwittingly break the law because your advice is applicable to a specific region or to a specific category of clients.
If you are working as a marketer for a financial services business, you should go through their branding and marketing handbook and comply with the rules to the letter. If you are a freelance financial advisor, check the rules and regulations set by ASIC, the regulatory authority for financial services.
These being said, here is a simple way to create an effective social media strategy for financial advisors:
1. Define the Typical Client for Your Niche
The financial services field covers many niches and sectors. An effective social media strategy must have your ideal client at its centre. Your content and your ads must appeal to them by:
- Showing that you understand their issues and problems;
- Demonstrating that you are experienced in dealing with these issues;
- Providing actionable solutions to some of the most common problems they face.
It is understandable that a family that needs wealth management services has a different outlook and different interests than a family seeking debt relief services. If you, by any chance, cover both niches, you should develop separate social media strategies for each service.
2. Be Social and Helpful
A social media strategy for financial advisors requires being…social. It may seem like a Captain Obvious line, but simply setting up your Facebook and Twitter profiles and joining groups is not enough.
You must have a clear posting schedule as well as direct interactions with your followers and group members. Whenever someone asks a question, provide a clear and concise answer and add a link to your site where they can find out more detailed explanations.
This serves two purposes: you grow your brand awareness and your authority among people who could become your clients in the near future.
3. Build a Unique Brand Image
Every financial advisor does basically the same thing, but in different ways. Some are specialised in working with businesses, others with individuals. Some of them have developed skills in a very particular niche (such as estate planning), others offer a wider range of services.
This is where you need to look – at the way you provide services in a different way from your competitors. From here to building a recognisable brand image is one (big) step: making sure that your content, tone of voice and social media interactions reflect your specific business image.
4. Don’t Sell, Advise!
Once you have grown a followership, it is time to start marketing your services. However, do not become salesy in your messages and ads as soon as you think your followers are primed for becoming clients. People don’t like being sold things – and they tend to become suspicious when this sale involves the management of their finances.
Instead, offer helpful advice and encourage your followers to book a one-to-one discussion with you to go more in depth with their issue. Once people see a few measurable results after following your basic tips, they will trust you to help them manage their money.
5. Encourage Your Clients to Become Your Brand Ambassadors
A social media strategy for financial advisors relies on one basic thing: trust. Building trust is very difficult in your niche, but you have an ace in your sleeve: your happy customers. It is very important to learn how to leverage their loyalty: by asking for testimonials, by including them in success stories and by inviting them to become a part of a client referral programme.