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Over the last decade, social media has transformed the way businesses approach the world. What was once the job of an intern is now a critical role as companies push to catch up, create a social strategy, and then keep it fresh. In 2019, businesses are investing thousands and – size appropriate – millions into their social media channels every year, supporting the thesis that businesses are social and if you’re not doubling down on your social media presence, you’re at a disadvantage.
A recent Marketwired and Synomos study showed that 40% of surveyed investors use information from social media when making investment decisions1. This number jumps to 60% when looking at the next generation of investors, according to Jim Delany of Marketwired. It’s safe to say that the era of the social advisor is upon us.
What does this mean in practice and how, as an Advisor, do you become social-first? We break down 5 things you can do to get your social strategy up and running.
There’s something to be said for being in front of your audience consistently. Investors are consuming differently, there’s more information available than ever before, and attention spans are decreasing. This means, as the expert, you have the opportunity to create valuable content for both prospects and clients alike. Aim to create educational and thought leadership content for your social channels on a daily and weekly basis. This could include a few quick tips for retirement planning or navigating different market events.
It’s called Social Media because it’s all about ease of communication. What once required a meeting or phone call can now be communicated in 280 characters or less. You can also insert yourself and your brand into conversations or economic events easier than ever before. This idea of engaging with prospects and clients on social media makes you much more accessible to clients. It also makes your brand more transparent. A couple of ways to accomplish this are 1. Proactively posing thoughtful questions to your audience at the end of posts to encourage engagement and 2. If you see that individuals are engaging with your content, engage back! Be sure to check with your compliance team to see what you can and cannot say.
One of the best aspects of social media is the ability to amplify your reach at a fraction of what it would cost to advertise on traditional channels. If we look at something like cost-per-thousand Impressions (CPM), the CPM of social media is less than $3. Radio is around $10, and TV is a whopping $282. Overlay the targeting ability of sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, you can reach exactly who you want in a more effective way. But, what about the idea that your audience isn’t living on these platforms? Well, in 2019, this isn’t the case. 45% of the globe is now active on social media, with the USA at a whopping 70%3.
SOCIAL MEDIA PENETRATION IN 2019
Based on active users of the top social networks in each country/territory, compared to the total population.
When you’re creating and distributing content on a regular basis, it can often seem like you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to progress. It’s no secret that building a social media presence takes time, but you want to ensure you’re driving towards a goal, whether that’s to increase local brand awareness or produce leads. It’s essential to create a system to help you measure: 1. if you’re successful in your efforts and 2. how you should pivot your efforts to add more value for your clients. Using tools provided by each platform or even third-party tools like Hootsuite or Spredfast can help you understand if you’re reaching and engaging the right people.
At the end of the day, you have a business to run and managing your marketing efforts can be more difficult in practice than in theory. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with demand, or even get your social efforts off the ground, finding the right partner that has experience in financial services can enable you to move to the next level.
As always, it’s critical to check with your compliance department to understand what can and cannot be done on social media. Being a social-first advisor doesn’t mean broadcasting ads out for the world to see. It means creating targeted messages and engaging with those who fit your intended client criteria.
1 Sysomos and Marketwired – The Future Of Investing And The Great Social Shift
2 Uhurunetwork – Social Media vs. Traditional Media – Make the Transition to Digital Marketing
3 Hootsuite Global Digital Report 2019