Social media as a client gateway

Social media as a client gateway

Social media can benefit financial advisers in a number of ways – from using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook as a networking tool

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the level of attachment to social media across different
    age groups
  • How social strategies can help engage your next generation of clients
  • Why ‘top-tips’ type content is a good tactic on social channels
Social media can benefit financial advisers in a number of ways – from using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook as a networking tool to attract new business and younger clients, to boosting their ‘brand presence’ online.
Martin Bamford, a chartered financial planner and CEO of Bamford Media, believes financial advisers can use social media to “build trust” and “prompt action, by regularly posting relevant content, in the form of written word, audio and video.”
Bamford adds: “Social media is a very effective place to answer the questions prospective clients have and position yourself as their preferred solution. Advisers growing their businesses with their demographic need a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn, with experimentation on emerging platforms including TikTok.”
According to research by Hootsuite1, 45% of the total world population (approximately 3.8 billion people) are using social networks and a further 366 million new people have started to use social media in the past year. So, it is difficult for financial advisers to ignore.
“Advisers need a strategy in place for growing their next generation of clients. Social media platforms are often viewed as a young person’s domain, although plenty of older clients are lurking on the likes of Facebook too; they just don’t tend to post as often,” concludes Bamford.
Stuart Anderson, Director and PR practitioner at Alpha Public Relations, a firm that specialises in financial services clients, says that many advisers “tie themselves up in knots” about compliance and social media “because they believe everything needs to be signed off by their firm’s compliance officer.” They then lose the immediacy that is required on social medium platforms.

Actions to consider

Anderson gives five key takeaways on how financial advisers should implement and navigate their social media strategy:
  • Financial adviser and firm social media profiles should make it clear that social media posts are not ‘advice.’
  • It is good practice to keep a record of social media updates, particularly from a firm’s corporate account. This is straightforward on Twitter, for example, which allows you to download an archive of past tweets as an Excel file.
  • In terms of content to post, link to ‘top-tips’ type articles, though these tend to work best around specific diary events (end of tax year, Budget etc). On the whole, you will get the most click-throughs to articles and blogs that talk about people. These could be staff questionnaires and so on.
  • Firms should develop a social media policy and make sure all advisers understand it. It’s fine to interact with clients and the general public on social media but advisers, and other staff, should never be drawn into making comments that could in any way be construed as making a recommendation.
  • Finally, remember that the Financial Conduct Authority isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. Make sure that all posts are in the right tone of voice and reflect your firm’s culture and values. Social media should enhance your reputation, not undermine it.
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