Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor PerspectivesKristen Luke

A May 2009 whitepaper titled “Online Marketing Methods: Planner Best Practices,” published by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) found that 27% of advisors are on Facebook.  A separate analysis in the same study found that only 25% of advisors use online resources for generating leads or prospects and 23% use them to stay in touch with clients. 

If only a quarter of advisors are on Facebook and only a percentage of them are using it to attract clients and maintain client relationships, very few advisors are using Facebook as a marketing tool. 

One reason for this may be that compliance departments are prohibiting advisors from using Facebook for marketing purposes.  Another reason could be that advisors haven’t been able to see the value in using the site as a viable marketing option.  The same FPA study found that 60 percent of advisors who average 16 or more online leads per year use social media, so it is worth examining the different strategies you can use to make Facebook a marketing tool.       

1.  Utilize Your Basic Personal Profile

Regardless of how you decide to use Facebook, you will need to setup a personal profile.  The goal of a personal profile is to connect with as many “friends” as possible.  These friends can include family members, friends, former classmates, casual acquaintances, and even clients.  You’ll be able share personal information about your life to build a bond between you and your prospective clients. 

This strategy also provides you with insight into the personal details of your prospective clients’ lives you wouldn’t know otherwise.  If you prefer not to interact on a personal level with your Facebook friends, you can occasionally share articles or links that pertain to your business.   Just avoid overwhelming your Facebook friends with advertisements about your business. 

Read more articles by Kristen Luke