A 10-Step Plan to Manage Social Media
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There is a common misconception when financial advisors start exploring social media to promote their business that it is free. It isn’t; you get out of social media what you put into it.
If you invest zero time into it, it will not do anything for your business! You will have to dedicate time consistently, though it may not be a lot of time. You may feel lost and confused by all of the things you can do to promote your business on social media, and therefore may need to enlist help to avoid spending too much of your time and money on things that may not be good for your brand.
Here are the 10 things you need to do in order to effectively use social media:
- Post daily
Spend time creating a content calendar. A content calendar is crucial for your business, and it will take time to put it together. Enlist help with this aspect of your social media. Even if you come up with what you want to post for the day that same morning, it will save so much time rather than trying to figure out what to post every few hours. Save time by planning ahead.
- Use images and video
Content isn't just text. It includes photos, graphics and video. Be creative. There is an opportunity here to share information that may not fit on your traditional website. This way you can share a piece of your personality by sharing videos and images you find interesting. You never know what will catch someone’s eye and trigger them to follow up with you for more information.
- Use a scheduling tool
Use a scheduling tool or a social media management system to automatically post the content you have created in your content calendar. This will save you time throughout the day and allow you to establish a routine. You can also enlist help with this part, depending on your schedule. Once you know what you are going to post, scheduling it is super quick. Hootsuite and Buffer are just two of the many tools available for scheduling social media posts. These tools will also let you post the same content to multiple platforms with one click. Find the one that works best for you.
- Refresh annually
Make sure that the information you are sharing is up to date and represents your business at this moment. Does your profile picture and banner need a refresh? Could your “About Me” section use a tweak, or does some new information need to be added? Just be sure to take in intentional look every year to make sure you aren’t missing anything. It is a good idea to add this reoccurring task to your calendar now.
- Expand your content
There are all types of content you can use on your social media pages; the possibilities are endless. Spend your time and money on the right types of content. Below are some suggestions for types of content that may work best for you and your business.
- Evergreen content: This will be relevant in one, two or even five years. Spend most of your time and money on this.
- Pre-created content: You can post using tools like Riskalyze, which has pre-created content.
- Content about you: Let people get to know you. Post a few times a week something that is going on in your life. People want to know the person behind the brand.
- Links to:
- o Your blogs and articles
- o Articles that featured you
- o Awards that you have received
- o News items regarding your and your business or team members
- o Community involvement pictures showcasing you and your team
- For more amazing ideas on types of content take a look at this article.
- Set goals
How do you know when you have been successful in implementing your social media marketing plan? You won’t unless you have taken the time to set goals. You not only need to know what your end-game will look like, but you also need to be able to check your milestones. Set smaller targets, like six-month and one-year goals. An example of a simple goal would be for 10% growth in follows and likes annually. And remember, while numbers are important it’s difficult to quantify building an online presence.
- Make a policy
It may feel like anything goes on the internet these days, but this just isn’t true when it comes to social media business pages. Independent advisors need to create and enforce a social media policy to ensure that every team member understands what is and is not acceptable with regards to online communications. Once a policy has been created, make sure everyone is aware of and familiar with the rules. It is important to know that the internet changes daily, and that, therefore, this policy should be treated as a living document and changed and updated frequently. I have read that “a social media policy-literate workforce is a social media compliant workforce,” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
- Archive your posts
When using social media, you have to be in compliance with regulatory rules. Investment advisers are responsible for ensuring that you keep everything above board. Not only are you required to keep your message above board, but it is a requirement that you archive all posts in case of problems or issues with customers. Be sure to use an archiving tool; I prefer Erado. All such activity and associated content must be kept on hand for three years.
- Comply with the regulators
The SEC prohibits client testimonials to be used in any form of marketing for financial advisors. Likes, recommendations and endorsements are considered a form of client testimonial and cannot be used or displayed on your page. Social networks like LinkedIn now allow users to hide these options very easily.
Why advertise? To establish your brand and widen your reach. And the bonus is that social media advertising can be very cost efficient if correctly used. If you want to try social media advertising, I highly suggest you enlist professional help to get you started. Trying to advertise your business on social media before knowing all about how people “think” on social media will likely be a waste of money.
I hope that this helps you understand how to manage your social media. Social media can help establish your brand if it’s done right.
Crystal Lee Butler is a creative marketer and results-driven business consultant with over a decade of experience collaborating with independent advisors. At Crystal Marketing Solutions she provides marketing services for financial professionals by communicating a cohesive brand and building business relationships to help them grow and thrive. Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn at crystallbutler.