How Financial Professionals Can Incorporate Social Media Into Their Practices

Incorporating Social Media in Your Practice a guide for financial professional (Infographic)
Like thousands of other financial professionals, you may already be participating in social media. And with good reason. By the end of 2012, Facebook has 193 million monthly active users in the U.S and Canada, LinkedIn attracted 74 million member's in the U.S and twitter boasted 33.8 million active US users. But are you getting the most out of these opportunities? If you're dabbling in social media, now's the time to maximize your efforts to help expand your business. The below handy infographic from the Principal team outlines how financial professionals can leverage social media into their digital marketing plan.
Incorporating Social Media in Your Practice a guide for financial professional (Infographic)

Text form of above infographic:

What works

Follow your followers - Social media is about making connections. That means it's just as important to listen as it is talk. When appropriate, follow these who have made a connection with you on social media.

Be personally engaged - People want to get to know you as a person. Don't be afraid to share your personal interests.

Demonstrate your expertise - Show followers the value of getting to know you. Offer tips, share research, and be confident with your opinions. Just make sure they're within your firm's compliance guidelines.

Follow influential people - Follow experts, bloggers, strategists and other influences in your industry, by typing their names into the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ search bar.

Follow the 1/3 rule - Talk about yourself 1/3 of the time, your followers 1/3 of the time and your mutual interest 1/3 of the time.

Make social media a priority - One of the hardest things about social media is finding the time to do it. Try carving out 30 minutes a day to check in and look for opportunities to make and build connections.

Incorporate social media into your marketing plan - Social media isn't a side venture or a fad, it's a proven way to build your business. So treat it that way and work social media into each marketing plan.

Share a mix of information - Sharing curated content is a great way to get started, social media is a tremendous resource to promote your new blog posts, events or videos.

Fact: Social media adopters resoundingly have a high net worth: 47% of twitter users earn $50k or more per year; 24% earn more than $75k. Compare that 33% and 18% among the general population, respectively.

What doesn't work

Ignoring compliance issues - This could get you into hot water. Before you start any social media efforts, make sure you understand your company's compliance rules.

Pushing products - There's a fine but critical line between offering expertise and pushing an investment. Aggressive selling is a turn-off (and rises compliance red flags). Providing general insight, however, will help you build relationships over the long term.

Talking if no one's listening - It's not enough to put up a Facebook page or open a Twitter account. You need to promote it on your website, in your marketing materials, and in your office to gain a following.

Posting a few times a year - This just makes you seem disinterested and out of the loop. If you're going to participate in social media, make a commitment to do it well. That means posting weekly and becoming actively involved.

Targeting the wrong audience - Where are your best clients? LinkedIn, for example, has a growing following among valuable financial consumers. An easy way to find out which social media platform your top clients and prospects use most is simply to  ask them.

Fact: over 60% of advisors using LinkedIn for prospecting have gained new clients.

7 Out of 10 financial advisors already use social media for business purposes. It's safe to assume that it's here to stay. If you do it well, you will gather new leads, grow relationships with existing clients, and build your brand. Get started today by creating a social media strategy that can have a real impact on your business.

image by: flickr
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