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Secrets to Success in Social Media for Advisors

April 9, 2014

Are social media worth the bother for financial advisors? Yes, according to a couple of recent blog posts — if they handle it prudently, manage their expectations, and decide exactly how much they want to “bother.”

Advisors who use social media — Facebook, Twitter, blogs — just to pull in new customers are setting themselves up for disappointment. It’s not that rewards don’t come, but that they come gradually and maybe imperceptibly, writes advisor and Financial Planning blogger Dave Grant. Grant, who runs a planning firm in Cary, Ill., writes of a prospect who found him through his online posts and videos. But other prospects may show up in advisors’ offices without saying they were drawn by an engaging tweet or an informative video. So FAs should take a “build it and they will come” attitude to social media, understanding that, over time, their messages are reaching the right people.

It probably helps to zero in on aspects of investing, financial planning and everyday life that are of genuine interest and importance to you. Blogging and vlogging about things you’re passionate about will keep your posts fresh and inspire you to keep plugging away in periods when you may not be getting as much feedback as you’d like.

And advisors shouldn’t be scared social media will eat up too much time, says Commonwealth Financial Network’s blog. “Sure, it takes time to create a successful social media campaign, especially when getting started,” it says. After that, however, and assuming you’ve “set yourself and your feeds up for efficiency and consistency,” it may be best to set aside one or two fixed and relatively short time slots each workday — say, a half hour’s worth — to tackle social-media work.

In sum, to the ideas that advisors shouldn’t expect too much too quickly from social media and that they should concentrate on topics and issues they care about, Commonwealth’s blog adds that the secret to success in social media is to make small efforts on a consistent basis.

By Thomas Coyle
  • To read the Commonwealth Financial Network article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the Financial Planning article cited in this story, click here.