A Social Media Sharing Guide for Financial Advisors

By Stephanie Sammons, CEO & Founder, Wired Advisor on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

This article was written by Stephanie Sammons and was originally posted on the Wired Advisor Financial Digital Marketing Blog.

In my work with financial advisors and firms, I have learned that one of the biggest obstacles to engaging in social media is knowing what to share on social networks.

You’ve built your social media profiles and they look fantastic. Now what? I’m going to help you get unstuck and give you some recommendations for what to do next.

It’s important to be strategic about your social media sharing and map out a plan that is consistent with your goals. For example, if your goal is to attract physicians into your practice, you should be optimizing your social media sharing with content that is relevant to physicians.

Unfortunately most of the turnkey (what I call “plug and play”) social media programs available for financial advisors are not customized to you, your practice, your target demographic, or your location. Sharing canned, generic financial content may fill up some space in your social streams, but ultimately it won’t get you quality results.

In order to optimize your social media sharing to attract the exact client relationships you want, what you share should emphasize your target demographic, topics that are relevant to that demographic, and your geographical location whenever possible.

It should also be noted that activating your social media sharing is a fantastic way to stay in front of existing clients with helpful and insightful information. Sharing content that answers common client questions and addresses client concerns will not only continue to foster loyalty with existing clients, but it can lead to new referrals. Social media makes it easy for clients to refer you because they can share your updates with friends from the simple click of a button.

Here are 5 tips for what to share on social networks

#1) Share your own thought leadership

First and foremost, if you are not developing and publishing your own unique thought leadership content through blogging, you are missing the biggest opportunity that social media provides. Yes social media should lead to engagement (conversations and discussions), but in order to provoke engagement you need to distribute content that is worth talking about or sharing. Ideally it’s your content that you’re sharing that drives the foundation of your strategy. Sharing your own content (if it’s good) can drive traffic back to the web properties you own (website, blog, landing pages) and allow you to maintain control of your marketing funnel.

Most firms that are successful with social media are consistently sharing their own content on social networks. If the content is truly educational, insightful, and helpful, it will not be viewed as overly promotional. This is especially true if you mix in some of the other ideas I cover below.

You need both a platform and a process for developing and implementing your content strategy that is optimized to attract your ideal clients.

#2) Share unique relevant content from trusted 3rd party sources

Reposting “curated” content that you discover from reputable sources is a great way to fill your social stream with activity. However, this content should be hand-selected. You can use social media sharing tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to automate the distribution of these shares, but I highly recommend against using automated content selection that pulls from generic, canned financial content libraries. You will turn off your following in a hurry because consumers can easily recognize canned content. It is not personalized, moving, or inspiring.

Trusted 3rd party sources can include content from well known websites and blogs as well as posts from trusted influencers, friends, and peers. I would suggest hand-selecting a list of high quality blogs to follow closely to find content that will resonate with your target demographic.

There is another benefit from sharing other people’s content. Chances are they will see it and reciprocate by sharing your content! Build your own network of influencers and mine their social streams for quality content to share with your followers. Most likely, they’ll notice and return the favor.

#3) Share your unique value messages

You have a unique belief system or philosophy about life and the work that you do for clients. We are all shaped by our experiences and develop our own set of guiding principles. Sit down and make a list of 100 of your own unique value messages. These value messages should be no longer than 140 characters (so they can fit within a tweet). Include lessons learned, beliefs, ideas, insights, quotes, etc. that inspire and guide you. Once I began this exercise, I found that I had substantially more than just 100 thoughts to share. Most likely you will too.

Using social media sharing tools to upload and schedule the sharing of these value messages can save time and add personalization to your sharing mix.

#4) Share non-financial content

Some advisors look at me like I’m crazy when I make this recommendation. The truth is, you are most likely to connect with the right people on social media if you reveal some of your own personal passions. Do you enjoy cooking or reading? Hiking or biking? Are you a world traveler? Sharing content related to personal hobbies and interests is a fantastic way to engage with others who share those same passions. Striking up a relationship from common interests first can eventually lead to a business conversation.

Build a list of blogs to follow that pertain to your personal passions and sprinkle this content into your social media sharing mix. Also consider revising your “About” language on your website/blog and social profiles to reveal more interesting and personal facts about you.

#5) Share resources that answer questions

Your clients and the ideal clients you are trying to attract no doubt have unanswered questions. Profile your top clients and ask them what their top 3 concerns are today if you are unsure. Ideally you want to uncover a plethora of questions that you can provide the answer to. Providing answers through your own blog content and your social media sharing can not only be extremely helpful to your network of followers, but it can lead them to view you as the obvious choice as a financial partner.

Preferably the resources you share on social networks should lead back to the web properties that you own (website or blog). Building an optimized landing page on your site that offers a helpful resource in exchange for a contact’s information is a great way to initiate the lead cultivation process. (Just don’t hound the contact that you capture. Cultivate the relationship over time through a series of emails using an email auto-responder, for example) When a contact completes your form for the special resource you’ve promised, they may be interested, but they are most likely not ready to work with you just yet. Consider that they’ve given you permission to stay in front of them.

If you invest in developing your own unique content and style for social sharing that is focused on your target demographic, you will not only set yourself apart from your competitors, you will be much more successful in attracting the clients and referrals you want.

You May Also Be Interested In…

Social Media Marketing 101 (Complimentary Whitepaper)

How to Use Video to Delight Clients and Inform Potential Clients (Podcast by Cynthia Stephens, VP of Marketing, ByAllAccounts)

How to Acquire and Retain Clients with Social Media (Webinar Replay)

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