What’s LinkedIn’s Best Use for Advisors?

It’s 2015. Social media is no longer new.

#FinServ still questions the effectiveness of the social sphere and there’s no shortage of expert advice on ‘the’ line. One key question I get on a regular basis is as follows:

What social media channel serves up the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ in the financial industry?

Whether social media is profitable for business depends on how it’s used and, apparently, the platform. Choosing the right social platform (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or otherwise) for your financial practice should be based on your target audience. To decide what social media platforms you should be on, start by asking your best clients what channels they’re most active on.
…but many agree that LinkedIn is where it’s at
With that said, many experts agree that LinkedIn can be lucrative. I did a little digging and asked our friend and social media expert, Charlie Van Derven (president of Social Advisors) what it is about LinkedIn that makes it so helpful for advisors and, more importantly, how to use it effectively for business.
While there is a business case to be made for Facebook and Twitter, if a financial advisor wants to see the biggest bang for their buck, they should master the use of LinkedIn,” says Charlie Van Derven, President of Social Advisors.

As most financial advisors’ business development is dependent on referrals and personal introductions, LinkedIn is the most relevant social media platform,” says Van Derven.

LinkedIn is the most used social network in the industry (more than 73% of US advisors have a LinkedIn profile) and definitely seems to deliver the most value. Part of this can be attributed to the fact that LinkedIn is ‘the professional network’ and users aren’t just there to be entertained. Advisors who see the most success (read: engaging referrals and prospects via LinkedIn) are actively finding ways to participate in conversations and find their niche, which can be time consuming.
What’s LinkedIn’s best use for advisors?
According to Van Derven, “a huge majority of affluent people don’t like being asked for referrals., LinkedIn facilitates introductions which is what most advisors are looking for.” He says the best way to get introduced to the right people is to ask your existing clients.

LinkedIn literally shows you who your connections know. If you’re connected to your clients on LinkedIn, it’s likely they will be connected to other people in your niche.”  But, cautions Van Derven, don’t use LinkedIn’s in-message mail to connect. Instead, pick up the phone and call your client or connection and ask for a personal introduction. “The in-app message on LinkedIn has a pretty low return rate but a phone call is personal and effective.”
Maggie Crowley is Marketing Manager at Advisor Websites where she manages the company's online presence. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, Maggie specializes in developing inbound marketing strategies. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®). Connect with Maggie: @crowleymaggie

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