Social Media for Financial Advisors - Back to Basics: Content is King!

Content is king!  I’m sure you’ve heard this term before, and it’s true.  Content is huge when it comes to sharing online.  It’s how your brand is represented, how you position yourself as an expert, and how you interact with other users.  What do I mean by content?  Blog posts, news, articles, videos, photos and status updates are all examples of interactive content.  The more quality content you post to your networks, the more users you will attract to return to your site.  And don’t forget to join the conversation.  You may have a large amount of followers and are kicking out great content on a daily basis, but until you start jumping in the conversation with your users you won’t see a great return.  Make it a priority to engage with your users on a daily basis by sharing, commenting and liking their posts.

Blog posts are the bread and butter of your content strategy.  They give you the opportunity to present yourself as the expert in your industry while at the same time putting out great information.  Create an online environment where readers are consumers and consumers are readers.  Incorporate your blog into your business structure as a secondary support system to your marketing campaign and use it as a platform to talk, connect and create conversations about your business.  Not sure what to write about?  Unless you have a personal blog that with no focus or topic at hand, your blogs should always have a connection to a central theme – whether it be your business or something else.  

As far as incorporating your blog into your business, you should write pieces that others in your field would be excited to read.  Having a writing roadblock?  A great tip is to go online and do general searches for topics, or head to a blog similar to yours and check out what they’re writing about.  Writing for the web is different than other forms of print – it flows with a more easygoing style.  Don’t write intense pieces that sound like they belong in educational journals.  Blogs should be conversational and easy to read.  Don’t forget to be passionate, too!  There’s a big difference in reading content from someone who genuinely cares about what they are writing about.

Once you have a live blog, post it to your networks and create catchy titles and tag lines to get people interested in reading.  This is a great funnel from your social networks to your blog and website.  You can also try submitting your blog to other publishers to get content exposure through other organizations.

  • Post blog to host site.
  • Send blog to partnering sites.
  • Post links to blog on all social networks.
  • Setup subsequent posts linking to blog for the remainder of the week.

Photos and videos are not only great pieces of content, but they are also new and exciting ways to interact with your followers.  You can incorporate videos and photos to your blog posts, or simply post them to your networks.  Be sure to include explanations and tag everyone involved.  This allows the photos and videos to be shared throughout your network and go viral much quicker.  Here are some great tips if you have photos and videos to share:

  • Upload photos or videos to your blog.
  • Upload photos or videos to Facebook Fan Page.
  • Create titles and include relevant information about the photos/videos.
  • Tag photos and videos with appropriate members.
  • Upload videos to YouTube channel.
  • Post links to videos to your social networks.

Having trouble finding enough original content to fill your content strategy?  One of the best ways to have continual, up-to-date news and updates going out to your networks is to setup RSS feeds from relevant news sources to your social networks.  That way, you have a continual feed of great news going out to your followers.  Make sure the RSS feeds are relevant to your central focus and company theme, and don’t push out too much information that it overloads your audience.

  • Find relevant RSS feed urls.
  • Setup RSS feeds via Hootsuite, or any other social network aggregator, to post to your social networks.
  • Post any relevant news you find via links to your social networks.  Prepend the post with an engaging statement or question.

More than ever before in the history of commerce, content has become one of the most valuable business assets.  The way we do business must include a clear focus on how we create, deliver, and govern our content.  Good, smart, fun and relevant content should be at the core of any social media strategy.  Great content should reflect your brand and give people a reason to stay engaged.  That’s why it’s critical to build a content strategy into your social media campaign. Without a framework for what you say and a plan for how and when you say it, you risk leaving your audiences, at best, confused.  Find your voice – and the voice of your business, and share it online.  Know your audience – what they want out of the relationship and how you can deliver.  Creating and sticking to a content strategy will give you and your business the edge you need in being successful with social media.

Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and president of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website at and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (@InsuranceMKTG). 


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