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The Financial Advisor’s Social Media Primer: Plan First, Then Select Your Tools
• Valerie Rivera • May 14, 2020
Pause for the next 30 seconds and think about your approach to social media as a financial professional. If you’re using it to engage with clients and prospects, do you have a solid plan in place or are you taking a “ready, fire, aim” approach? If the latter, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate, since investing in social media marketing without a plan can be a waste of precious time and resources.
Social media marketing requires planning. Financial professionals who don’t develop a plan risk low return on investment, even if they’re using state-of-the-art digital tools to drive their social media marketing efforts. This is true because the barrier to entry is low. In just a few clicks, you can get all of your social media accounts up and running. With a few more clicks you can post content and even have a basic ad running.
But that’s where the simplicity and efficiency end.
Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are designed to keep us engaged and using the site—this is a good thing for their audience traffic, but a potential challenge for financial professionals. Without a plan in place, it’s easy to sink too much time into social media marketing for a relatively small ROI. A plan will help you stay focused and provide the discipline to know when you’ve reached the limit of your productivity on any social platform.
Financial professionals who rated themselves as “mature marketers” in eMoney’s Next Best in Class Marketing Tools study rightfully identified “marketing strategy and planning” as the most important area in their marketing efforts. eMoney’s advice is to plan first and pick a tool once you have that plan in place.
Here are a few of the key elements you should consider when building that plan:
- The Target Audience: Demographics like age, race, sex, and income are important when considering which social media audiences are a good fit for your firm. However, many advisors overlook other key ingredients, such as where these audiences congregate online and what type of content they like to consume from the brands they follow and admire. For instance, you may be more likely to find baby boomers on Facebook who prefer emails and phone calls vs. millennials who use Instagram and are open to text promotions. You can reference your buyer personas to get a better idea of where your ideal prospects can be found online.
- The Competition: To successfully outcompete other advisors and firms vying for your target audience’s eyeballs, you must conduct a competitive analysis and build a social media strategy that takes advantage of the gaps. Steve Jobs famously said about Apple, “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” While we’re not suggesting you plagiarize, a competitor’s marketing materials can also spark ideas that you can build upon and make better.
- Goals: Create a mix of short- and long-term goals. For example, a long-term goal would be to use digital marketing to help drive a year-over-year increase in your AUM, which is supported by short-term goals like generating more leads on a monthly basis among your target audience.
- Your Budget: As mentioned earlier, it’s very easy to invest more time than you realize in social media marketing. Budget both time and money for your digital marketing efforts, and measure your return on investment for both. Having the discipline to track time is challenging, but worthwhile.
Creating a social media plan supported by the right digital tools is just one of the hurdles to successful marketing for financial professionals. eMoney’s ebook, The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Digital and Social Media Marketing, provides an in-depth analysis of building a marketing plan, selecting the right tools, and the marketplace trends that make social media marketing a potentially great investment for your firm.
To learn even more about how to be successful on social, watch our webinar “10 Steps to Build a Winning Social Media Strategy for Advisors” below.
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
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