The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to Build and Grow Your Business
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New Book Demonstrates How Financial Advisors Can Use Social Media--LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter--to Market Their Services
Financial advisors are always looking for a competitive advantage. There has been no greater competitive advantage in marketing and positioning than social media. Using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter will unlock powerful direct marketing opportunities that have already changed the way many communicate and market to existing clients and prospects. In The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors (Wiley; August 2012; $60.00; 978-1-1182-0801-4; Hardcover; Ebook), Matt Halloran, Director of National Development for GIVE Strategy, and Crystal Thies, founder of Crystal Clear Buzz, LLC, provide a primer for the tens of thousands of financial advisors, financial planners, wealth advisors, and investment advisors who have not yet ventured into social media to do so quickly and effectively.
Compliance issues have plagued advisors, leaving many to steer completely clear of participating in any social media. Many have been held back by their firms whose policies prevent them from using these tools. But the authors note that the landscape is quickly changing. “Technology has finally caught up and it is now possible to capture and preserve social media activity as is required by law,” say Halloran and Thies. “Meanwhile, the largest broker-dealers have been beta-testing the usage of social media by select groups of advisors for almost a year in order to develop appropriate internal policies and guidelines. For example, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney recently announced that it will allow its 17,000 financial advisers to use Twitter and LinkedIn.”
Beginning with an introduction to social media that explores how to establish a rapport with clients on the web, streamline time spent online, and use social media dashboards, the book covers each of the "big three" sites—LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Looking at the benefits of each of these social networking services, Halloran and Thies address the key topics in social media for financial advisors—from advertising on Facebook to using LinkedIn to connect with prospective clients. Throughout, the authors discuss the role that compliance plays in limiting what advisors can and cannot say and do online.
Halloran and Thies offer invaluable advice to newcomers before diving in, including:
Be a social media giver: In order to be successful in social media, you must retweet, like, share, and comment on the status updates of the many people in their network. Social media givers are also people who are proactive in referring and introducing people in their network to each other.
Avoid hard selling: People who do nothing but post overt and subtle buy messages will soon find that people stop listening and disconnect. Social media posts that are offering special sales opportunities and free consultations, as well as access to marketing materials like seminars and newsletters should comprise no more than 25 percent of the status updates you send into social media.
Give Something for Nothing: In order to get attention online, especially using social media advertisements, you need to give away something for nothing. This does not have to be incomplete planning or financial advice, in which they can only get the full thing if they become a client. Instead, focus on meaningful and beneficial information but make it unique. Share articles, opinions, broker-dealer approved commentary, or free basic advice.
Filled with engaging anecdotes, illustrative visuals, and end-of-chapter takeaways that reinforce the key concepts that you need to understand to get social media working for you, The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors is an essential resource for anyone working in financial advising who needs to amplify their marketing message and raise visibility in an increasingly crowded marketplace.