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The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to Build and Grow Your Business

ISBN: 978-1-118-20801-4
304 pages
July 2012
The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to Build and Grow Your Business (1118208013) cover image


Expert advice for financial advisors looking to make the most of social media platforms

Social media is everywhere. 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each week, 22 million professionals are networking on LinkedIn, and 140 million tweets are posted every day. The opportunities these platforms present for financial advisors are huge, but most advisors have no idea how to use them to build bigger, stronger client bases. The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to Build and Grow Your Business shows how to make the most of these new tools, offering invaluable advice about how to connect with potential clients in the twenty first century.

For most advisors, converting prospects into clients is their top priority, and social media presents incredible opportunities for sealing the deal. Sales don't happen because clients are impressed by complicated charts, they happen because they're impressed by your social media presence, and by properly understanding how to make these new platforms work for you, you'll be positioned to see your business boom.

  • Designed to teach financial advisors how to use social media to better market their services to attract new clients and referrals
  • Presents expert communication advice from top financial advisor coach Matthew Halloran
  • Categorizes communicators in a unique new way
  • Teaches financial advisors how to use social media in new, highly effective ways that they've never even considered

An essential resource for wealth managers and financial advisors looking to amplify their marketing message and raise their visibility in a crowded marketplace, The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors is the only book you need to make yourself heard.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

A Perspective on Social Media xvii

Introduction xxiii


CHAPTER 1 Compliance 3
Crystal Thies

Compliance and FINRA Licensed Advisors 4

Compliance and SEC Licensed Advisors 6

What Should I Do if I’m Not Allowed to Use Social Media? 8

How Does This Work? 9

Final Thoughts 11

CHAPTER 2 Creating Rapport Online 13
Matt Halloran and Crystal Thies

The Three Cs 13

Final Thoughts 23

CHAPTER 3 Lessons Learned from Social Media 25
Matt Halloran and Crystal Thies

Lesson #1: People Can Only See Words 26

Lesson #2: Social Media is More About Listening 27

Lesson #3: To Be Successful, You Must Be A Social Media Giver 28

Lesson #4: Keep Sales Messaging to a Minimum 29

Final Thoughts 30

CHAPTER 4 Give Something for Nothing 31
Matt Halloran

Internet Resources 31

Final Thoughts 35

CHAPTER 5 The Disciplined Approach 37
Matthew Halloran and Crystal Thies

Streamlining Use of Social Media 37

Managing Time 39

Social Media Dashboards 43

Final Thoughts 46


CHAPTER 6 Why Twitter? 49
Matthew Halloran

Texting and Tweeting 50

Setting Up Your Account 51

Final Thoughts 63

CHAPTER 7 Marketing on Twitter 65
Matthew Halloran

Regulations and Restrictions 65

Twellow 66

Two Recommended Tools 70

Unfollowing and Blocking 75

Tweet Scheduler and TweetDeck 77

Self-Marketing Tweets 78

Final Thoughts 79

CHAPTER 8 Getting Leads from Twitter 81
Matthew Halloran

Twitter: A Driving Force 81

Final Thoughts 86

CHAPTER 9 Public Relations on Twitter 87
Matthew Halloran

Tweet Grader 88

Muck Rack 88

Making News through Twitter 89

Final Thoughts 90


CHAPTER 10 Why Facebook? 93
Matthew Halloran

Statistics 93

Building Your Page 95

Working with Your Home Page 101

How Control Settings Help Your Marketing Plan 104

The Power of Advertisements! 107

The Facebook Fan Page 108

The Company Page 111

Timeline 116

Final Thoughts 118

CHAPTER 11 How to Advertise on Facebook 119
Matthew Halloran

Facebook Insights 119

Advertising on Facebook 120

Final Thoughts 132

CHAPTER 12 Facebook Applications and Tools 133
Matthew Halloran

Advanced Facebook Applications 133

Video Apps 135

Creating Events 139

More Facebook Apps 143

Final Thoughts 144

CHAPTER 13 Public Relations on Facebook 145
Matthew Halloran

Making Use of the Groups Platform 145

Be Proactive 148

Final Thoughts 150


CHAPTER 14 Why LinkedIn? 153
Crystal Thies

You Can Control Referrals 153

LinkedIn Members Are More Affluent 154

Financial Advisors Are Having Success With LinkedIn 156

Final Thoughts 157

CHAPTER 15 Setting Up Your LinkedIn Account 159
Crystal Thies

Joining LinkedIn 159

Final Thoughts 164

CHAPTER 16 Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile 167
Crystal Thies

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 169

Experience 172

Education 176

Adding Certifications, Designations, and Licenses 178

Name 180

Industry and Location 184

Headline 186

Photo 187

Websites 190

Twitter 192

Summary 193

Recommendations 196

Additional Information 200

Personal Information 200

Skills & Expertise 201

Special Sections 203

Applications 209

Final Thoughts 216

CHAPTER 17 Building Your LinkedIn Network to Create a Self-Referral Machine 219
Crystal Thies

Networking Philosophy 219

Who Should Be in Your Network? 220

Adding Connections 220

Sending Individual Invitations to Connect 225

Final Thoughts 227

CHAPTER 18 Finding Prospects Using LinkedIn: Creating Your Self-Referral Machine 229
Crystal Thies

The LinkedIn Advanced Search: Free versus Premium 229

Developing Good Searches 231

Finding 401(k) Rollover Opportunities 232

Small Business Owner Search 235

Connecting with the Prospects 239

Final Thoughts 240

CHAPTER 19 Using LinkedIn Groups for Visibility and Prospecting 241
Crystal Thies

The Opportunity in LinkedIn Groups 241

Two Types of Groups—Open and Closed 242

Choosing the Right Groups 242

Salesperson Groups 244

Searching for Groups 244

Posting in Groups 247

Joining Others’ Conversations 248

Connecting with Group Members 250

Final Thoughts 251

CHAPTER 20 Gaining Visibility on LinkedIn 253
Crystal Thies

Working the News Feed 253

Company Status Updates 255

LinkedIn Polls 257

LinkedIn Events 261

Final Thoughts 264


CHAPTER 21 The Future of Social Media 267
Crystal Thies

There’s Much More than the Big Three 267

Staying Up To Date 268

About the Authors 269

Index 271

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Author Information

Matthew Halloran first became interested in social media when Myspace was the place to be. With over 80,000 Twitter followers with a 99 percent effectiveness rating, 1,000 LinkedIn connections, and 700 Facebook fans, he knows how to gain followers to help build business. Having coached and consulted hundreds and spoken to thousands of financial advisors, Halloran knows how financial advising practices work, and believes that social media is the new marketing frontier for transforming the prospecting aspect of any financial services practice. He is the Director of National Development for GIVE Strategy, a mission-driven company that focuses on helping connect financial advisors, CPAs, estate planning attorneys, clients, and planned giving directors to redirect $1 billion to charity, and the founder and President of Top Advisor Coaching.

CRYSTAL THIES first learned of LinkedIn while deciding to return to financial planning, an industry she left for almost a decade to focus on charitable giving in the nonprofit sector. Thies saw LinkedIn and social media as the way to quickly reignite her financial planning practice while combining her two key knowledge bases of financial planning and charitable giving. The call of social media won out, and Thies started Crystal Clear Buzz, LLC. For more than three years, she has helped small and large businesses, sales teams, and sales professionals use social media for sales and business development. Because of her experience and expertise as a licensed financial planner, Thies's clients include many RIAs and financial advisors, in addition to major broker-dealers, wirehouses, and banks. Thies is known as the "LinkedIn Ninja"—a title given to her by her clients and followers.

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Press Release

August 14, 2012
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.


What Should I Do if My Broker-Dealer Won’t Allow Me to Use Social Media? How Financial Advisors Can Implement a Non-Business Related Social Media Strategy


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.

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