Social media seems to have taken over the world. The blue bird and the giant “F” are everywhere, letting me know everything from the latest Brexit poll to the state of Johnny Depp's marriage. However, if you look past the endless streams of pointless updates and celebrity gossip, we argue that social media can actually be a useful tool for your business, assuming that you follow some basic guidelines of course.
Indeed, social media has, when stripped of all its hyperbole, two basic functions, to share information and contact people - both of which are essential to financial advisers. In that sense then, social networks like Facebook and Twitter can help advisers keep in touch with clients, or target new ones. Similarly, these sites can also be used to discuss regulatory requirements and business developments. Ie, how are you preparing for the implementation of RDR? Or, how do you interpret these compliance regulations? Similarly, exam forums have become extremely popular with advisers since these new regulations came into play.
The world is becoming even more social media savvy. 82% of the UK populous is online, more than half of over 65s have Internet access, as do over a quarter of over 75s. Linkedin now boasts more than 10 million users, whilst the world and his mother has a Facebook page. As such, the promotional opportunities are endless, and your message can reach a much broader audience. Gone are the days of door-to-door trading.
With this in mind, clients (especially younger ones), will expect more than a bland website or marketing brochure through the post. Clients will expect advisers to keep up to date with all trends, and communicate with them on their terms. This will frequently involve creating a Facebook page, a Linkedin profile, or posting a Twitter feed. And from the advisers’ point of view, communicating via social media has the potential to be a time saving measure. By commenting on recent market activity or a topical news story, advisers can put their thoughts out there before the question is asked, leaving them free to deal with more complex issues.
Despite this, there are of course some downsides to using social media. It is pointless joining Twitter and recycling the same material over and over again. You need to know who your target audience is, and what they’re interested in. Start with your existing client base, and keep whatever you post relevant to their business needs. Similarly, don’t oversell your product – nothing is more annoying than an endless, overly familiar sales pitch. Just keep it simple and to the point. And importantly, you cannot just rely on social media to promote your business. No matter how popular social networking becomes, people will always look to your website as their first port of call. Therefore, keep it up to date, interesting, and easy to navigate.
Bearing all this in mind, why not try getting to grips with social media, and tackling the modern world face on? The benefits to your business are obvious, just plan your strategy, keep it simple, and remember our golden rules.