Social media platforms are widely used by your clients and colleagues. After all, posting is quick and easy, and it spreads your message fast.
Whether advisors are using LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, they’re catching on to how simple it can be to inform and casually connect with clients and their networks online.
While some media users are funny and witty—producing laugh-out-loud tweets and popular blogs—others are renowned for providing investors with a hub of useful information and news.
Regardless of style and specific goals, however, all advisors using media have one thing in common: they want to grow their audiences.
And this should be the main goal of every professional using social media, says Michelle Smyth, director of social media at Sun Life Financial, and David A.Gray,VP of wholesale distribution and individual insurance at Sun Life Financial.
The reasons: through social media, advisors can foster stronger client relationships and speed the referral process.
“Generating business and referrals is absolutely critical,” says Gray. “People are often forced to leave this business because they don’t have enough people to do business with [and aren’t meeting their goals].”
And, as most advisors know, obtaining referrals can be very tricky. Asking directly can cause friction between you and your current clients. The same goes for selling products, with hard sells chipping away at your credibility and connections.
Media platforms let advisors post content, links and information that demonstrate expertise and authority. Building a profile allows prospects to get to know you before you meet face-to-face—still the most crucial part of your job.
“It’s all about the soft sell; you can casually provide relevant, shareable information with your contacts before they even ask for it or, in some cases, before they know they need it,” says Smyth. “Since you provided the article or tip, you stay top of mind and connected even though you may not have even met.”
Without any extra effort onyour part, your followers will share valuable information with their contacts, and potentially broaden your network.
And while it may be fun to find your voice and solicit extreme responses from followers, say Smyth and Gray, doing so should be a secondary concern; first, get comfortable with the platforms, post quality information and don’t get ahead of yourself.