the-human-side-of-advice

Despite the emergence of new tools for getting in touch with clients, the principles of communication haven’t changed. Regular meetings still matter, as do reliable and consistent updates via newsletters and e-mail.

Social media offers a way for clients to get to know us as people, and not just advisors.

Social media is where the personal rubber meets the professional road. Learning how to communicate appropriately in online spaces with your clients is the key to unlocking the real value of social media.

Here are some ways to use social networks to stay in touch with clients, as well as some potential pitfalls:

1. Facebook

Facebook is foremost a personal social network. Many people use it to stay connected with friends and family.For clients with whom you have a genuine friendship, Facebook can be an easy way to stay in touch.

Pay attention to their personal posts and look for opportunities to like, share and start conversations. The social network’s Timeline actually allows users to highlight births, deaths, new jobs, and other life events, which you can use to trigger further discussions offline.

Read: Facebook IPO provides lessons for Canadians

Beware: because of the personal nature of the network, for compliance and practical reasons, your interactions should stay personal and not stray into shop talk.

2. LinkedIn

Since LinkedIn is explicitly a business and professional network, this is a great place to connect with clients. Curating great content you find in the financial media is a good way to add value and stay top of mind.

The business-specific features also had you opportunities for direct interaction: you can congratulate them on promotions or comment on articles they share.

Read: Twitter unfriends LinkedIn

But don’t share personal information about clients that you’re privy to for professional reasons. Your profile will tell others that you know the client; however, the fact that you advise them shouldn’t be public knowledge.

3. Twitter

Twitter can be a highly effective personal and professional network. Curate and share great content in your areas of expertise, and intersperse such tweets with personal commentary.If your clients tweet, follow them and look for opportunities to retweet and share their content.

Read: Building Twitter influence

But beware: Twitter’s short message format doesn’t lend itself to detail or nuance. If you need to have a substantive conversation, move it to e-mail or offline.

Use your social media connections with clients to show them you’re paying attention to their lives. The more you know about your clients, the better you can serve them. And the more they know about you—not just professionally, but how you think and what you really care about—the better relationship you’ll have.

Jay Palter is a social media strategist and coach with two decades of professional experience in financial services, software development and marketing. To subscribe to his weekly newsletter, go to http://jaypalter.ca/payitforward.
Originally published on Advisor.ca

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