Social media and video are an increasingly important part of your marketing mix due to changing consumer behavior. Here are nine things you should know.
- Social Media Use Increases AUM
The fifth annual Putnam Social Advisor Survey (2017) 1 of more than 1000 advisors found that 86% of advisors using social media for business reported gaining new clients as a result, up from 80% in 2016. The 89% of advisors who are using social media for their business have an average AUM of $89 million, versus 3% of advisors not using social media at all (even personally) with only $69 million in assets under management.
- The Top 3 Social Media Sites for Advisors Are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Although LinkedIn (used by 73%) continues to be the preferred social media site for advisors, Facebook (used by 46%) is used more frequently—22 times per month versus only 16 for LinkedIn. 1 Twitter is used by the fewest advisors according to Putnam, although it can be used successfully.
- Prospective Investors and Those Considered High Net Worth Are On Social
Amy Mcilwain, social media expert who has specialized in the financial industry for years, hosted a Hootsuite webinar in early February, “Social Media Secrets of the Financial Industry.” 2 She says that while social media doesn’t replace personal relationships, investors are interested in interacting with advisors on social media:
Affluent consumers tend to have more social accounts, they use online reviews for brand discovery, and 50% use ad-blockers. They are more likely than the general public to follow entrepreneurs and business leaders, and they demonstrate interest in career and finance topics:
- Baby Boomers Are On Social, and They Expect You to Be There
According to Amy Mcilwain2, boomers are the “social growth segment of social media” and they conduct research online:
(In fact, baby boomers are replacing younger audiences on Facebook. [WATCH])
- Videos Done Right
When it comes to video, according to Think Advisor3, advisors are “doing it all wrong.” Think Advisor says:
“Video can increase your search engine rankings and increase time spent on your website, and studies have shown that video is shared 12 times more often than text or link posts on social media. But the problem is, many videos done by advisors don’t have a specific purpose.
“Always consider the audience you are trying to reach before you make a video. Then think about your goal: What does this video need to accomplish? Finally, think about where this video will be viewed. Will it be on the homepage of your website? On social media? On a landing page? For video marketing to be effective, the right kind of video must be used in the right location.”
Many times advisors will put an animated video about stock market risk on their homepage, missing a perfect opportunity to explain why a prospect would want to work with them in the first place.
“What better way to turn a cold prospect into a warm prospect than with an effective video? Many advisors spend a ton of money on advertising to get people to visit their website, but then fail to use video effectively to warm prospects up. Instead, they drive potential leads to like a contact page and that’s where they are essentially saying, ‘Hey, I just met you, but let’s get married!’ That’s not realistic. The goal should be to bring people into your pipeline, gradually move them through it, and warm them up to the idea of meeting with you in person.”
(Here are some of the ways you can use video [WATCH]:)
- Video Length and Purpose on Social
If your Facebook post or ad is a video, you’re building a warm custom audience, probably pretty cheaply. And although the standard advice is “use short videos,” remember that whether your video is 8 minutes or 1 minute long, you’ll lose about 95% of people after the first 15 seconds, no matter what. But the 5% who keep watching will watch to the end, and those are the people you want to attract. 4
- What You Should Post
Think of Facebook as an online version of a party or business networking group, and your job is to build relationships and educate your local community. You need to post content that appeals to many different levels of understanding—and many different personality styles, according to Social Media Examiner. 4 And remember that most people aren’t ready to buy yet.
Even if someone doesn’t click your ad offering help or information, you’re still subconsciously building a relationship with them. Just remember to focus 90% of your energy (and ad budget) on building trust and delivering value instead of “selling.” 4
- Use Facebook Advertising to Amp-Up Results
It’s no secret that Facebook wants advertising dollars, and doesn’t show very many of your business page posts in your fans’ newsfeeds. Consider advertising to increase reach.
A recent article by Michael Kitces5 pointed out that you need to have a crystal clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish when you spend money on social media advertising. Is your ad going to increase awareness, engagement or acquisition? Those are the major three steps in the process a prospective client goes through before they hire you (also known as the marketing funnel), and each step can be supported by advertising dollars as well as content messaging.
“The Awareness phase is simply about making people aware that your business exists in the first place. The people you reach are not necessarily ready to do business with you, but you want to make them aware that you exist. The Engagement phase is where you try to actually help a prospective client begin to know, like, and trust you… because as the famous saying in the marketing world goes, people need to engage with your brand 7 to 9 times before they’ll be ready to do business with you! The Acquisition phase is where you actually try and acquire a client, where you transition from marketing into the sales process, because the prospect is ready to do business, is interested in doing business with you… and now you just have to convince them to actually take that action.”
- Financial Advisors Having Success with Social Media
This RIA blogs 7 days a week—and shares the blogs on social.
According to the very successful RIA6 (aka “Reformed Broker”), Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth, the best approach when it comes to social media is to first develop your online presence via your blog on your website. At the T3 Conference in early 2018, Josh admitted that Ritholtz Wealth had no deliberate plan to grow via social media when they started blogging way back in 2008.
But now, he says, “You can’t just dabble.” Brown said he and his five blogging (and now podcasting) colleagues at Ritholtz Wealth “put up content seven days a week,” and each blogger provides links within their blogs to their colleagues.
Recruiting advisors has become easier for them, too. Brown’s suggestion for advisory firm owners who want to attract the best advisors is: Focus on your culture. “Advisors join us because they believe in us,” he said. They believe in Ritholtz Wealth because “we’ve built a practice based on what we say in social media.” That’s another benefit of having a strong social media presence, Brown suggested.
“When people read you online you build a relationship that would otherwise take months of golf. And I’m not very good at golf.” ~Josh Brown
(Read about other financial advisors who are using social media effectively here.)
For help with social media and video which will propel your practice forward, call Shurwest at 800.440.1088!