Social media can be intimidating to the inexperienced user but it has proven to be an invaluable tool for my business.
As a multi-dimensional tool that not only puts my firm in front of potential clients, it also enables prospects to thoroughly research me and my firm. By the time I meet with them, they are already familiar with our vision and philosophy. This facilitates a more productive first meeting, often leading to the establishment of a financial management relationship.
In fact, in the past five months, I have added 7 new client relationships, growing my client base by 8%, through social media, with prospective clients discovering my firm and services through my website, Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I have been contracted for and had requests for financial planning services through and due to my social media presence. Specifically, for example, I was contacted recently by an out of state individual, regarding an article I wrote on my website that addressed debt management.
Beyond finding new clients, one of the most rewarding successes so far includes an interview I did with local news channel CBS6 on the “fiscal cliff” when they contacted me after discovering another article I had authored on my website.
Social media has changed the way I stay informed by replacing traditional news websites and papers. I can now choose what type of news I want to read, instantly access it and then use it to connect with peers, prospects and clients.
One of the most attractive aspects of social media is the convenience. I am able to engage whenever the opportunity presents itself. I find myself most active during downtimes, while waiting for a meeting to start, during lunchtime breaks, at the beginning and end of the day and even when I can’t sleep at night. Here's a look at how I use social media in my business on a daily basis.
Initially I started tweeting about two years ago when I learned that not tweeting negatively impacts your website’s Google ranking. I now focus on Twitter as one of my daily social media tasks. By using Hootsuite to simultaneously post on Twitter, my website, my Facebook business page and LinkedIn, these posts leverage my online presence.
Social media finds itself into my typical day as I wake up. I check Twitter for breaking news and tweet interesting and pertinent news, articles and links to my followers. At lunchtime, I check Twitter again and may have more to tweet. Towards the close of the day, I again repeat the Twitter and tweet algorithm. Throughout my day, if I make a new contact, I will connect with them on LinkedIn. My smartphone has become invaluable as it enables me to keep my finger on the social media pulse with the least impact on my daily life.
All told, I spend about an hour a day on social media, however, this includes research and reading the news. So actually being “social” is more like 15 minutes a day.
Once a week, I schedule 30-45 minutes to update my blog. On my blog I'll write a post regarding a new event I am involved with, or to share a snapshot of a financial planning idea I am thinking about. When I add these posts to my website they are automatically posted to my Facebook business page and LinkedIn. I also try to post something more personal to my blog and Facebook business page at least monthly.
For me, social media has proven a worthwhile investment of time and technology. It has become a successful avenue for promoting and growing my business. And I find time for social media in my busy day because it makes perfect business sense.
Olivia A. Mussett, CFP, is the founder and president of Mussett Wealth Management, a financial planning and investment advisory firm in Albany N.Y.