Learning and using technology trends, including social media, may require help from colleagues and perhaps even family.
“Over the years, with the aid of colleagues and my children, my moniker has evolved from ‘no-tech Glenn’ to ‘low-tech Glenn,’” says Glenn Frank, a certified financial planner and a partner and the director of investment tax strategy at Lexington (Mass.) Wealth Management.
The need for such a step isn’t unique among financial advisors, especially veterans with decades of experience.
“My son, who works in marketing for a technology company, has orchestrated my presence on Twitter,” Frank says.
“I come up with some thoughts for the day, often on taxes or investing, and send them to him. He gets tweets out on Twitter and handles everything there, including re-tweeting,” Frank says.
Frank has more than 3,000 Twitter followers.
“Occasionally, I’ll hear from a client who liked what I had to say,” he says.
“People get a lot of information these days, from different sources. The more they hear from you, the more credible you are,” Frank says.
“I get re-tweets from my firm, and my students also follow me,” says Frank, the founding director of Bentley University’s master’s in financial planning program, who continues to teach portfolio construction courses there.
At Lexington Wealth Management, Frank credits younger colleagues Jordi Mullor, head of investments and operations specialist, and Kristine Porcaro, the firm’s co-founder and chief operating officer, with steering the firm’s social-media efforts.
Indeed, the website offers entrée to Twitter and LinkedIn. Clicking on the Twitter logo brings visitors to tweets (“We're at #SchwabIMPACT”), tweets and replies, and photos and videos.
A similar story comes from James P. King, a CFP and the founder of J.P. King Advisors Inc. in Walnut Creek, Calif.
“My two younger partners, Scott Horton and Justin Dodson, who are in their early 40s, handle social media,” King says.
“We have a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. We still rely on traditional media -- video (on our website), email, phone -- and our primary source of new business remains client referrals, but I expect we'll do more social media in the future,” King says.
However, this “insiders” approach may not suit every advisor.
“We have discussed mobilizing social media for the purposes of business promotion and development,” says Stewart H. Welch III, a CFP and the founder and managing member of The Welch Group LLC, a wealth management firm in Birmingham, Ala. “We intend to hire a third-party specialist.”
Asked if any employees or even relatives could help, he says, “Yes, some of our younger staff people use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., but you really need a comprehensive, coordinated strategy. Thus, we’ll use an expert. Typically there is an expert within a group that does websites; that’s where we found ours.”
Donald Jay Korn is a New York-based financial writer who contributes to Financial Planning and On Wall Street.
This story is part of a 30-day series on leading tech trends for advisors.