Social media is today's printing press and advisors have to be prepared for a new Rennaissance, according to Jason Seiden, the co-founder and CEO of Ajax Social Media Group.

Social media is democratizing communication, Seiden told an audience of advisors at TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Elite Summit in California. To understand this, he compared what Gutenburg did when he printed the first bibl in 1436. Seident said it wasn’t until about 1500 that the Renaissance hit full swing and, a full hundred years later, the Golden Age of art and science and politics followed.

“Why the delay?” Seiden asked. “People had to learn to read."

The same thing is happening now with social media: People are developing social literacy, and publishers are figuring out how to index and reference material through a variety of social networks.

“The bad news, of course, is that this means there is no model to follow," Seiden said. "We’re in a phase where we’re sort of making things up as we go along." 

Seiden said that this means that “social media is making us tear down structure.”  There used to be a clear personal side and a professional side to your life, but now, the two are blurring.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, he said. Seiden said he actually trademarked the term “Profersonal,” which is the combination of professional and personal.

“Using social media is like being naked in front of the world," Seiden said.

Seiden gave the attendees some simple advice: Advisors need to work on developing their social media story.   

“If you don’t know your story, you are going to broadcast that you don’t have a story,” he said.  He advised keeping the profile to one story by framing and integrating subplots.

Seiden said that advisors need to begin by using their social media profile to answer three simple questions:

  • What do you do? 
  • Why are you better?
  • What are you passionate about?

Seiden said that prospects will look at your profile because they have a problem and they want to know if you can solve it. 
He cautioned advisors to begin by checking with their compliance department for specific guidance on what your organization will allow you to do on specific social networks. It is strongly recommended that advisors hire an archiving services to capture their social media communications.

Mike Byrnes founded Byrnes Consulting.