While most financial advisors are using social media in a basic way, few are utilizing it fully, and even fewer are growing their businesses from it.
Why is this the case? After working with countless advisors on their marketing strategies, we have found that there are a number of common mistakes advisors make when using social media for their practices.
So if you feel frustrated, confused or exhausted trying to make social media work for you, then pay attention. Here are three of the most common mistakes we see advisors make with social media.
1. TOO SELF-ABSORBED
We've all come across THAT person at a party or networking event: the one who only talks about him or herself without pausing to listen. This is bad form in face-to-face interactions and it's no different online.
Instead, use social media the way it functions best – as a two-way street. Instead of promoting your own agenda, focus on asking questions, encouraging discussions, and responding to what others share. We also recommend that you share useful and interesting content that isn't directly involved with your own business.
Remember: Social media is about nurturing relationships – not advertising.
2. TOO BORING
Before you hit the publish, post or share buttons, ask yourself, "Is this valuable?" And be honest about it. If your answer is no, then why would you expect others to feel differently? What you share should be any combination of the following: Informative, inspirational, entertaining and engaging.
In addition to creating your own content to share online, you can also find and share content. When you do share someone else’s content, be sure to credit them. This is one of the best ways to build connections online.
Don't know where to find interesting content to share via social media? Check out Alltop, which lets you see popular new articles and blog posts across a range of topics. Or Topsy: This service lets you search out links and content people are sharing on Twitter.
3. NOT CAPTURING LEADS
This is a big one, and it's very common.
Many advisors and business professionals will attempt to drive traffic to their websites via social media. Sometimes they succeed in sending visitors to their website, but they don't generate leads. This is most often because they're not giving these people a chance to become leads.
Whether you're sending someone to your homepage, landing page or even a blog post, make sure there is an element on the page which is positioned to capture lead information.
Without a system in place to capture lead information (like an email newsletter signup, a contact form or an offer to download a report) you may not be creating a strong enough reason for someone to get in touch with you or give you information so you can contact them.
Ultimately, it's important that advisors don't just go through the motions of using social media. Top performers don't engage in social media because they feel like they have to. They do it because they understand the importance of building valuable relationships, one connection at a time. And that is precisely what social media is all about.
Robert Sofia is the founder of Platinum Advisor Strategies.