Let your social media actions adhere to the Golden Rule. Seek out ways to be helpful, says Joanna Belbey, social media and compliance specialist for compliance technology firm Actiance.
Answer a question, provide an introduction and share your knowledge, she says: “Being helpful to others is an attractive trait, people will respond in a positive way.”
Engaging in social media for business isn’t nearly as useful if you don’t have anything to share that demonstrates your expertise, says Michael Kitces, an active social media user and a partner at Pinnacle Advisory Group.
What should you share? Share content that’s relevant to your existing and targeted prospective clients, Belbey says. “Whether it’s information about estate planning, 401ks, or 529s, pick the content that will be most interesting to your connections.”
Yet be careful not to sell products. Besides raising compliance red flags, selling on social media is a big turnoff, says Belbey. “Think ‘attraction,’ not ‘promotion.’”
UBS advisor and social media user Mitch Slater agrees. “Focus on building rapport, not on making a quick sale,” he says. Don’t make the mistake of overpitching, he adds: “You don’t cold call your connections’ connections.”
Think about building your brand over time and developing a good reputation online. “By being helpful, you can demonstrate your expertise,” Belbey says.

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