Jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon, One Advisor at a Time

As the Marketing Coordinator for Arkovi, I was thrilled to be able to attend last week’s TD Ameritrade 2012 National Conference.  As I prepared for my first conference, I was looking forward to providing advisors with social media resources in the social media lab.  In particular, I was excited to lead a roundtable discussion on social media tactics, a subject still uncharted for many advisors.  During the lab, I would hear the thoughts, goals, and worries advisors have regarding social media.  I had plenty of expectations of what the conference would be like, but still my mind was blown by the amount of social media education at the event.  TD Ameritrade truly went the extra mile to ensure their advisors walked away from the conference with a better understanding of social media and how they can incorporate it into their practice.

For advisors, social media is an important tool as they search for newer ways to generate leads, build personable relationships with clients and prospects, and grow a reputation as an influencer in their industries.  However, are still hesitant to jump aboard the social media bandwagon due to compliance regulations and lack of knowledge on how to begin.  During the social media lab, I covered everything from who do I follow on Twitter to what is this new thing called Pinterest.  After hearing different perspectives and answering multitudes of questions, here are four key takeaways for advisors looking to find social media success while remaining compliant.

Don’t Be Overwhelmed

Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter!  Sure there are plenty of social media platforms out there to choose from.  However, don’t feel like you have to use them all.  Take the time to step back and consider your social media goals, as well as who your target audience is.  Do you want to connect with other advisors?  Try LinkedIn.  Or, do you want to reach out to customers and prospects?  Maybe Facebook is for you.  Want to use more than one platform?  Take advantage of tools such as Hootsuite, that are very affordable and a huge time saver when it comes to managing your accounts.  Whatever you choose, remember three things: listen, engage and share.

Patience is a Virtue

Don’t be frustrated if your Twitter following or Facebook fan base isn’t growing overnight.  Building a strong fan base takes time, dedication, and patience.  Things to remember: go for quality, not quantity.  Make sure you are posting strong, useful, and genuine content that your fans and followers will find relevant.  Be an active social media participant, posting articles that share your business’ message, sharing new blog posts, and responding to inquiries.  The more you are a visible and productive member of the social media community, the more followers you’ll attract.

Be Creative

Newsfeeds can be crowded and busy.  Make your posts or tweets stand out.  At the conference, advisors were able to record a short video courtesy of Blind Society.  Videos, audio, and podcasts are fantastic ways to grab followers’ attention.  We are drawn to visuals, so be creative in what you post.  Or, take advantage of new social media platforms like Pinterest and consider yourselves ahead of the game.

Have a Strategy and Archive

For advisors, being compliant is the number one priority when being on social media.  Make sure your firm has a social media policy established and everyone understands any governance and ethics rules.  Also, for those posting online, take the time to truly understand the culture of your business and the vibe you want to have online.  And of course, have an archiving solution like Arkovi. Think of archiving as your social media safety net.

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