Written by Simcha Lazarus
Simcha is WiseStamp's Content and Community Coordinator. She is a social media enthusiast who loves teaching people how to grow their business online.
Back when everyone else was jumping on the social media bandwagon, those in the financial industry were standing off to the side, wearily contemplating all of the things that could go wrong. With the many rules and regulations that the FINRA had in place, it seemed too easy to accidentally violate one (or more) of them with a wrongly worded tweet or Facebook update.
Today, though, most financial brokers have come to terms with the regulations and have discovered the many benefits of integrating social media into their business process.
Through social media, financial brokers can personally reach out to hundreds of potential clients at one time, and cultivate a relationship with each of them. Plus, with most people now sharing their Facebook and Linkedin profiles as they once exchanged business cards, having a presence on these platforms is a necessity for any broker that wants to remain relevant.
So let's get started!
When potential clients want to find out more about you and your services, possibly because they were referred by a friend, or maybe they came across your name on the internet, they will Google you. And when they Google you they should hopefully come across your website.
Now, in addition to containing information about you and the financial services that you provide, your website should also offer all kinds of helpful information that visitors to your site would be interested in reading about; financial calculators, articles about investing etc. Such articles will showcase your expertise about all things financial, and will keep visitors to your website hanging around.
Having a good repository of articles on your website is fantastic, but to keep people coming back to your website you need to frequently update the content, which is why you need a blog. While a website is a static place to store your information, a blog is a frequently updated platform that encourages visitors and search engines to keep coming back to see what’s new.
The articles on your blog will also come in handy when you open up accounts on the different social media sites, and need some interesting content to share with the world.
It will also help you rank in Search Engines for the keywords your potential clients will use to find you.
You probably send out hundreds of emails every month but if you haven’t optimized your email signature you’re missing out on a big opportunity to generate leads and promote your services.
A good signature should include not only your contact information but also links to all of your social media profiles, your website, your recent blog article and any other information that could be of interest to prospective clients.
Use WiseStamp to design a professional and attractive email signature that includes all of the information that you need to promote yourself and your business.
According to Linkedin "Close to 90% of people with assets between $100K – $1M turn to social media to help them make important financial decisions.”
There are hundreds of social networking sites in existence, but the three most popular are Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. Since your potential clients are mostly likely spending time on at least one of these sites, if not all three, then you should be there too.
Linkedin is the social platform for professional networking, and it’s probably your most powerful social media tool. This is where you will establish yourself as an expert among other professionals as well as develop relationships and generate referrals.
Tips for Optimizing your Linkedin account:
When you create your profile be sure to optimize it by uploading a professional profile picture, filling out your work history and writing an engaging description about yourself and the services you offer.
Once your profile is set up you can begin connecting with people that you know. Linkedin will use the contacts in your email account to offer recommendations. You can also search for specific people that you would like to connect with.
Next, you will want to find groups to join, where you can participate in discussions and share content from your blog, as well as other articles that people may be interested in reading. By participating in these groups you have the opportunity to connect with prospects and other industry professionals through discussions and shared interests.
Here are three groups you can get started with:
According to eBizMBA, Facebook receives an estimated 900,000,000 unique visitors every month, making it the most popular of all social platforms.
Most people don’t come to Facebook looking for financial advice, unless it comes with a picture of a cute kitten, but your prospects are most likely spending their downtime here, which is why need to be present as well.
Since you run a business you will need to create for yourself a Facebook business page, to which you will draw your target audience.
Tips for Optimizing your Facebook Business Page:
Once people are coming to your Facebook site you can engage them by asking questions or introducing discussions that they will want to participate in.
See how the Ameritrade Facebook page uses humor and cute images to engage visitors.
Daily Finance poses a question for each status, which their followers enjoy responding to.
Offering contests, quizzes and polls are also effective methods for getting Facebook visitors to interact with your page. Be creative and see what ideas you can come up with.
With its 140 character limit, Twitter may at first seem a bit constricting but once you learn how to use it you will discover that with Twitter your reach is nearly limitless.
Tips for optimizing your Twitter profile:
You can see how Kim Garst has optimized her Twitter profile to include keywords, Twitter handles, her location and an attractive profile picture.
Once your profile is set up it’s time to work on getting followers:
According to Twitter protocol, if you follow someone they will most likely follow you back. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule though, and you’ll probably notice that celebrities and well-known influencers follow far less people than are following them.
Here are some tips to get started:
Follow people that you know:
When you are just getting started and only have a few tweets under your Twitter belt, your best course of action is to start following people that you know. These can be friends, family and current clients. Since they know you they will most likely follow you back. Other people are more likely to begin following you if they see that you already have some followers, and that will help get the ball rolling.
Follow people in the finance industry that you respect and influence your profession.
Join Twitter discussions:
Get involved in discussions about topic and issues relating to finance, which will help demonstrate your expertise in the industry and bring you to the attention of influencers and potential clients. If you see people asking questions that you are qualified to answer, make sure to do so. You can use hashtags to search for relevant topics that people are talking about, or use the hashtags to tag your own comments so that others can find them.
Share interesting and informative content:
Tweet tips and links to articles and videos that your followers will find helpful and interesting. You can share links to articles from your own website and blog but also be sure to share other people’s content, and to retweet (RT) any articles or comments that you particularly enjoy.
When mentioning other Twitter users makes sure that you use their Twitter handle (@...) since this will come to their attention and will help you build relationships.
SocialBro: This fantastic tool will help you make the most of your twitter account by managing your followers, suggesting new people to follow and reporting to you when the best time of day to tweet is.
AdvisorTweets: Provides you with a real-time look at what financial advisors are talking about on Twitter.
Buffer: Distribute your tweets throughout the day by scheduling them with Buffer to go out when your followers are most likely to be active online.
These guidelines should provide you with everything that you need to know to successfully get started with social media.
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