Unlocking Real Value Blog

Advisors – Be Patient – Social Media Works!

2011 ended with a number of studies sighting advisor frustration with social media. For example, a study by the Aite Group concluded that advisors were not getting the desired benefits of better brand awareness, competitive differentiation and revenue growth. 20% of advisors surveyed said that social media was unimportant to them while another 40% said that they were neutral on social media.

My reaction? Be patient! There are two primary reasons for advisors to become engaged with social media – the aforementioned prospecting and branding and client servicing. Many advisors fail to see this second but very important use for social media. In fact, even if you never get a piece of new business from your social media efforts, yet are able to better serve your clients, I for one would argue that your social media efforts have been successful.

In today’s 24/7 viral news world, clients are demanding information when they want it and how they want it – it’s no longer good enough to dictate to clients when you will be calling or meeting with them. Social media provides a great outlet to get your ideas out to clients in a timely fashion, and it’s not a lot of ¬†additional work to offer your clients multiple social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Google + – so that they can choose the one that they are most comfortable with. (As an aside, don’t let these social media efforts limit your face-to-face time with clients – it’s still important that you make the time to sit down with clients as often as possible.)

Also interestingly, of all of the social media sites followed by Aite Group, only LinkedIn increased its overall use between 2009 and 2011. LinkedIn does not, however, address the client servicing side of the social media question. What about e-mail marketing systems such as Constant Contact? To me, this is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to enter the social media game, and it allows you to not only provide clients with information, but also in a branded way!

Advisors did mention some positive feelings for client communications in the Alite Group survey, but it was relegated to the back of the headlines. I say move forward – come-up with a client servicing plan that makes sense and is flexible. The prospects will come, albeit more slowly. As they say, if you build it they will come.

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