Many advisers I speak to still doubt the effectiveness of social media for business.
Traditionally, word of mouth referrals has been the most reliable way of bringing in new clients. The clock is ticking on how long this will stay the norm. A 2016 study of investment firms showed that business development and marketing strategies overtook referrals for the first time as a source of assets under management. How much longer will this scepticism hold advisers back from maximising the potential of social media?
To the naysayers, I would say that social media is simply a technology that achieves a goal. It’s a communication channel that reaches an audience. Just because you don’t watch Love Island or Hollyoaks (apologies if you do) doesn’t mean you outright dismiss television as a medium. You find what you like and what works for you, just like your clients and prospects are. Social media is no different.
Like any business tactic, it requires careful thought and informed decision making. It also needs an understanding of the strengths behind social media so that it complements the rest of your sales and marketing strategy. These go beyond hard metrics such as reach and impressions to include softer metrics that reflect psychological behaviours such as social proof, reciprocation and authenticity.
My colleague Imogen Dunworth-Warby has recently written an insightful article on this topic. She includes one statistic which reveals that 96% of people that discuss brands online do not follow them. They may not subscribe to an organisation but they have formed enough of an opinion to talk about them.
The takeaway is that every touchpoint with your advice firm — whether that’s via social media or offline — should display sophistication, integrity and emotional intelligence. Think about those leads and prospects that aren’t captured in the social media data reports. Can you afford not to have a professional online presence?
Read Imogen's post here:
Trust me, like me, follow me: The power of social media
And here’s another useful article by Robin:
Differentiation is vital — and social media is how you do it