NEW YORK -- Unless you are on social [media}, then you dont exist. Your customers will find someone else, Michael Lock, president of Hearsay Social, told attendees of the SIFMA Social Media Conference here today.
But simply creating one profile on one network isnt enough to meet client expectations, he said.
And those expectations have changed because of changes in technology and social media, said Lock, noting that Amazon offers him book recommendations and Uber drivers know his name and where he wants to go before he even gets in the car.
If thats the world for taxis and cabs, then whats their expectations for financial services? he asked.
Here are Locks four tips on how to better use social media in order to stay relevant in a marketplace of rapidly changing client expectations:
1. Be findable. Financial advisors should build a really good profile and not just for one network but for multiple networks. Being on multiple networks makes it easier for prospective clients to find an advisor and his or her firm, as it improves the chances of the advisor appearing among search engine results.
If you don't have a good Facebook profile or LinkedIn profile, when that guy leaves that dinner party and Googles you, he will not find you, Lock said. If youre not on social media, then people won't think you exist.
2. Build networks. Every time you meet someone, connect with them on social media, Lock said. Doing so can help bring in referrals, he added.
3. Listen up. Lock said that advisors should listen to their social media networks to learn what is important to clients and prospective clients. Listen to whats happening, he said. If you do that, then you wont have to bring out the yellow pad and ask questions about whats going on in my life. I will be impressed and say, This guy knows me, Lock said.
4. Post frequently. Finally, it is important to post a lot on social media because this builds credibility with clients and prospective clients. Lock said. He suggests that just 20% should be about the firm for which the advisors work. About 60% should be advice and topics that clients want to hear about such as retirement and estate planning, health care costs and inheritance. The remaining 20% should be about the advisor.
Firms with strict compliance rules can avoid headaches by building libraries with content that is pre-approved for posting, thus ensuring that advisors arent left with a stale Facebook page or empty Tweets.
We're in the golden age of technology. Everyone has a smart phone in their pocket, Lock said.
That has a created a great opportunity for you and your advisors, he said. Basically, we have the recipe, and its up to the venders in this room and the customers in this room to make it work.