Updated Wednesday, August 27, 2014 as of 4:53 AM ET

Time to Embrace Social Media

Think about it. You're a leading expert in your field providing much sought-after advice to dozens of clients. It’s essential that you network with these clients, staying on top of important changes in their lives in order to maintain and deepen your relationships. You’d also like to keep them updated on the latest trends and developments as they take place. And you’d like to do this in a way that allows you to display your expertise, letting you attract prospective clients in the process.

In any other field, this would be a no-brainer. You’d tweet or blog or launch a Facebook page. You’d start a group on LinkedIn. In short, you’d keep tabs on your clients and establish a presence on the social network, deepening your ties and attracting new followers along the way.

But you’re not in any other field, you’re a financial advisor and your every utterance has to be vetted by lawyers, approved by compliance officers and archived for regulators. You have to disclose everything, promise nothing and avoid misrepresenting anything.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

Increasingly, the answer is, you tweet, blog, launch a Facebook page or start a LinkedIn group. As reported by Miriam Rozen in this month’s cover story, the wirehouses and big regional investment firms are making a concerted effort to help their advisors overcome regulatory and legalistic impediments, freeing them to post, like and follow with the best of them.

Aided by some nifty (lol!) new software tools that ensure online musings remain within regulatory bounds, the firms are encouraging advisors to deepen their ties and garner followers in the virtual community. Using these programs, advisors can stay abreast of their clients, promote their services, and track who’s reading and sharing their postings and with whom. These tools also help bridge the generation gap, making it easier for those members of the advisor community who aren’t social media mavens to successfully launch and cultivate an online presence.

And once an advisor starts building a network, what should he or she blog about? With the markets seesawing, non-traditional investments have become a topic du jour. As Andrew Welsch details in Peak Performance, new investment vehicles are putting alternatives within reach of the masses, and the masses are turning to advisors to help them make sense of this category.

Another option: Address topics of importance to segments of your client base. Kathryn Sollmann explains in Biz Dev that professional women at various career stages constitute a huge and underserved market.

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