With all the compliance rules that need to be followed in the financial services industry, it can be intimidating to leverage a controversial social media platform like Facebook. But once an advisor understands the necessary parameters that should be followed, they will come to realize how impactful Facebook can be to amplify marketing efforts, increase brand awareness, and offer engagement opportunities to prospects.
Advisors: Here are a few important things to take into consideration before getting started with Facebook.
Create an official business page
When getting ready to use Facebook, you should start by creating an official business page. A personal Facebook page is not compliant because it doesn’t allow for records to be kept for private messages, posts, and post engagements. While every company has a different set of standards to follow— creating a Facebook for Business page instead of using your personal Facebook page is an industry-standard.
Complete your page bio
When you create your business page, it’s important to focus on the bio section. This is where an advisor can clearly state their practice differentiation and include key company information and contact details. It is also critical to include your disclosures below the initial description, so make sure to check with your compliance department to confirm what should be included.
Expand your network
Once your page is set up, you are ready to begin growing your network. The more connections you can form, the more likely your page will grow in popularity through the likes, shares, and engagement of your connections when you post. Make sure to engage with existing clients’ posts and don’t be afraid to engage with potential clients as well. The more exposure you can get for your brand, the higher the chances of it leading to a business opportunity and forming a new client relationship.
Engage with others and share content
Once you’ve established your connections, it’s time to interact with them in a meaningful way. Share relevant articles, trends, and industry news, and engage with content shared by others. Many advisory firms already have content that has been pre-approved by compliance and is ready to be shared through social media channels. Leverage this when you can. It’s also key to share content that coincides with your personal brand and demonstrates your specific expertise. Be consistent. When posting or sharing content, try to live by the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you should post content featuring topics adjacent to your business or content that promotes relevant industry news. The other 20% of the time you should post your content.
Pro tip: Nobody likes it when you talk about yourself too much. Stick with the 80/20 rule to prevent this from happening.
Tell your authentic brand story
Communicating your brand's narrative will be key in connecting with your target audience. Hone in on what sets your business apart from others. Perhaps it’s your unique approach to portfolio management or the story behind why you do what you do as an advisor. Be different than all of the other brands and white noise across Facebook, and find a way to drive your story authentically. Use a mix of video and written content to showcase your specialized expertise. Do you focus on a niche in the market, such as 401 (k) plans, the newly single, retirees, or millennials? Create the type of content your audience wants to consume. Blogging is an effective way to demonstrate that you are an authority in your field, but mix that in with videos and other visual mediums. As with everything, check your firm’s compliance policy before proceeding.
Avoid making sales pitches too quickly
As exciting as it is to jump on every new business opportunity, advisors need to be aware that they should not be making sales pitches immediately through the platform. No one likes being pitched to on social media, but they do consume content and learn about topics of interest all the time. To give a pitch, try to move the conversation offline to a more personal communication channel such as a phone call or in-person meeting. When in doubt, keep it professional and take it offline.
Facebook Advertising Tips for Advisors
Lastly: the topic of paid advertising campaigns. Using paid outreach through Facebook is a great way to create new client opportunities using specific demographics to target your ideal audience. Make sure to follow these best practices when writing your Facebook ads. Have a clear goal. Be brief. Communicate your message in one or two sentences. And always include a call-to-action.
Disclaimer: Before jumping in and running ads, check with your firm’s compliance department for their review process and any necessary disclosures.
Benefits for Advisors using Facebook
Overall, Facebook is a great tool for an advisor to build their brand, increase their network of connections, and establish a reputation as a thought leader in the industry. With only 60% of advisors using Facebook for business purposes and 1.62 billion daily active users on the platform, Facebook measures up as a fantastic opportunity for advisors to leverage a social network only half their peers are using.
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