Advisors and broker/dealers are making the same mistakes in adopting social media that they made in the late 1990s in adopting websites: Strategy is ignored, they’re looking for low-cost solutions, and they’re choosing the solutions where the effort by the advisor is minimal.
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I talk with advisors, custodians, and B/Ds all the time, and I am seeing them all make the same mistakes they made in the late 1990s with websites. Everyone wants a deal. Everyone wants a free lunch, even though we all know there is no such thing. Let’s break it down.
Strategy. You can’t start tweeting or creating social media profiles without first defining your strategic goals. I spoke with an advisor yesterday who is tweeting and blogging all the time. But when I asked the advisor who is target clients are, he said he did not have target clients.
Posting content with no idea about who you’re trying to reach is like getting in a car and driving without a destination. Your target clients—Indian doctors, small business owners in Lakeland, Florida, widows in Kansas City—must be defined, and then you can post content targeted to them. While you may get few hits, the people who will read your content are those who need it. They’re be brought to it by search engines based on your use of keywords they care about.
Low Cost. In the late 1990s, cookie-cutter template websites were sold to advisors as a solution to getting on the Web and they’re still the predominant solution. That’s because they were inexpensive. What everyone failed to say is that without planning your marketing strategy, writing effective marketing copy, and frequent updates, your website probably won’t do much for you.
Advisors must realize that the technology behind social media and websites is not all that challenging to create in template fashion and automate. What takes time and costs money is creating your own original content.
Your Ideas Are Valuable. Low-cost automated solutions for pushing content out to your clients and prospects are useful but cannot replace you and your ideas. When the market plunges, clients want to hear from you.
Whether you write a blog, make videos, or use status updates to communicate ideas, the key is communicating your own ideas. Low-cost solutions can augment but not replace your personal ideas.