As an advisor, it’s crucial that you are utilizing social media as a part of your overall marketing strategy. It boosts your engagement, can get more eyes on your content and drives more prospects to your website. While it’s great for your firm in the long-run, mastering a strong social strategy takes a lot of work, and it isn’t something that happens overnight. Once you have mastered it, however, it can do so much for your sales efforts, so avoid these 7 mistakes when using social and boost your social media efforts.
7 Social Media Mistakes Financial Advisors Should Avoid
1. You Haven’t Planned Out a Social Strategy
Any good strategy starts with a plan, and it’s crucial that you are creating one for your firm. While it can be exciting to get started on a strategy if you just jump right in without planning anything, you will not be set up for success. How do you get started?
By setting goals, you gain an understanding of what you are trying to achieve, which can help you create a much stronger plan. Some examples of goals that you want to accomplish are that you want to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Generate new leads
- Boost your revenue
- Get more press coverage
Whatever it may be, it’s pertinent that you are tailoring your strategy to what you want to accomplish, which will make it much easier to know what you want and reach your goals.
Additionally, as you progress throughout your plan, make sure you are evaluating how your content is performing, which you can do using social media analytics. See what times are the best for engagement, what type of content works best for your posts, what isn’t working and more.
Set Up Your Social Media Platforms
The next step is to set up your social media platforms, so make sure you have all of the information filled out with a professional headshot or company logo for the profile picture plus a cover photo with the correct dimensions. Make sure that you are remaining consistent with your brand, so it’s important that everything stays consistent across all of your profiles.
Form a Strategy
Like many things, you can work smarter and not harder, so figure out where your niche is spending most of their time. If you target business professionals, entrepreneurs, owners, etc. then LinkedIn would be your best bet. Retirees spend a lot of time on Facebook, so tailor your content to your audience and put it on Facebook. Wherever your niche spends time, that’s where you want to put the most effort.
It’s also crucial that you are not just putting content out there and leaving it at that, but rather you need to be engaging with your audience, as well. Like their content or retweet something that you found particularly interesting or useful. Answer any questions and respond to comments that people write on your posts, and if you find a post worth commenting on and you have something useful to offer, then this is a great way to show that you are a thought-leader in the industry.
Lastly, make sure you are tracking your analytics so that you can figure out what is working for your firm, as far as content and time frame goes and what needs to be changed. If you don’t know what works, then you won’t be able to improve your strategy.
2. Your Strategy Isn’t Catering to Your Niche
We touch on this above, but you don’t have to be on every social media platform. If you mainly focus on pre-retirees and retirees, then Facebook would be your best bet. In fact, 64% of people that are 50-64 have at least one social media profile, and Facebook is the most popular platform for baby boomers. What type of content should you be putting out if you cater to this age group?
Retirees/Baby Boomers like to read in-depth news pieces and analysis and concrete information. So, when you are sharing this content on your social platforms, keep this in mind.
Do you cater to Millennials? Well, 90.4% of Millennials are active on social media, so this is a great way to reach them. When appealing to them, use strong graphics and imagery to catch their eye and make sure you are sharing third-party articles and content that would pique their interest. When trying to decide which social platform to target, it can be broken down in this survey from MarTechSeries. 77% of Millennials said they use Facebook daily, Instagram comes in second at 70% and YouTube is at 66%.
If Generation X is your niche, then the most effective thing you can do is focus on creating content that is authentic and consistent. 88.6% of Gen Xers use Facebook as their main social media platform, so this is a great place to put a lot of your efforts.
Who Got It Right?
Twenty Over Ten and Lead Pilot user, WealthKeel, LLC caters to a unique niche and that is made very evident on their social pages. They do financial planning & investment management for Gen X and Gen Y Physicians. They post original content that provides very useful information for that particular audience as they plan for their future.
3. You Aren’t Posting Enough Original Content
Consistently putting original content out there is crucial to a strong inbound marketing strategy. While it’s important to engage with others and share third-party sources, make sure you are putting your own content on social platforms, as well. At Twenty Over Ten, we try to put out content every day on both our Twenty Over Ten blog and Lead Pilot blog, and we share that content on our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
When it comes to creating strong original content, some things to remember are:
Make Sure your Content is Thought-Provoking and Engaging
Make sure your readers are taking something away with them after leaving your website. You want to provide your audience with thought-provoking content that sticks with them. Maybe you wrote a piece that has you thinking about ways you could be a better leader at work. Or maybe they wrote a piece and you now want to try and apply this to you marketing strategy for a better outcome.
Include Images and/or Videos
According to HubSpot, 54% of users want to see more videos from a brand or company that they support. So, make sure you are including video and images in your content! This is a great way to get your information out there, rather than just producing pages of written content.
Provide Answers in your Content
Your readers are coming to you for answers, so make sure you are providing them. What type of material is your niche looking for? Stay relevant by searching topics in the news and the industry so that you can provide the best answers and touch on timely subjects when you can. If you show that you are an expert in the industry, then people will continue to come to your site for answers.
Make it Personal When Appropriate
There is A LOT of content out there, so if someone can relate to one of your posts, then it will be likely to have more of an impact on them. If you can teach your readers something about their finances while also touch on a personal note, then that’s a win-win! This post from Zoë Meggert shows the importance of incorporating stories into your content as a financial advisor.
Who Got It Right?
Twenty Over Ten and Lead Pilot user, Tapparo Capital Management consistently posts original engaging content with everything from information on medicare to college planning and free downloads for readers.
4. You Aren’t Posting at the Optimal Time
This is a game of trial and error, and it takes some time to determine what is the best time to post on your social platforms. You can check your analytics and see what time is showing the highest engagement and then continue from there. There have been numerous studies on the best time to post on social media platforms, and this one from Sprout Social has come in very handy.
Best Times to Post on Facebook
According to Sprout Social’s research from 2020, they found that the best time to post on Facebook is between on Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. EST. Additionally, the most consistent engagement time was seen Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. The lowest engagement time seemed to be every day either before 7 a.m. or after 5 p.m. To increase shares and clickthrough rates they recommend posting at the following:
Best Times to Post on Twitter
Social Sprout recommends tweeting at 9 a.m. EST on Wednesday and Friday for optimal performance. Safe times for engagement were Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. In general, across all industries, it seems that many are logging into Twitter in the morning, including on weekends in order to catch up on any news that they may have missed. The lowest engagement periods seem to every day before 4 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
For LinkedIn, Sprout Social found that the best times to post on LinkedIn are Wednesday from 8–10 a.m. and noon, Thursday at 9 a.m. and 1–2 p.m., and Friday at 9 a.m. As far as engagement goes, the best times for that are during the workweek, Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. There is the least amount of engagement outside of working hours, every day before 4 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
This has been the norm and during the times of COVID-19, things have changed and the posting times have fluctuated, as well. They are as follows.
Best Times to Post on Facebook during COVID-19
At the moment, the best times to post on Facebook are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10–11 a.m. EST. Every day at 11 a.m. has a slight peak compared to the rest of the day.
Best Times to Post on Twitter during COVID-19
As far as Twitter goes during the pandemic, the current best time to post on Twitter is Friday from 7–9 a.m. EST with the peak of the activity at 9 a.m.
Best Times to Post on LinkedIn during COVID-19
When it comes to LinkedIn, the current best times to post are on Wednesday at 3 p.m, Thursday at 9–10 a.m. and Friday from 11 a.m.-noon. Weekday engagement starts and ends a bit later now, with activity beginning at 8 a.m. rather than 7 a.m. and ending around 4 p.m. rather than 3 p.m.
5. Your Posts are Too Promotional
While you want to get your name out there, if you do so in an overly promotional way, it comes off as “salesy” and tacky. If you have a product or a service that you want to talk about, you can do it in a tasteful way. Maybe somebody is using your product or had a great meeting with an advisor at your firm. If they posted it about it, then you could share that on your social platform and be sure to tag the third-party who mentioned you in the first place. Also, make sure you are including content that is useful to your audience and can help them make stronger financial decisions rather than just posting about your tools or platforms. It’s all about the correct balance and what works best for your business on social media.
6. You Aren’t Using Hashtags Correctly
Hashtags are a great way to get your posts in front of more people and can be a very useful part of a digital marketing strategy, but they should be used correctly. They are a way to connect content on social media to a certain topic or conversation. When you use them on your platforms, it makes it easier for people to find your posts, as your posts will show up with others based on a certain theme.
Hashtags on LinkedIn
When it comes to using hashtags on LinkedIn, you should use no more than three, and you should include them at the bottom of your post for a cleaner look and feel.
Hashtags on Facebook
Only use one to two hashtags on this platform, so make sure you are choosing them carefully and that they really make an impact.
Hashtags on Twitter
You don’t want to clutter your posts or appear “spammy” so just use one to two hashtags on Twitter.
Remember that everything should be used in moderation, and as you can see in the graph below, it’s about quality and not quantity.
7. You are Growing Followers but Aren’t Keeping Them
You may be growing your social media followers, but that doesn’t mean they are going to stick around. If you aren’t answering questions, commenting on their posts, or posting useful content consistently, then you may lose your follower as quickly as you gained them. When it comes to posting, remember the 60/40 ratio rule.
You need to be an active part of the online community and get people to interact with your posts, as well. So, for the 60/40 rule, remember that 60% should be about engaging with others and 40% is posting your own content.
Remember the following:
- Like other people’s posts
- Like others’ comments on your posts
- Reply to others’ comments on your posts
- Comment on others’ posts
Only a small percentage of it should be self-promotional. everything else should be inspirational, motivational or funny. The majority of what you post should be informative.
Who Got It Right?
Twenty Over Ten client and Lead Pilot user, MLS Financial Planning is incredibly active on social media, posting original content consistently. In addition to including content that answers important questions like “How Much Money Will You Need to Retire?” founder Maury Schneider, CPA, MBA, CFP® invites his readers to share their thoughts in the comments section. This is a great way to boost engagement and show that you truly care about your audience and what they have to say.
Social media isn’t just for showing pictures of your children or grandchildren anymore or catching up with old friends on Facebook. It’s an integral part of a firm’s overall online presence and digital marketing strategy. When used correctly, a strong social strategy can really give your firm a boost in terms of lead generation and SEO rankings. The financial industry is rapidly changing as the way we showcase content, so it’s important that your firm is keeping up. By avoiding the above mistakes and executing a strong strategy, you can get more eyes on your content and ultimately your website, therefore driving sales.
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About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.