With regulatory guidelines and compliance rules, financial advisors may not even want to be bothered with using social media for their business, but the truth is it’s a good place to be for your work.

Financial advisors need to be on social media for a number of reasons, from being better found in search engine algorithms to building relationships with clients. It’s a new age for financial advisors, and to get a referral or to close a deal you need to do more than meet for a cup of coffee and a handshake.

Here are three reasons why financial advisors need to be on social media now. (For more, see: How Advisors Are Leveraging Social Media.)

Rank Higher in Google Searches

If you want to be found at the top of Google searches (and trust me, you do), then you need to be on social media. Take a minute to Google yourself right now—what do you see? The first thing Google returns is photos, the second is social media channels, and last is your website and press that you’ve done or websites where you’ve been featured. Why is this?

Google returns exact match search results before anything else. That’s why photos of you and your social media channels show up first—because they’re directly linked to your proper name. Your advisor website may be under your firm’s name and although the search engines are smart enough to know that you and it are related, it doesn’t rank as high.

The second reason being on social media can help your business is because more active sources rank higher than static online properties. Social media channels are updated several times throughout the day (at least they should be), whereas your website may only be updated every few months. Therefore, being active on social media helps potential clients easily find you—and that’s good for your business. (For related reading, see: Google Essentials for Financial Advisors.)

Teach Clients More About You

The second reason why financial advisors need to be on social media is because it’s an efficient marketing tool. Sharing industry news, market information and personal finance tips on social media channels is an easy way to showcase your expertise, target a niche market and broadcast your services. How long would it take you to contact 10 potential clients by phone? Maybe an hour. Think of how many potential clients you can reach online in an hour—it’s a lot more than 10.

Social media marketing isn't hard, either. All you need to do is share information that relates to your expertise and is helpful for your clients. When you do that, your network will share the info with their networks—that’s called the Facebook effect. It’s free marketing and it also only takes a single action from you. A good social media post can go on and on and that’s extremely beneficial for your bottom line. 

Let’s say you have 500 connections on LinkedIn and you share an article about the benefits of investing in an IRA. If each of your 500 connections shares the article with their network and they each have 500 of their own, then you’ve just reached 250,000 potential clients. How great is that? (For related reading, see: Twitter Tools Advisors Should Consider.)

Communicate in a New Way

Social media is just one part of a financial advisor’s overall digital marketing strategy. It’s another communication outlet for you to share messages with clients along with email newsletters and blog posts.

If you want to provide a superior level of customer service with your clients, then you need to be on social media. It’s another way for clients to contact you and that’s good for building long-term relationships. I’m sure the last thing you want is for clients to find it hard to get in touch with you—I know it was for me when I was an advisor. Being hard to reach is not good for business and it’s definitely not good customer service.

The Bottom Line

Being on social media lets your clients, potential clients, partners and colleagues know that you’re reachable, and it also tells them that it’s easy to do business with you. Ease of doing business could be the deciding factor when a new client is choosing between two prospective financial advisors. Being accessible on social media can help you be the client’s first choice. (For more, see: LinkedIn/Microsoft Deal: What Advisors Should Know.)

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