How to Win Friends and Influence People……online

How to Win Friends and Influence People……online

It’s no secret that in less than a decade, social media has transformed the way we do business, and the way clients prospects find and engage with their advisor. The Putnam Social Advisor Study conducted this year solidified that fact, finding that 81% of respondents use social media for business purposes, with 79% touting they have gained new clients via social media. Things are trending up!

The big three remain: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, with other sites, such as YouTube, Google +, Instagram, & Pinterest gaining more traction among advisors. Advisors also remained true in how they use each of of these sites. Prospecting and referral generation remains advisors’ primary use for LinkedIn. Facebook continues to serve as an excellent tool to build your personal and professional brand, as well as to enhance client relationships. Twitter continues to serve as a key to gathering information, as well as a platform for advisors to establish themselves as thought leaders.

Overall, the study solidified that advisors are increasingly turning to social as a key component of their marketing arsenal. Let’s talk about how to stay on top of social, engage your followers, and get some new business:

Original content builds credibility & shows off your personality

While it is a great idea to share relevant third-party content with your connections, it is also an absolute necessity to develop original content in addition. This allows you establish yourself as an expert, while giving readers a glimpse into you personality. The long-form post on LinkedIn is an excellent place to do so, as is your own blog.

The more controversial your post sounds — the more traffic.

You took the time to write an article or post, and you want followers to read it, right? Or perhaps you are sharing content you really feel your connections would value. Say something that gets them stirred up a bit. While I am not advocating you spew your religious or political thoughts online (I have seen advisors do this and it has cost them more clients than they care to admit!), but rather that you make your titles and headlines thought provoking enough to cause readers to click through.

Reading content is good…..but, sharing is better.

Once someone has taken the time to read your content, you want to broaden that reach by having them share. Suggest readers share your post with family & friends. And, be sure you do the same by sharing your own content across various sites.

Mention your own blog and e-newsletter

A little shameless self-promotion can go a long way. Don’t forget to mention and link to your most recent blog post, or to encourage your followers to sign up for your e-newsletter (Facebook even has a “Call-to-Action” button that makes this incredibly easy).

Follow & communicate with journalists

This is an often overlooked benefit to social media. Social media sites (especially Twitter) are full of journalists who share timely, relevant and engaging content. Like them – follow them — engage with them! Not only will they be excellent sources of information (a great way to identify shareable content), you could also be a resource, or a subject matter expert for them. The majority of advisors I profile or quote in print, in person, or while doing speaking engagements, are ones I first connected with and engaged with online. It’s worth the time to engage.

Show your authenticity

Let people get to know you. When they see you as a “real person” — with a family, hobbies & interests, likes & dislikes — it creates transparency. You are able to build trust & engagement more rapidly.

In additional to being a business strategist and coach, I am a martial artist. I often post quotes and comments on my page about my training or tournaments. It lets people get to know me a bit. Not only has it engaged and strengthened relationships with a number of my connections, I also picked up a couple new coaching clients because we had that hobby in common.

Leverage mobile

Staying on top of social media doesn’t have to be done from your desk. The big three all have great mobile apps that allow you to easily post, share & retweet on the go. Apps like Pulse and Flipboard also streamline your research, allowing you to find relevant content with ease, and to share it with only a few clicks.

In the months to come, we will explore some of the lesser used social media sites in more detail (You Tube, Instagram, etc.) and showcase the advisors who are blazing the trail on those sites. These guys (& girls) are seeing great success. Isn’t it time you get on board? Stay tuned.

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