Investment advisors are coming around to the reality that they need to reach out to clients on social media – but the temptation for a quick buck can quickly turn into a blunder with the wrong marketing approach.
The mistakes being made by advisors on Facebook, Twitter and on websites usually start at the beginning, say two industry experts.
“The biggest mistake that companies make when social marketing is they treat it as a side project,” says Communications Manager Andrew Broadhead of Ext. Marketing
, “they don’t have a team in the marketing department that is focused solely on social marketing.”
And using a shotgun marketing approach may backfire on those advisors hoping to reach out to existing and new clients, says Stephen Lee, vice president of communications.
“One thing is companies not understanding their target market and who they are writing to,” says Lee. “Not being focused and trying to do too many things for too many people; sending mixed messages. It is so important to have a strategic approach and to build an editorial calendar.”
Another marketing expert sees mistakes being made when companies spend the time and effort to create websites, only to then forget about them and not promote their online presence.
“One of the areas that we see professionals putting themselves at risk is setting up an online profile and then doing nothing with it,” says Chris Johnstone, the founder and president of Cwjstone.com. “Potential clients are at a point where they research before they’ll either give them a call or at least give them their business. If they show up to a Facebook page that was set up two years ago and there is nothing on it, they’ll think they are out of business or even worse, they don’t care.”
Like any marketing campaign, knowing your audience is paramount, says Broadhead.
“Identifying your audience, that is where you want to startin a broader sense,” Broadhead told Wealth Professional
. It’s “where you want to develop your online presence – your content endeavours. Are you targeting professionals? Are you marketing to millennials? You want to make those decisions early on, so you can meet those objectives.”
Broadhead cites research from earlier in the year that shows adults age 55 and over who are online, 53 per cent are using Facebook now.
“LinkedIn was traditionally the older crowd, the crowd with the college educations, business-focused,” says Broadhead. “We are now finding those people on Facebook – which adds a little more complexity to the situation, because Facebook is more casual, but at the same time you are marketing to highly professional people. So you have to make sure your tone is accurate.”