Do you know how to use LinkedIn effectively to target high-net-worth clients? Well you should: 90% are participating in social media and the richest ones are on that platform.More importantly, 63% are taking action afterwards to learn about financial products and services.
This was revealed in a study of more than 600 investors with more than $100,000 in investable assets. The Cogent Research and LinkedIn survey found that only 4% currently interact with their financial adviser on social media, but 52% said they would if their adviser used social media.
“Although these findings relate to the USA, the reality is that they make a compelling case for all financial advisers to engage in social media activities,” says Claudio O. Pannunzio, president and founder of US based i-Impact Group.
Pat Yoshida, an account manager with Montreal-based agency High-Touch Communications who caters to financial planners, believes that advisors should have a built-out social media presence, including active Facebook and Twitter accounts… but LinkedIn may be the most effective platform to convert clients.
Yoshida notes that while there are 4.8 million Canadian LinkedIn users -- compared to 18.6 million Canadian Facebook users -- the average user of Linked-in has an average salary of 110,000 and three out of five advisors report directly gaining clients from Linked-in. However, notes that 90% of advisors already say they use Linked-In… but few use it well.
“Just because 9 out of 10 advisors are already on LinkedIn doesn’t mean that they leverage the platform to their benefit or tap into its potential. There is opportunity out there for early adopters to pull ahead of the laggards by occupying market gaps and earning top-of-mind awareness within those spaces,” Yoshida said.
Like how mobile phones went from rare to ubiquitous, a social media presence is increasingly expected rather than optional. And just as having a phone line won’t bring new clients, a Linked-In presence won’t add to and advisor’s success unless he or she uses it to build reputation, and does so better than, or differently from, competitors.
“Differentiation is most often achieved offering features and benefits that are unique, un-substitutable, rare or difficult to imitate,” says Yoshida. “Savvy advisors should focus on their strengths and core competencies within certain niches and develop insight, ideas and fresh content around them from a position of authority and expertise.”
Advisors should join and follow groups and organizations, and disseminate their messaging throughout these networks. It’s important for advisors to familiarize themselves with how the industry is represented on LinkedIn, such as the Canadian Wealth Advisors Network. In addition, Yoshida says advisors should evaluate how current thought leaders use the service and determine how they could adapt their performance for their particular segment.
“Since financial advisors typically serve a local clientele, it can often be fruitful to look outside local markets for people doing it well and replicate it within local markets,” he said. "Using social platforms is a pull strategy: one in which the advisor can demonstrate competence, performance, credibility and industry authority and really begin branding his or her name,”
“Social media offers advisors the opportunity to connect with prospects demonstrate value and expertise. Such authority is built over time with propagated original content… building an audience and earning a following is the first step towards earning the trust of investors; it is done via the delivery of unprecedented value within a given market, niche or area of expertise.”
For more tips on using Linked-in to grow your business, continue to page 2