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Social media for financial services: Lessons from LinkedIn and Ziegler

Social media is continually proving to be an effective marketing tool for business professionals.  In the age of instant access, social media allows relationship-based salespeople to cast a wide yet targeted net that quickly draws in the ideal clients.
During LinkedIn’s “Financial Institutions and Social Media-Best Practices” webinar last week, more light was shed on the traction social media is gaining, specifically within financial institutions. Hot on the heels of data showing that 7 in 10 advisors use at least one social network for business, the webinar served only to highlight the increasing use of social media in the financial services industry.
In the first portion of the webinar, LinkedIn research consultant Emily Friedman shared results from a study tracking the social media use of 463 financial advisors in various fields:

Fast Facts

  • 29% of financial advisors already consider social media to be a major part of their marketing efforts.
  • Next year, it is expected that 52% of financial advisors will be actively using social media as a part of their business.
  • 71% of financial advisors that are already on social media found the high-value clients they seek through LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

This impressive and broad adoption of social media by financial advisors is proving to be advantageous to their business and client relationships.
Financial advisors using social networks are finding the high-value clients they aim to acquire more easily and readily.  As a result, advisors now have the motivation to actively incorporate social media into their daily business practices. Education and empowerment of these business professionals and their firms are crucial in allowing them to take full advantage of the myriad opportunities social media has to offer.
“Financial advisors are not only using social networks to make professional connections but to also cultivate client prospects,” said Friedman. “For institutions that support these advisors there is a lot of potential for fewer missed opportunities and a stronger network of advisors who are able to have that competitive advantage in the age of social media. […] It is clear that advisors are well on their way to fully adopting social media, it is already a critical component of their marketing effort.”

The Listening Factor

Another featured panelist on the webinar was Anita Heisl, Senior VP of Practice Development at Ziegler Wealth Management, who shared insights from the business perspective.

A Hearsay Social customer, Ziegler allows and encourages its wealth managers and investment bankers to market their business on social networks, primarily LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
“One of the most important things that an advisor can do on any social media channel is listen,” said Heisl. “People have a tendency to think about social media as communicating out but the listening power is underserved.”
Social networking sites not only allow advisors to promote their business on a large stage, they provide access and a constant flow of information that can be advantageous to their enterprise.

Social Media Compliance

Though it has been proven that advisors can grow their business on social media, large firms worry about the language and nature of their employees’ posts, tweets, and messages. The legal ramifications of a non-compliant post can have detrimental effects on an enterprises’ reputation.
“We’re using Hearsay Social,” Heisl said in the webinar, explaining that the platform serves both their sales and marketing needs, all while staying compliant with industry regulations.  “Advisors want to communicate with their clients and being able to just pop into Hearsay, click post on something that they know is preapproved–and that someone has already put thought into–is very useful.”
Heisl explained the necessity of a vast social media content library for advisors to choose from, allowing them to tailor and identify key information for their specific clients.
LinkedIn’s webinar reiterated the growing importance and advantages for businesses to implement social media into their marketing strategy.  Social networks are already playing a major part in advisors’ marketing efforts and will continue to do so.