Let me paint the picture of my last Friday night…

My wife and I were out to dinner for her birthday. There were two couples eating next to us, both middle-aged and dressed professionally, and both glued to their iPhones.  My wife leans over and says, “That’s so sad.  I don’t ever want to be a couple like that.”  I looked up from my iPhone (I was caught red-handed scrolling through my Twitter feed) and responded, "I don't think it's sad, I think its reality." 

Your computer fits in the palm of your hand.  You take it everywhere.  From the restroom (admit it!) to your office desk.  While I'm typing this blog, my hypocritical wife is streaming a show on Apple TV, "pinning" away on her iPhone (Pinterest), and watching videos on YouTube from her iPad. In order for me to get her attention, I have to be more interesting than the blog posts she reads and the videos she watches – good luck!

Are we slightly more technical than the average consumer?  Sure, but the harsh reality of marketing yourself on social channels is...

You are fighting for attention against your prospect’s friends, family, and more!

It's a noisy world.  Let’s consider your Facebook news feed as an example.  If you pull up your Facebook feed, I bet there are posts from friends, family, companies, brands, TV shows, news sites, and more.  As a company (financial advisory firm) on Facebook you are competing against your client's family and friends for their attention.  Our personal and professional relationships are blended on social channels. Are you more interesting than your client's children and family?  Are you more interesting than their favorite TV show? This is a tall task!

The objective is to be building relationships and deliver true value to your clients, COIs, and prospects through social channels.  Be helpful!  As marketing expert Jay Baer says, “Deliver marketing that your prospects actually WANT.”

Consider the following questions as you develop your content marketing campaigns…
 

  1. How can you listen more and push less.  Conversations are taking place - join them. (@usairways just responded to my rant about my third flight delay in a row on Twitter).
     
  2. What are the common questions your clients and prospects ask of you and your staff? What are their common concerns?Make a list of these topics and turn them into valuable content marketing pieces. Also, consider things outside of just investments and research.  How can you help them with anything important to their finances in general?
     
  3. How can you answer those questions through social networks and truly be a valuable resource?  When you deliver real value, people will start paying attention.

 

If you’re an advisor hoping this social media “fad” will subside, think again. Clients are hyper-researching everything and as you insert yourself in places where they read their children’s news feed, if you aren’t adding value, you are becoming obsolete.  It's a revolution happening right under your nose.  Literally.

 

Kevin Nichols is a thought-leader with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry.  Follow him on twitter @KevinANichols   www.Oechsil.com