Have you ever been to a social function with someone who was constantly talking about his or herself?  Every sentence starts with “I” and they respond to your remarks with how they did it slightly better, or how their experience upped yours.  Did your opinion of this person soar?  Of course not, you were itching to get out of the room. 

Why would social media be any different? Deep down we know we are our own favorite conversation topic and all too often our posts on social networking websites make this all too transparent. One of the largest issues I see with advisors using social media are one-way conversations. You know the type, posts that stand up and scream “me” and then quietly dissipate into the cyber sphere without even a click.  Let’s re-think this “me, me, me” posting mentality for a second.

You have a few second to grab someone’s attention online.  As your post appears in their news feed, they evaluate who made the post and then read the title of the post.  So let’s be generous and say you have about two seconds to really hook them (it’s probably less than that). If you haven’t established any online rapport, most people are not listening.  You’re posting to deaf ears.

I sympathize that you may be limited to only compliance approved posts about the economic outlook or “40 must-know statistics about long-term care.”  However, there are ways to have these artificial posts embraced by your audience.  Ready? 

Nothing will get your contacts attention more than engaging them first.  Stroke their ego a bit.  Spend 5 minutes a day commenting, “liking” and re-tweeting their posts.  The more you comment on their posts, the more receptive they will become and they will actually listen to you.  Give it a try; you’ll see what I mean.    If compliance is an issue, select non-financial posts and comment on those.

“I read that autobiography too Jen, great book.” 

“Great post Andy, very helpful!”

 “Thank you! Excellent article on building trust with customers.”

You get the point. It’s important that you engage with your connections through carefully crafted conversation. Be receptive to their posts and I assure you they will be receptive to yours.