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  • by Travis Brewer
  • VP, Business Consulting, TD Ameritrade Institutional

Getting Professional on Social Media

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“I’ve created my profile on [insert social media platform here] so how come I’m not getting any new clients!?” To some this may seem like a reasonable expectation, yet reality tells a different story. Understanding that we may expect too much from social media is part of the challenge, but when we take a step back and consider what social media enables us to do, that is engage with our clients in an authentic and meaningful way, at that point we begin to tap into the power of social media. Like other areas of your social life, social media is not a one-way conversation. It is a dialogue. Not only can you engage with your network in a real way, you also have the opportunity to amplify your message to 2nd and 3rd degree networks. This amplification should be seen as a privilege, like a client introducing you to a friend.

Consider that most people create a Facebook profile because they want to connect with the people they already know, not because they are looking for new friends. So why would you, an advisor, get on Facebook for the sole purpose of getting new clients – that platform does not work that way. Instead, consider how each social media platform works, how it engages the users of that platform and then begin to engage with your clients in that way. The point is, people want to leverage the power of a given social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube…) to connect with their network. Once they’ve connected, they may grow their network through mutual connections, but not before they’ve engaged with their existing network in a meaningful way.

As you start to get social, a warning… beware the factory content! Too often I sit down with an advisor to review their social media presence and I find that the only activity on their social sites is the canned, automated, posts from a content provider. Content providers can be a great partner in helping with your overall social media strategy, but they shouldn’t have the final word The goal is to engage with your network, and the best way to do that is to tell your story, and the story of your clients – how you can help them, and people like them. Relying solely on factory content is putting your social media site on auto-pilot.

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You might be asking, “If I’m new to social media, where do I start?” I would suggest joining the ranks of 400 million active LinkedIn users who are using the social media site to network, build awareness and attract new clients. LinkedIn is a platform you can use to create and engage with your existing network. This may include clients, centers of influence, and other people in their professional network. You can even add thought leaders you want to follow. The key to distinguishing yourself on LinkedIn is to create a complete, engaging profile that highlights your professional experience and areas of expertise.

One benefit of LinkedIn is there is less of an expectation that you will post super frequently, so the commitment to posting content is not as large as with other social media platforms. That said, posting updates regularly promotes engagement and helps you build a following. Remember, it’s not just clients that will engage with you through social media, it is also your current and future employees. Potential employees will go to LinkedIn and other social media sites to research you and your company as they consider an opportunity with your business. When used strategically, LinkedIn has the potential to become a valuable business-building tool.

The question isn’t should I create a social media strategy, it should be, how do I create a strategy and when can I get started?

TD Ameritrade urges you to consult with your compliance and legal counsel prior to engaging in social media or marketing generally.

If you are a TD Ameritrade institutional client who would like to access more tips on how to best leverage social media, please visit tdainstitutional.com/educationcenter.quantcast.com/

Sources: 1 InvestmentNews. investmentnews.com/assets/docs/ci90361823.pdf

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