Advisers and other financial professionals always jump to the same answer when discussing why they don’t have a greater presence in social media: compliance issues. Teri Thompson and Beverly Macy, authors of the book, The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing, say this is no longer a valid excuse. If the U.S. military, Pentagon, pharmaceutical industry, and even the Vatican have adopted social media, the financial industry cannot shy away from it any longer.
Referring to the “Now” lens, Thompson said social media can almost be thought of as a sixth sense, which allows you to be in touch with what is happening in the world this instant. This “sense” combines truth, openness, authenticity, and adding value; “a perfect mix for success for financial professionals,” said Thompson.
Thompson spoke in the first of a series of Webinars sponsored by linkedFA, a social networking site designed for financial professionals, and McGraw-Hill, called “Growing Your Business Using Social Media” (see “linkedFA and McGraw-Hill Produce Social Media Webinars”).
In addition to the compliance excuse, many professionals think if they stay out of the “Twittersphere,” no one can say anything bad about them. But that won’t work, Thompson said. It’s better to be involved in the conversation from the start, rather than jumping in at a time of crisis management. Being involved in the conversation is the best way to mitigate the fear, she concluded.
Once these obstacles are overcome, there is real potential to improve the “bottom line.” Thompson cited Burson-Marsteller’s Second Annual Global Social Media Check-up, which found a 25% increase among Fortune 100 companies in their use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and corporate blogging.
At the close of the webinar, Thompson threw out a phrases that have been cropping up in communications and business circles: “Reviews are the new advertising” and “Conversation is currency.” Everyone has a soapbox today, she added, and financial professionals need to get on one too.
At the ASPPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas earlier this month, Adam Pozek provided first-hand account of how a financial professional in the retirement industry is capable of leveraging social media. See “Making Social Media Work.”