“Advisors may not realize that Gen Y is larger than the boomer generation. During the next decade, the wealth accumulated by Gen X and Gen Y will increase significantly, and advisors need a good strategy for attracting and retaining them.  Part of that strategy has to be committing to adopting new communication channels like social media," said Kate Healy, the managing director of marketing at TD Ameritrade Institutional.

“Many advisors are already using social media to deliver service and extend their brand. Those who are not are missing an opportunity to engage in relevant conversations with clients and potential clients,” Healy said.

To help advisors learn how to transform these opportunities into growth, TD Ameritrade put together a packed social media agenda onsite at the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2013 National Conference in San Diego, including breakout sessions and a Social Media Lab, where attendees can have one-on-one consultations and even get professional headshots taken for their Web and social media sites.

Here are five expert tips that advisors should consider when using social media:

A Strategy
“When approaching social media, really take a step back and think about what you are trying to accomplish and who you need to reach to accomplish it. Focusing on goals and target audiences makes messages easier to craft and simplifies platform choice. Who do you serve? What do they expect from you? And how can you leverage your company’s brand to strengthen your story? A few minutes on these strategic questions will result in a clear, confident message.” – Jason Seiden, CEO of Ajax Workforce Marketing

The Right Content
“Audience engagement drives positive business outcomes in social media, and you engage your audience with content that speaks to their concerns and their needs.  You can’t treat social media like a megaphone that you use exclusively to broadcast your marketing messages. You should be trying to create content that people will want to share, because sharing it will reflect positively on them -- make them look more informed, ahead of the game, etc. That’s how you tap into network effects on social media.” – Ethan Hays, Director of Search at Gyro

What To Write About
“Many advisors that start blogging stop, citing lack of knowing what to write about. I find that following a simple three-step process really helps when finding the best content to focus on. First, identify what concerns your ideal client most. Next, identify your ideal client's greatest financial desire. Finally, make sure all blog content is focused on eliminating their concern, and helping to realize their desire. A blog creates fresh content, and when done correctly, will help you become found within your ideal client market. Further, it establishes you as an expert and go-to provider specifically to your ideal client.” – Jason Wenk, President of visit Retirement Wealth Advisors

"Publishing your thought leadership through blogging is one of the most effective ways to educate and cultivate client relationships in the digital age. Social media channels can help to amplify your message and build community. A number of advisors are already blogging and financial institutions are catching on as well. TD Ameritrade Institutional launched their new blog (http://www.tda4advisors.com) in conjunction with their national conference this week!" – Stephanie Sammons, CEO of Wired Advisor

Better Relationships
As one of the Social Media Lab experts, my own advice is that you make better personal connections with clients. Too often, advisors only focus on the business at hand. They do not spend the needed time to get to know their clients outside of the formal advisory relationship. By using social media, advisors can get to see what goes on in the lives of their clients in between quarterly, semiannual or annual meetings. Imagine an advisor learning, through a social network like Facebook, that a client had a death in the family. Getting that type of information enables the advisor to send flowers or make a personal contact. Little things like that make a huge difference in helping growing happy clients become raving fans that want to brag to the world about their advisor.

Hopefully these tips are helpful! Follow #TDAI2013 to keep up-to-date on the conference tweets.