Two advisor interviews at this year’s Raymond James national conference confirm why the rest of advisors should be better embracing social networks as part of their branding and new business approaches.

Better Prospect Conversions
Dave Adams, president of David Adams Wealth Group, has added social media to his firm’s comprehensive marketing strategy, using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. 

For him, it is about enhancing brand and letting the outside world know his firm’s personality. He actually sees this is the case when in first meetings with referrals who have researched him in advance. They feel like they already know me, said Adams.

He shares a lot of personal content, like pictures of dogs, being active in the community and hosting events.  He actually uses a three-to-one ratio when sharing fun-to-business related posts.

Adams knows prospects have found his YouTube videos (also embedded in his website) and then feel more comfortable with the idea of working with his firm.

If he finds prospects have gone and checked them out on the web and social media, the meetings go great and he converts the vast majority of that business.

Closer Client Relationships
Evan Shear, founding partner at CrossleyShear Wealth Management and branch manager for Raymond James, admitted he is a self-proclaimed tech nerd.  Because of this, he was an early adopter of social media.

In using Twitter, Shear admits compliance wise it is too hard (to do it in real time.)  As a result of those issues, he typically uses it as a news feed.  “If we are posting through Hearsay, we click the Twitter button,” said Shear.  In other words one message can easily be sent out to multiple social networks at once.

Shear was more positive about his company’s Facebook business page.  He sees the best posts that get the most engagement are the “warm and fuzzies.”  He gave an example of recently posting pictures of his son’s little league team winning the championship that got positive reactions.

His organization does post some financial service things, like weekly market updates.  He also subscribes to the three-to-one ratio of personal-to-business communications.

LinkedIn is less personal believes Shear.  It is his way to continue to build the brand.  He thinks if someone is looking for him, LinkedIn is how they can do that.

“I do look at the newsfeed as my morning ritual,” said Shear.  He sees what is going on with news, birthdays, etc.

A "wow" moment for a client that started with Facebook took place when Shear saw his client’s dog died and knew that some people treat their pets like children. “It was something I wouldn’t have normally known about.  I sent a condolence card and donation in the dog’s name to the SPCA,” said Shear.