All business owners are in the content-publishing business now, but you'd never know it by looking at most advisors.
Few advisors create original content. That, by definition, means most advisors are adrift in the sea change produced by social media marketing.
Sure, tools for social media compliance are being rolled out to advisors. But there is little understanding or regard for content in these efforts. So that's what I want to focus on for a change-not tools and technology but what's involved in creating a social media stream that is your own.
Broker-dealers, to create social media solutions for reps, assign executives with neither the time nor understanding of social media, much less the experience in using social media successfully. At most B-Ds, decisions about social media are made by committee, with a compliance officer or business executive often casting the crucial vote. The result is that B-Ds end up with crude solutions.
Investment advisor reps are busy with pressing matters: a euro zone debt contagion, U.S. joblessness, double-dip recession, and sagging investor confidence. In such times, how can you expect a fiduciary to learn about social media, never mind dedicate the time to create content on the Web?
The adoption of social media now taking place at B-Ds and RIAs reminds me of the frenzy to develop Web sites 12 or 15 years ago. Low-priced solutions were adopted by the vast majority of IAs and registered representatives, solutions that didn't tap the promise of the Web.
That's happening all over again with social media. With advisors in larger numbers adopting social media, the focus again is on delegation, automation and the lowest-cost solution.
Delegating the creation of an automated social media content stream to an intern or outsource firm is desirable and achievable, and it can be low-cost. However, a low-cost automated solution is no substitute for you and your ideas.
At best, automated content services credibly augment your stream of updates. An outsource provider or intern can complement your original content. However, if you are advising clients on how to manage their personal financial affairs, your original content is your most effective means of engaging your audience. And by audience, I mean your target market, your prospects, the people willing to pay you to manage their money.
In telling you this, incidentally, I'm speaking from personal experience. I've been updating my status daily, writing blogs and marketing content for many years, since before it was called content marketing. I've built a 15-year-old, 15-employee business with enduring value primarily by utilizing content marketing. I've been eating my own cooking for a very long time.