Sallie Mullins Thompson is trying to grow the financial planning aspect of her business. The financial advisor has been practicing for 20 years but only recently turned to a social media content provider for help.

“I pay $680 per quarter to a company that helps me write articles and places them on social media sites that link back to my website,” Thompson says. She’s hoping that experimenting on social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook with the help of PhoneBlogger social media services will attract new clients.

“Marketing online is how you communicate the value you deliver to clients in this trend of global advice,” said Marguerita Cheng, a dually registered certified financial planner with Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Rockville, Md., who spoke at a panel discussion about technology planning at the Financial Planning Association of New York’s spring forum.

For this reason and others, there’s a push to make advisor websites stunning and smartphones compatible.

Cheng co-led the FPA panel, called the “Technology Planning Process and the Power of Social Media,” along with Sameer Somal, a certified financial planner and chief financial officer with Blue Ocean Global Technology in New York City, a sister company of Blue Ocean Global Wealth.

“Optimizing mobile experience is becoming increasingly important,” said Somal at the panel. “What’s more relevant and opportune is to have a responsive website design that adapts to different screens.”

According to Cheng, “Building an enduring financial advisor practice that will serve the next generation requires passing the Google test, and having a mobile adaptable website is key, because if your clients aren’t Googling you, their children are.”

By 2018, more than 2.56 billion people will be using smartphones, according to research firm eMarketer, and technology planning can help an advisory firm assess the effectiveness of its digital assets, which typically include blogs, social media forums, video interviews, guest blogging, newsletters and webcasts.

“You need to be thoughtful about what you are spending on technology and how it relates to marketing and sales,” Somal said.

But rather than spending money on targeted advertising, advisors should first try to create and market their own content using digital assets that contribute to the firm’s visibility and reputation online.

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