To become more effective social media marketers, advisors should embrace tools that allow them to automate the delivery of content, according to a recent report, but they also need to take a more personal touch.

Clients and prospects aren’t just engaging with any content, according to Hearsay Systems' third annual Financial Services Social Media Content Study, which said authentic, personal content created by an advisor drives 10 times more engagement than corporate marketing content. Audiences are also more likely to engage with personal narratives than they are content created for financial education.

“There was, before, a fallacy that technology initiatives had to be all human or all digital, but investors want and expect both, especially now during the pandemic,” said Clara Shih, CEO and founder of Hearsay Systems, a San Francisco-based digital marketing firm for the financail services industry.

Effective social media marketing should generate clicks, using posts to extend the reach of advisors and drive more and deeper engagement with clients and prospects, according to Hearsay, which broke social media content into five categories: general lifestyle, financial education, corporate brand, corporate/product promotion and corporate lifestyle.

Yet most of the content posted to social media by the wealth management industry has not been personal in nature, but corporate/product promotion, usually containing messages about why a product or strategy might be timely or a bad idea.

Shih said that consumers are also not engaging with financial education content as much as advisors might believe that they do.

“A lot of advisors make the mistake of just posting about financial topics, here’s a market update, what stocks did today, or an economic outlook – that’s not the only thing that clients want to hear about,” said Shih. “They want ot hear about how you’re helping in your community, maybe about how you volunteered at a food bank during the pandemic. They want a webcast from a public health expert your firm hired about how to take care of your health. They want to learn about cybersecurity issues and how to protect themselves from theft or fraud.”

The lifestyle categories, general, which includes holiday posts, health and personal interest, and corporate, which includes corporate philanthropy, volunteerism and culture posts, were among the least published in Hearsay’s analysis. These lifestyle categories also drove the most audience engagement, which corporate/product promotion posts drove the least audience engagement..

To create effective personal content, an advisor must know intimately the communities in which they’re trying to work, not just in geographic terms, but also across social, cultural and demographic attributes. For example, advisors in the San Francisco Bay area suffer if they don’t highlight that they work with employees in the technology sector, said Shih.

Personal content should also be authentic to the advisor’s persona, and relevant to their audience’s concerns and needs.

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