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Key Benefits of Social Selling for Wealth Managers

Social selling is a relatively new concept which simply refers to using social media (for wealth managers, primarily LinkedIn and Twitter) to establish and develop relationships with prospects, clients and other useful business contacts. The polar opposites of social selling are the more traditional marketing methods of mailshots, cold calling and a ‘scatter gun’ approach. By creating an employee advocacy program via social media, wealth managers can see several tangible benefits:

  • Lead generation – LinkedIn in particular is a very efficient way for relationship managers to seek introductions to their ideal prospects via their existing network of clients or contacts. LinkedIn allows RM’s to research their 2nd line connections to find specific, named individuals they would like to be introduced to

 

  • Amplify your brand – by having your employees act as advocates of your brand via social media (for example by ‘liking’ your firm’s content), firms can extend their reach to a much wider audience (a UK client of mine recently harnessed a reach of over 300,000 via a single tweet)

 

  • Drive traffic to your website – by posting content onto social media, wealth managers have a simple and cost-effective way to drive traffic to specific web pages, for example e-mail sign-up or news pages

 

  • Raise awareness of your products/services – although social media shouldn’t be used for ‘product pushing’, with a little creative thought it can be great way to promote your latest products and services. Video is a great way to sell the benefits of a product to a wide audience

 

  • Inform and educate your clients, prospects and business contacts – by posting informative, non-sales related content on social media, individuals can position themselves as experts and leaders in their field, whilst at the same time informing and educating their online networks

 

  • Deepen client relationships – I highly recommend that RM’s connect with their clients on LinkedIn. Without social media, your client interactions used to be limited to the occasional meeting or phone call. Social media allows you to have on ongoing dialogue with your clients.

 

  • Individual reputation management – from both a consistent branding perspective and in relation to an individual employee’s personal brand, LinkedIn in particular allows firms and individuals to control and enhance their online brand. Individuals can create a professional LinkedIn profile that showcases both their own and the firms expertise

 

  • Monitor the competition – a firm should follow all of its competitors on social media to keep up-to-date with market developments and new products and services

 

  • Improve client communications – traditional client communications were usually limited to a quarterly valuation and market review. Social media allows you to keep clients up-to-date in real-time with market developments

      

      All of this is of course subject to your local regulatory requirements and internal policies on the use of social media, but with a focused and controlled strategy, there are clearly significant benefits to a firm-wide employee advocacy program via social media.

Social Selling Tips for Wealth Managers

Have you heard of social selling? Many wealth managers I speak to haven't, yet they may be doing it without realising it. The basic idea is that an increasing number of firms are using the major social media platforms (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter in the case of financial services firms) to 'sell' without actually 'selling'.

In terms of the business case for the proactive use of social media to build your business, according to LinkedIn:

  • Just over 63% of social sellers report an increase in their sales revenue, versus 41% of non-social sellers
  • 84% of social sellers use LinkedIn; 48% use Twitter
  • 74% of consumers do research online before making a buying decision
  • 65% of buyers feel that a vendor's content had an impact on their decision to buy
  • Your next generation of clients are 5x more likely than previous generations to think that social networks will be the hub of their financial information in the future

Pretty compelling stuff. So here are my top tips for wealth managers to get to grips with social selling:

1) Just because you have a LinkedIn profile doesn't mean it is resonating with your prospects and clients. Is it written in the first person? Have you written an interesting and engaging summary that is not just a list of your career achievements but actually tells the reader how you can help them? Have you added a company brochure or other material to your profile? Is it keyword-optimised?

2) Have you run advanced LinkedIn searches for your target clients or introducers, saved them and set up email alerts? How much can you find out about your target contacts before you connect with them? Please don't just send a generic invite when you connect - tailor it to the reader.

3) Does your employer have a LinkedIn Company Page and are you following it so you can like, comment and share regular updates with your contacts? Are you following your competitors, introducers and target firms on LinkedIn and Twitter?

4) Do you have a content strategy, either at a firm or individual level? How often do you post? Is your content informing and educating your clients (good) or is it a sales pitch (bad)? If someone engages with your posts, what is your process for responding?

5) Sync up your phone's address book with the Twitter app and follow all of your contacts on Twitter. This is great way to stay informed and may provide 'social signals' as a reason to get in touch.

6) Can you build in LinkedIn conversations into your day-to-day 'real world' activities? For example, ask your clients and prospects if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Or maybe you can ask a satisfied client or introducer to write you a LinkedIn recommendation.

As you can see, there is a lot more to social selling than simply having a LinkedIn profile. Many of my clients are thinking about how to 'future-proof' their business and social selling is a great way to begin this process. Finally, check out your personalised Social Selling Index to see how effective your LinkedIn activities are.

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