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Key messages from our social media conference

Judging by initial feedback, our first social media conference, attended by key decision-makers from the wealth management industry, was a huge success so I wanted to share some of the key messages which the attendees heard from the guest speakers:

I started the day by re-iterating some of the key benefits of social media for the wealth management industry. To read our free guide which explains some of these in more detail, please click here.

Magnus Wheatley, head of Digital at Charles Stanley & Co, provided a real-life case study on the effective use of social media by a 'traditional' stock broking firm and how this has both enhanced the client experience and driven business activity.

We also covered some of the FCA's social media guidance and how this affects a firm's social media activity. Most of the guidance applies to financial promotions but if you're using LinkedIn to 'sell', then you're doing it wrong anyway! We also spent some time looking at tools such as Hootsuite which help address some of the FCA's guidance around sign-off and record-keeping.

One of the best received presentations was from Annie Catchpole of the Scorpio Partnership, who conduct research on, amongst many other subjects,  the use of social media by HNW individuals. Some compelling stats:

  •  79% of HNW's are on Facebook; 52% are on Twitter; 46% are on LinkedIn
  •  Individuals worth USD 1-10m have an average of 266 LinkedIn connections; those worth USD 10m+ have an average of 320 connections
  • HNW individuals use social media the most between 8pm and midnight - wealth managers should adjust their social media content strategy accordingly

I spent the remainder of the day running a LinkedIn Masterclass for the attendees, showing them how to use LinkedIn as a powerful lead generation and business development tool. My top 3 tips:

  •  Your LinkedIn profile is not an online CV! Tell the reader who you're looking to build relationships with and how you can help them
  •  Use the free advanced search features to find key decision-makers in your target market
  •   Post content to LinkedIn on a regular basis to establish credibility and enhance your professional profile

 I plan to run further conferences in the Autumn so please drop me a line if you are interested in attending.

LinkedIn for Hedge Funds

According to Hedgeweek, over 90% of hedge funds are using at least one social media platform, with LinkedIn being by far the most popular. However, in my experience the majority of hedge fund professionals have only a basic understanding of how to use LinkedIn - the typical user simply posts their education and experience on their LinkedIn profile, connects with people he/she meets at industry events like Hedgebrunch, and then not much else. Similarly, many hedge funds have a LinkedIn company page but many are simply a company bio and make no effort to engage with their followers.

So here are my top LinkedIn features for hedge fund professionals:

Your profile is not a CV! Unless you're looking for a new job, you should treat your LinkedIn profile as the face of your personal brand and as a marketing and business development tool. Make sure you have a professional photo (not your Facebook pic!) - your profile is 14x more likely to be viewed if you have a photo. You need to write an interesting and engaging summary which gives the reader a reason to want to connect with you - don't just bullet point your career highlights, tell the reader what you or your firm can do for them. You can also upload a firm brochure or other multimedia, making your profile much more than an online CV. Take a look at mine and you'll get the idea - uk.linkedin.com/in/grahamaikin

Even on the free version of LinkedIn, there are some incredibly powerful search features. By clicking on the Advanced button, you can find a specific type of business professional, in a particular industry, within 10 miles of a postcode anywhere in the world. For example, if I run a keyword search for 'family office' within 10 miles of a Mayfair postcode, LinkedIn provides me with 2,152 names! Experiment and you will be amazed how powerful this search tool is.

LinkedIn Groups  are a great way to meet people with a common interest, position yourself as an expert or thought leader and raise your professional profile. Some of the larger LinkedIn Groups for hedge professionals include Hedge Fund Group and Hedge Fund Professionals Worldwide Network.

Post content - a great way to stay on the radar of your LinkedIn connections, posting content on LinkedIn once or twice a week takes just a couple of minutes. Obviously, any of your own content needs to be client-facing and signed off by Compliance, but you can also post articles from the likes of the FT or Bloomberg that you think is going to be of interest to your contacts.

A LinkedIn Company Page for your firm gives people choice - they may prefer to follow the firm as a whole rather than connect with a specific individual. Again, you need to be posting content on a fairly regular basis (at least weekly) to build a following,

As you can see, LinkedIn is so much more than an online CV and somewhere to store your contacts. With a little tenacity, you can utilise LinkedIn as a core element of your marketing and business development activities.

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