Marie Swift hosted a Social Media Boot Camp on Feb. 28 as a pre-conference event to FPA Business Solutions 2010 in Dallas. During the live session on Sunday afternoon, participants worked with on-site media experts to learn more about avenues on the Web for building interactions with colleagues, clients and prospects. They also got the chance to record short video and audio clips for uploading to their newly created blogs.
Some key points from Marie’s presentation:
Usage: 43 percent of advisers now use networking or social media sites. Sixty percent of those say they have generated at least 16 leads a year from their activities on these sites.
Suggested progression: Marie suggests (since we all have limited time) to start with a LinkedIn page, then move on to a blog (posting once or twice a week according to a publishing schedule), then checking out whether Twitter might be right for you. She mentioned using LinkedIn for business needs and Facebook for personal interactions. Be sure to cross-link all of your business Web pages with the URLs of the others to heighten their “Google juice.”
Compliance: Of course compliance is a big concern for all advisers and registered reps, particularly when it comes to the relatively new field of social media. Marie suggested thinking of a blog or LinkedIn page like you would any other Web site/brochure/marketing tool – don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in those, and be sure to vet it through your compliance department. She also mentioned that the new FINRA rule states that comments left on your blog by outsiders are not considered your content, but that you should actively moderate such comments to keep control over your message/reputation.
Some of your clients not into social media? Marie mentioned a colleague of hers who puts together a “professional reading service” whereby he picks his top 10 tweets of the month and copies those posts into a regular e-newsletter. No Twitter interface necessary for those clients uninterested in visiting him there.
- Never look up to the ceiling when answering a question—you look like you’re praying!
- Never look down when answering a question—you look like you don’t know the answer.
- Don’t use non-words, such as “ah” and “um.”
- Maintain good posture. Sit up straight, and if you’re wearing a jacket, sit on your coat-tails so you don’t look bunched up.
- Relax. Try to forget that you are being videotaped.
- Have a little energy.
- Enunciate each word.
- Slow down; don’t race.
- Smile while you talk.
More blog posts and Twitter feeds to come this week as practice management sessions hit full swing at Business Solutions Conference, deep in the heart of Texas.