Social Media Boot Camp to the Rescue


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.  

Julie Littlechild and Sammie Gatti

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.

Lewis J. Walker, CFP®

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.   

Videocast tips:  

  • 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.

 Podcast tips:  

  • 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.  

Christina Nelson
Associate Editor
Financial Planning Association
Practice Management Center
Denver, Colo.

3 thoughts on “Social Media Boot Camp to the Rescue

  1. Great article and great tips. I would caution those taking the leap into social to thoroughly investigate the compliance issues and requirements. FINRA has of course published Notice 10-06 to help clarify some of these items but it still leaves questions.

    If you are looking for more information you should check out the Companion Guide to FINRA Social Networking Compliance It picks up where Notice 10-06 leaves off, offering additional detail on social networking considerations and a checklist of requirements for choosing a social networking compliance vendor.

    One other resource is this blog post that is a complete summary of the FINRA Social Networking webinar held on Feb 3rd –

  2. What a great recap of the first ever Web 2.0 and Social Media Boot Camp powered by FPA and Impact Communications. A special thanks to TD Ameritrade for sponsoring the session – and a big shout out to all the FPA Members who participated on the boot camp. Your new blogs and Twitter pages look marvelous!

    Readers: check out what one of our “students” did in the 3.5 hour workshop in Dallas!

    Follow me on to get more tweets (short snippets of text with links to good stuff) re: the web 2.0 boot camp.

  3. Thanks for this great recap, Christina! We had so much fun at the first-ever Web 2.0 and Social Media Boot Camp powered by FPA and Impact Communications. A special thanks to TD Ameritrade for sponsoring the boot camp.

    Readers can also visit the Boot Camp blog – – to see the Overview of the Boot Camp and other related posts. We hope to repeat the Boot Camp in cities across the country, most likely as a pre- or post-conference offer connected to future FPA or TD Ameritrade Events.

    What a great first class! Seeing 30 beaming faces in the audience was a real treat for me as lead instructor.

    Thanks again to FPA for the wonderful partnership.

    Marie Swift
    President and CEO
    Impact Communications, Inc.

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