Social Media: Where the Affluent Clients Are

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Almost every financial adviser I know desires to have at least one or more high-net-worth clients in his or her portfolio. A plethora of studies, seminars, books and articles can help advisers implement the most appropriate strategies and tactics to target this highly sought after audience.

However, a May 2012 joint study by Cogent Research and LinkedIn revealed that there may be a more cost effective and direct way for advisers to target high-net-worth individuals: social media. It appears that the use of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook by this audience is growing at record speed.

The study surveyed a group of more than 600 investors with more than $100,000 in investible assets, with the intent to establish their perceptions and use of social media. Let me share with you some of the findings:

  • More than 90 percent participate in social media
  • Forty-six percent of investors using social media do not have a financial adviser
  • Sixty-three percent of mass affluent consumers take action after using social media to learn about financial products and services
  • Though only 4 percent currently interact with their financial adviser on social media, 52 percent said they would if their adviser used social media
  • Sixty-seven percent visit LinkedIn and Facebook on a monthly basis

These findings make a compelling case for advisers to engage in social media activities.

LinkedIn Groups

Consider, for example, LinkedIn with its “groups.” There are thousands of group and the number of people joining a specific group can range from a handful to several thousand.

These groups, especially those focused on personal finance and investments, provide a great opportunity for advisers to reach out to affluent and high-net-worth prospects. By joining these groups you will be able to review members’ profiles and gather key information about their work experience, professional and academic affiliations and hobbies. After you have carefully monitored the ongoing conversation, you’ll be able to pinpoint the hot topics debated by the group. This will allow you to showcase your knowledge and expertise by offering the group’s members answers to their queries, as well as guidance, ideas and actionable tips.

All of the above will help you build credibility and recognition, and contribute to increase the odds of generating leads within the group(s).

Converting to Leads and Clients

At my firm, we often hear from advisers who have become consistent providers of solutions to LinkedIn groups, but have a hard time converting such interactions into leads and eventually clients. Although it is not carved in stone that every tip or guidance you provide will turn into a new client, your goal should be to establish a system of value exchanges with group members, and that will significantly increase the odds of generating leads.

The goal of your interaction cannot be limited to provide information that position you as a thought leader and articulate your skills and expertise. Your interaction must focus on empowering LinkedIn contacts and group members to act on your call to action, i.e., signing up for your upcoming seminar, subscribing to your newsletter or downloading your articles and/or whitepapers.

You can achieve this by improving your content marketing (see my March 28, 2012 blog post: “Content Marketing: Engage Prospects and Generate Leads”). The ultimate goal of your content marketing is to provide—on a proactive and ongoing basis—information that your audience finds valuable and that ultimately positions you as a trusted expert financial adviser.

Effectual marketing content causes your audiences to pause, read and get engaged. This in turn will compel them to act on your call to action, seek your services, and eventually reward you with their business.

As always, questions and comments are welcome.

Claudio PannunzioClaudio Pannunzio
i-Impact Group Inc.
Greenwich, Conn.

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