Social media is becoming a valuable communication channel for personal and commercial use alike. But how do you get started? And once you’re started, how do you keep your audience engaged and grow your social media presence? These can be overwhelming questions, and could even be enough to deter some financial advisors from having any social media presence at all. Before you get overwhelmed, here are some easy tips for starting and maintaining your social media presence:
Before diving straight into social media, you need to decide how much time and resources you’re able to commit to maintaining your presence. For example, if you’re a one-person operation with no support staff, you probably want to start out small and focus on 1-2 social media channels at first. There are many social media platforms, with more popping up almost daily, but the current leading social sites with commercial value are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Facebook currently has 2.01 billion monthly active users and 65 million business pages. The format for Facebook is on the “page” where businesses can share content such as photos and videos, hold contests, get reviews from customers, answer and ask questions, and much more. There is also a messaging platform available for p2p conversations that are not displayed on the page. Facebook accounts are free, and businesses can also utilize paid advertising to reach specific audiences, not just followers of the business page.
Twitter is a messaging platform with around 330 million users that limits content to 140 characters. (Recent change - You still only get 140 characters towards text messages and links, but adding quotes, polls, videos, or images will no longer reduce precious characters.) Known as “tweets,” this content can contain links to photos, videos, and other content on the web. Twitter accounts are free, and businesses can pay for sponsored tweets to enhance the visibility of a specific message.
LinkedIn is a business-focused platform that encourages the sharing of business–focused content, celebrates users’ professional milestones, and encourages connections between its 106 million users. Businesses can list jobs, advertise their services, and post relevant content to their audience.
YouTube is a video platform that is popular for everything from viral cat videos to financial advice and step-by-step tutorials for just about anything. While once considered only a place to watch videos, YouTube has secured its place as a bona fide social network with the viral nature of content that is shared by the millions on the above mentioned social media channels. In an average day, more than 5 billion videos are watched worldwide.