3 Guidelines for a Successful Social Media Strategy

Next Generation Planner: May 2021


Lawrence Sprung, CFP®
Founder, Mitlin Financial

Social media and its use for financial planning practices are fairly new and it is becoming a must for the field. The newer generation of financial planners seems to be more inclined to adopt social media as a part of their practice. I would argue that every adviser needs to consider adding this component to their firm, whether they are brand new or a 40-year veteran. Social media can be an excellent tool to build relationships and your brand, share your story and essentially drive new business.

Traditionally, a firm would look to advertise, produce mailings and conduct seminars—and there are a host of other marketing options available. Social media allows you to cast a wide or narrow net depending on what you are looking to accomplish, while getting immediate results to see how your campaign is performing. This allows you to make adjustments, if needed, along the way to fine-tune your strategy, all at a reasonable cost.

What follows are a few guidelines you will want to adhere to while executing a social media strategy in order to have a higher success rate.

(1) Be Authentic

Whatever you plan to put out into the social media stratosphere, it is crucial that you be you. You do not want to build a persona or brand that is not a clear indication of you and your firm. The idea is to eventually have those who follow your content to connect with you on a personal level. When you finally meet, you want to make sure that the persona you project on social media is what they are going to get when you meet. Not having this in alignment will certainly be a detriment and a repellent to potential clients, centers of influence (COIs) and resources for you and the firm.

I always put myself out there as I am. I want people to know that when we meet there is not going to be a difference between what they see on social media and what they will see when we meet in person. We are one and the same.

(2) Tell Your Story and Add the Personal Touch

You want people to learn more about you. Social media is a way for those who may have an interest in doing business with you to learn about you, without having to book an appointment. It really provides an avenue for them to feel comfortable and feel like they know you before making that step.

One way we have used this at our firm is by telling the story of where we came up with the name of our firm, Mitlin Financial. We tell our story in a video on our website (mitlin.us/OurStory). The firm name came from Mitchell, “Mit,” who was my wife’s grandfather, and my mom Linda, “Lin.” They passed away within several hours of each other and then my wife and I met. We felt it would be a great way to honor two great people in our lives and have their memories live on.

When we meet with clients or others for the first time, many will mention watching the video and loving the story behind our name because it’s a powerful story that people can identify with and enjoy. It also provides them with the sense that we are a family-oriented firm.

(3) Be Active

You must be active on whichever platforms you’re on—whether it’s LinkedIn or Twitter. It must be something you dedicate time to daily to make it successful. Keep in mind, you don’t always need to post blog articles, video and content pertinent to the business. It is important to show your personal side, too. You may be out of the office with the family and do not have time to find an article to share or write original content, but it is OK to post a video of you with your family while you are out. This is something I do quite often.

I am often in ice hockey rinks with my kids because they play travel ice hockey, and people started trying to guess which rink I was at when I posted a video. I decided to turn this into a fun game. Every other week, I post a video of myself at a new rink and give my followers the opportunity to guess which rink I am at and name a charity of their choice. The following week, we take all the correct answers and select one winner. I then make a $100 donation to their charity of choice in their name. This provided people with insight into what I do in my free time, how I spend time with my family and that I am charitable in nature. This social media campaign—if you want to call it that—has led to numerous appointments, new contacts and, definitely, new business.

Social media should not be ignored and it is wise to devise a strategy to get it working for you. The suggestions included in this article are simply a handful of things I have learned over the years to make social media something fun, which can work to the firm’s benefit. It’s all about getting started—and what better day than today?

Commit to spending 10 to 15 minutes a day putting valuable content into the social media universe and see how the rewards begin to accumulate.

Disclaimer: This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.

Lawrence Sprung, CFP®, is the founder and wealth adviser at Mitlin Financial, Inc. He prioritizes clients first and consistently helps clients make healthy financial decisions. He is the host of the Mitlin Money Mindset™, a podcast about the mindset needed to successfully plan for and live your best life.

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