Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Like My "Business"

As a financial advisor, is it worth having a Facebook page?

After much deliberation, I’m convinced the answer is yes. But not for the reasons you may think.

If you believe you’re going to get a bunch of new clients from Facebook, then it probably isn’t worth your investment of time. High net worth investors aren’t going to fall in love with you because of your Facebook page. Wealth management is a relationship business that still requires direct, human interaction.

But if you want to remain relevant or not be disqualified with two key audiences – GenYers and Baby Boomers – Facebook should be part of your brand and marketing strategy.

My Tahoe Focus Group

An example best expresses why Facebook is so powerful and useful.

Last weekend, I was on a ski trip with my 14-year-old daughter and three of her friends. Facebook was the sixth person in the room at all times.

When a Facebook friend request came to any one of the girls’ iPhones, they would shriek with delight. When a Facebook message came from one of their friends, the same. After sharing the message with each other, the girls would talk among themselves to come up with the “best” response. They were having great fun.

After listening to this for two days, I asked: “Have you ever gotten a date from Facebook?” They all responded in unison: “NOOOOOO!” “Then why do you care?” I asked. They all responded in unison again. “We want to know what everyone is doing and thinking. "

This is the perfect analogy for financial advisors considering a Facebook presence.

Just like Facebook isn’t going to get you dates, it probably won’t bring you new clients immediately. Getting new clients is still an old school process. You will need to personally contact people and engage them over an extended period of time to earn their trust.

However, your clients and prospects will appreciate seeing what you’re thinking or writing, or what events you’re planning via Facebook posts. That’s worth a lot in terms of visibility and connecting with people. Marketing today is as much about what you believe as it is what you do.

Moreover, the right idea or event can go viral on Facebook, which is exactly what you want.

Another example is illustrative.

Bad Viral/Good Viral

One of a parent’s worst nightmares is the raging party that takes place at your unsupervised home after your kid posts an invite on Facebook. Within minutes, 25 to 1000 revelers could show up at your doorstep while you’re away for a “quiet” weekend. Hot ideas populate quickly across Facebook.

Now apply that concept to your wealth management practice. If you have a compelling blog post, white paper, educational event or video, that information can spread virally to your entire network of friends and then their friends.

845 Million People Can’t Be Entirely Wrong

Still not convinced?

What’s the fastest growing demographic on Facebook? Answer: Baby Boomers. They’re getting onto Facebook to check out what their kids and grandkids are doing. This graying age cohort, along with GenYers, account for a good chunk of today’s wealth management marketplace.

Advantage Independents

The Facebook advantage accrues only to independent advisors. Wirehouses and big banks largely prohibit a financial advisor having a social media presence. For independents, Facebook is yet another way to differentiate your practice.

So upon further consideration, I “like” Facebook. We hope you will too and ask you to check out Sanctuary’s Facebook page and “like” us.

That will make us very happyJ.