Social Listening Strategies for Financial Advisors
Today, I focus on the financial advisor target audience, adults age 50 and up, since they hold most of our country’s wealth. I provide several examples of how advisors can reply to online comments and conclude with an infographic detailing even more social listening ideas.
Let’s begin by understanding where adults age 50 and up spend time online so you can:
- Hear what they’re saying.
- Communicate using their preferred social channel.
- Address topics important to them.
- Make connections by spending time at activities they enjoy.
Where are 50-year-olds and older hanging out?
According to Pew Research, “Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) report that they are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.”
In addition, a social media fact sheet by Pew Research identifies percentages of social media usage by channel for individuals age 50-64 years old:
- 65% Facebook
- 21% Instagram
- 24% LinkedIn
- 19% Twitter
- 26% Pinterest
- 10% Snapchat
- 68% YouTube
- 17% WhatsApp
Overall, the best way to find out where your clients spend time online is to ask them.
Two key ways include:
#1 — Ask Social Listening Questions During Client Meetings: For example: What are your top two social channels? What online groups do you belong to? What eNewsletters/blogs do you follow?
#2 — Distribute a Brief Email Survey: Include the above questions and more, including: What are your favorite hashtags? What is your favorite time of day to check social media? Which, if any, social media channels do you use exclusively for work versus pleasure? What are your top three favorite apps?
Also, follow your competition’s social channels and monitor which ones are most active in terms of followers’ comments.
Important: According to Statistic, 95.1 percent of active Facebook users accessed the social media platform via a smartphone. Why am I calling this out? Because your 50-year-old and up target audience is mostly using the Facebook app on their phone to get to their ultimate destination and, therefore, isolating themselves from other online destinations.
Social Listening Strategies for Financial Advisors
Facebook and YouTube should be key social media marketing tools for advisors to use within your overall content marketing strategy.
Here’s a deeper dive into where you should be hanging out on Facebook in order to hear your prospects and interact with them effectively.
In addition to maintaining a personal Facebook page, consider these three approaches:
#1 — Launch a Facebook business page (only if you intend to be active with it; otherwise, keep to just your personal page).
#2 — Join your community’s local Facebook page. For example, my town has a very active community page. Members ask for recommendations daily, including for estate attorneys, mortgage lenders, etc. Businesses are not allowed to self promote. However, you can when a question is prompted by a community member. (See examples below.) What’s more, businesses are allowed to post on Wednesdays, i.e., Business Wednesdays. Your community may have something similar.
#3 — Look for niche Facebook groups within your community, e.g., fur-baby exercise group, mother’s playgroup, book club, babysitter match, travel club, private school ride sharing, etc. Follow only those that you can credibly contribute to, i.e., you foster dogs so a dog fostering group fits with your lifestyle.
Using your local Facebook community page as the social venue, here are examples of questions you’re listening for and ultimately responding to:
Has anyone had any experience with the local assisted living facilities?
I have many clients with aging parents who have experience with several facilities. I’d be happy to speak with you about the pros and cons I’ve heard so far. I’ve also done a cost analysis comparing several that I’d be happy to share with you. Call me any time at 000-000-0000, or my email is…
Does anyone have a favorite estate attorney?
I’ve been working with John Doe at ABC Law for years. He’s extremely knowledgeable. John typically sets up the trust and estate planning documents for many of my clients, while I manage the financial planning and investment side. I’d be happy to introduce you to him; he’s very approachable.
Has anyone come across a website that summarizes the latest tax law updates in an easy-to-understand format?
I’ve written a recent blog post outlining this year’s tax changes. Here’s the link: … If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.
What are everyone’s latest thoughts regarding the private high schools in the area? How did you narrow down your choice?
I’ve had several clients in the area whose children go to [school], [school] and [school]. I’d be happy to share with you the various feedback I’ve received over the years. Also, I’ve compiled a private school cost versus acceptance rate analysis with some select colleges that I’d be happy to share with you.
Key Tip: By aligning yourself with reputable vendors of all types, e.g., contractors, septic disposal, lawn care, plowing, etc. — beyond traditional financial services influencers — you can repeatedly place yourself in front of your local community members via personal recommendations.
Note: When joining various Facebook groups, be sure to read the groups’ rules and abide by them. Otherwise, you run the risk of being kicked out or worse, ridiculed, e.g., there are several members of my community Facebook page that constantly call people out for doing the “wrong” thing.
Keep in touch while gaining fresh ideas to attract affluent investors and increase client loyalty, sign up for my free monthly financial advisor marketing tip. Also, be sure to explore my freelance financial writing services.
There are many social media monitoring programs advisors can purchase to track trends and customer sentiment, such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Here is a summary of reviews for some of the most popular software. However, I only recommend purchasing such a program if you have someone other than yourself responsible for monitoring the program and acting on its results.
Furthermore, before buying any additional marketing software, be sure you’re optimizing programs you already pay for, such as your email marketing software. You never know when your current vendor is in the throes of expanding its offerings and if social media monitoring has been added.
Finally, Google Alerts is an excellent and free alternative for social media monitoring. I receive several weekly alerts and just a handful daily, including alerts related to:
- My Clients
- Some of My Clients’ Cash-Cow Clients
- My Clients’ Industry Key Services/Products
- Financial Services Annual Trend Reports
- B/Ds and RIAs My Clients Are Affiliated With
- A Handful of Marketing Influencers
- Niche Marketing & Financial Services Terms
- Niche Terms Related to Products & Services I Offer
I’ll leave you with this final thought:
It’s rare to be able to jump into a conversation among an online group you haven’t belonged to, add your opinion while referencing your business, and not present as self-serving. I’m not saying it can’t be done. However, in these instances, I recommend you listen for a while and incorporate what you’re learning into your overall business growth and customer communication strategies. Once you have a clear understanding of a group’s purpose, only then begin commenting.
[Related Resource] The Putnam Social Advisor Survey provides data pertaining to AUM gained through social media activities.
Here is a handy graphic by Salesforce to help expand your thinking in regard to social media listening.
Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing.