Social media is a powerful tool – use it wisely

Social media has changed the nature of the adviser. Here’s why it’s a powerful tool, and some key dos and don’ts.

It’s the Fourth Industrial Revolution – information is the new currency in a world where client expectation has changed. Research shows 57% of clients spend more time on online research than on any other activity in the buying journey.*

Social media is the new search engine

With increasing activity on social media, it has become the new search engine. Potential clients are looking up intermediaries, then seeking out personal recommendations from friends and peers. Herein lies the value of social media.

Build trust and emphasise your track record

If information is the new currency and we know clients will do research, intermediaries have to build trust with strangers through a credible digital reputation. Such a reputation has the potential to emphasise the intermediary’s track record, which enables the client to learn more about an intermediary, develop a favourable perception and make an informed decision.

Social media provides the platform to engage on scale, it’s accessible, easy to use and cost-effective.

Be a resource, not a sales pitch

An active social presence – one that’s relevant to your career – can show you follow and understand industry news and, taken further, present you as a thought leader in that sphere. So make sure you’re following the right people and sharing the right links. And make sure the information you’re sharing is of value to the audience you’re trying to reach.

Protect yourself and the product providers you work with

But remember, our digital reputation, like our physical reputation, needs to be guarded and maintained. We need to respond to messages appropriately, in good time and with the necessary caution. Be wise when putting out your voice to the online world.

Your professional and personal brand is among your most important assets. Be sure the information you post about yourself is be the kind of information you’d like a potential client to know about you. Once it’s out there, it’s virtually impossible to retract.

Here are some dos and don’ts for using social media wisely.

Do

  • Consider how your employer, its associates and your professional standing might be affected if a comment or share of yours were to be misinterpreted and go viral.
  • Share credible content from reputable sources that adds value for your readers.
  • Make sure you’re represented on the right social media platforms, and your content is appropriate for that platform. Content suitable for Facebook can be very different to content suited to LinkedIn.
  • To build and manage a credible online profile, why not start applying some of these concepts and strategies in your business?
  • Use a business page instead of your personal profile in your capacity as an intermediary. Keep your business page professional and separate from your personal profile.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Sanlam Distribution Social Media Policy. If you intend to use social media, make sure you sign up here for advisers and here for brokers.

Don’t

  • Don’t publish confidential information or overshare.
  • Don’t post inappropriate, prohibited, false or criminal content.
  • Don’t discuss employees, competitors, suppliers or third parties in a negative light.
  • Don’t respond on behalf of Sanlam to any post or comment – leave all company-related comments or responses to the authorised company spokesperson.
  • Don’t give personal financial advice or specific product recommendations on any social media platforms.
  • Don’t make comments on Group social media platforms such as Sanlam’s Facebook page in order to solicit business. This is also applicable to any of our digital marketing campaigns.
  • Don’t place confidential Sanlam information on social networking sites.

Be a responsible and credible social intermediary and stay top of mind in a cluttered world.

* ‘The three myths of digital marketing’ by CEB Marketing and Communications

SPECIAL FEATURE: Social media

Reality magazine also recently featured an insightful and in-depth article about how to stay out of trouble on social media, and how to secure your privacy online.

 

An excerpt:

‘Your digital persona is all about reputation management. Think before you post. If it is something you wouldn’t put on a massive billboard in your neighbourhood, along with your face, name, address and employer, then don’t do it!’

Read the full article here.