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Getting interactive with social media

This article is part of
Guide to Social Media

Start building up your social media following with your contacts, e-address books, etc.

Derek Bradley, chief executive of Panacea Adviser, says advisers should develop an editorial calendar to craft a structured plan of action and make sure this is run in tandem with any existing marketing plans.

He says: “Produce relevant discussion points which will start conversations. Anything that is sales focused will deter potential clients or professional contacts from engaging with you.”

Stephen Gazard, managing director of Sesame Bankhall Group, agrees with Mr Bradley that advisers should start by connecting themselves on Linkedin with contacts they think will be useful to them and who may introduce them to other people.

He says: “It is a good idea to join relevant “groups” on Linkedin which contain like-minded people and enable you to engage with them.

“Remember to incorporate your social media accounts on all your other more traditional methods of communication.

“For example, always put your Twitter address and Linkedin page on your email footer and business cards.”

Helen Turner, distribution and development director of Tenet, agrees advisers should ensure they have social media follow buttons wherever possible including their website address, on business stationery and email signatures.

Ms Turner says: “People that may not seek you out are more likely to do so if it only takes a click.

“Mention your social profiles during meetings and seek and follow relevant profiles of other professionals who can share their views and advice too.”

While the various social media channels naturally lend themselves to different content, Nina Stenning, head of marketing communications at Openwork, says advisers should remember they also tend to attract different audiences - or more specifically, people with differing motivations.

For instance, a user’s motivation for visiting Linkedin is likely to be business or work-related.

That same user’s reason for visiting Facebook may be to catch up with friends, socialise, and find lighter content, for example, photos and videos.

Ms Stenning says: “This is worth bearing in mind when you’re deciding what content to share, or the tone you should use.

“For instance, sharing a link to an informative but detailed market update may appeal to some while they’re in business mode, but not social mode.”

Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased, says potential clients, the media and industry commentators will all be interested in advice, tips and real life examples of how you have helped your clients.

This content can be in differing formats: blogs, articles, video, case studies, polls or discussions.

Ms Barrett says advisers should ask their followers or contacts for their thoughts on matters, reply when you do get interaction and try updating or posting at different times of the day to see what works best for them and their audience.

She says: “Unbiased recently ran a successful Twitter photo competition with a sponsor as part of an SME campaign which enabled us to engage with a broader audience, increase our followers and raise awareness of our services.