Why It Matters:
  • As the worlds of marketing and social media merge, staying up to speed is crucial.
  • According to The Sophisticated Market’s Guide to LinkedIn published by LinkedIn in 2017, there are 467 million members, the world’s largest professional network.
  • Growing your practice with social media doesn’t have to be a massive time commitment.

As social media and marketing become further entwined, financial professionals are left with two choices: Get connected or risk forfeiting clients to hungry competitors.

We’ve reached a point where having a strong brand presence online isn’t just recommended; it’s expected.

Thankfully, promoting your business on social channels has become much simpler over the years. LinkedIn even releases an annual “Sophisticated Marketers Guide to LinkedIn”, available free for download. It includes best practices, tips, and tactics for using LinkedIn’s marketing tools (like sponsored content, display ads, and company pages), guidance on targeting, and more.

For now, let’s keep things simple. Building your brand online doesn’t require a massive time commitment. Try to spend 10 minutes a day on LinkedIn, three to five times a week, focusing on small tasks.

Obligatory heads up: Be sure to bone up on FINRA’s rules on communicating with the public, which still apply when using social media.

Connect the dots (3 minutes)

On LinkedIn, your “company page” is the central cog of your online presence. It’s where clients, prospects, and anyone with an internet connection can find your practice, company description, and recent activity. Start there.

Throughout each week, spend a few minutes growing your network by adding colleagues (past and present), companies you admire, and industry influencers. The benefits of a large online footprint are clear — every piece of content you publish will reach a wider, more relevant audience (curated by you).

Keep up with what matters (3 minutes)

With a sea of information at your fingertips, staying in the know can be overwhelming and time consuming. On the LinkedIn mobile app, tap the right corner and select “Improve my feed.” Here you can filter who you get updates from (e.g.  industry leaders, publications, companies, etc.).

Use LinkedIn’s often-overlooked search function to explore topics relevant to your practice: RMDs, the DOL rule, you name it. Consider exploring hashtags to get up to speed on trending topics.

Be on the lookout for activity from your connections, like career changes, job anniversaries, or questions for advice. LinkedIn will notify you of these milestones through occasional alerts, but stay proactive. Take the opportunity to engage directly with connections, set up meetings, and move business forward.

Share your value (4 minutes)

Posting company updates is a great way to attract followers to your company page. Consider sharing industry articles, thought leadership pieces, or ask followers to weigh in on timely topics. Demonstrating your value doesn’t get any simpler. Here’s how to publish articles on LinkedIn.

Keep in mind the 4-1-1 rule when posting. Coined by Tippingpoint Labs and Joe Pulizzi of the Content

Marketing Institute, the rule states for every self-promoting post, you should share a related post written by someone else and four other pieces of related content (to bolster the validity of your subject).

While originally intended for marketers on Twitter, the point of the 4-1-1 rule is to avoid the slippery slope of shameless self-aggrandizing, a fast track to losing followers and influence.

These tips should give you a good springboard for building your practice on LinkedIn. Like anything worth learning, mastering LinkedIn requires patience and commitment. Reference the 2017 Sophisticated Marketers Guide to LinkedIn for a deeper dive into display ads, sponsored content, and more.

Lastly, don’t forget to add your customized LinkedIn URL to your email signature, newsletters, blogs, and other communication materials.

Note:  It is important that you follow your firm’s applicable social media policies.

Things to Consider:
  • Social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Take small steps, assess performance, repeat.
  • Start by creating a (free) company page, everything branches off from there.
  • While tempting, avoid treating LinkedIn like a megaphone for your brand. Demonstrate your value and expertise to your audience.