Social Media Strategies: Yield to Client Preferences

Sue Bergin@SueBergin

Every investor has his or her unique communication and learning style.  Some prefer face-to-face meetings, while a quick text message will suffice for others.  Some investors are highly analytical and need to understand the data behind their investment philosophy while others take a “just give me the bottom line” approach.

Most successful advisors have become adept at assessing the communication and learning styles of their clients and adapting accordingly.  When it comes to a social media strategy, advisors should use a similar approach.

10.15.13_Men are From LinkedInAccording to the recent survey[1] sponsored by MassMutual and conducted by Brightwork Partners, “women are from Facebook, men are from LinkedIn,” various demographic groups are congregating around their social media channel of choice.  Consider these stats:

  • 70% of women routinely use Facebook vs. 59% of men
  • 57% of survey respondents over the age of 50 use Facebook
  • 32% of men use LinkedIn, compared to 15% of women
  • 17% of men versus 10% of women rely on Twitter as an information source
  • 36% of LinkedIn users have household incomes that exceed $100,000
  • 15% of LinkedIn users have household incomes of $50,000 or less
  • Survey respondents in their 30s are 14% more likely to use social media for retirement and investment education than their older counterparts
  • 80% of Pinterest’s 70 million users are women[2]

MassMutual’s study is the latest in a line of research that demonstrates the role social media can play in educating clients.  From a tactical perspective, it is helpful to note that a Tweet, Facebook post, LinkedIn message or Pinterest post will reach only the audience following that channel.

From a practical standpoint, you may want to synchronize your social media messages.  So, for example, if you sync your Twitter and LinkedIn files, LinkedIn contacts will see your Twitter updates and vice versa.  Keep in mind that some content is more appropriate for certain channels over others.  For example, tweets can only accommodate 140 characters but Facebook posts may be more extensive. Pinterest is most appropriate for visual content, like the inspiring image below originally pinned by ForexRin.

10.15.13_Men are From LinkedIn_1In the end, social media is about listening and engaging with your clients.  Services like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and GoGoStat can help monitor and track your social media engagement so that you will know which channels are most valuable to your practice.

Will Facebook Morph into a Life Planning Tool?

Earlier this week, Facebook announced a game-changing new feature.

Users can now include “organ donation status” as part of their profiles. There is even a prompt for users to share their reasons for becoming organ donors.

A Facebook status update does not usurp the need for the official organ donor registration in your state, but it does make it clear to friends and family that it is an issue you care about.

Facebook added the organ donation feature to raise awareness to the issue after CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, took a personal interest in it, partly because of his friendship with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Jobs’s liver transplant extended his life several years.

The move will raise awareness about the critical shortage of organs for people in need of life-saving transplants. It may also create social pressure that inspires Facebook friends to consider registration.

It is a game-changer for a few other reasons.

It is a public awareness campaign of epic proportions. The site has

526 million users per day worldwide . Nothing Facebook does flies under the radar screen.

The activity it has already generated dwarfs donation registrations from any other initiative. At the end of the day Zuckerberg made the announcement, 100,000 users updated their profiles to declare themselves organ donors. At least 22,000 people followed the Facebook-provided link to online registries within twenty-four hours of the announcement.1

The feature will also serve another very important purpose. It can be used as a life-planning tool that provides direction and comfort to families in times of incredible stress and grief.

The potential donor’s intentions have been declared to family and friends; depending upon the settings elected, to the public at large too. The declaration may give grieving families evidence that puts their mind at ease about their newly lost loved ones’ wishes.

As features such as the organ donor declaration evolve, Facebook may take a larger role as a life-planning tool. How far down the line is it before people start putting “Do Not Resuscitate” orders on their timelines? Profile pictures of their living wills?

Sure, privacy is an issue. As users can increase their comfort with privacy settings within Facebook; however, they may also find it useful in declaring their life goals and values.

1. Stobbe, Mike Facebook Organ Donor initiative Prompts 100,000 Users To Select New Option Huffington Post. May 2, 2012.