Morgan Stanley recently announced that it's working to push its "social media experiment" even further. Originally, the pilot program involved 600 employees who could share pre-approved LinkedIn posts and a stock of pre-written Tweets. They had to get prior approval in order to maintain compliance with industry rules, a policy that will remain as Morgan Stanley rolls the program out to the rest of its 17,000 financial advisors.
The benefit of this move was that it allowed the company to show off some of its advisors' expertise, thus building clients' and prospects' confidence through channels that are becoming increasingly popular. Through our financial advisor training programs at The Covenant Group, we teach a similar philosophy. Using the internet's free websites - Twitter, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn and more - you can publish and distribute snippets of your own knowledge, building a more public profile for yourself and your business.
Particularly for those advisors serving an older clientele, making the excuse that seniors don't use social media is becoming less viable. A recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 53 percent of Americans aged 65 or older were using the internet or email as of April. Furthermore, one-third of those aged 65 or older who use the internet said they were using Facebook and/or other social networking websites. Earlier data from August 2011 indicated that 86 percent of that internet-using age group used email.
Additionally, focusing too narrowly on the needs of your aging clients is a short-sighted business plan. Who do you anticipate your ideal clients being one, five or even 10 years down the line? Most likely, they'll be younger adults who are much more comfortable communicating through email, social networks and other web-based communications. Updating your existing marketing strategy to incorporate emerging technologies does not simply mean you are keeping with the times, it shows that you are planning to grow your business and lay a solid foundation for success in the future.
Shauna Trainor is The Covenant Group's Marketing Manager. She focuses on The Covenant Group's own marketing strategy and also helps entrepreneurs through financial advisor training to leverage social media and other technology to spread the word about their services and practices and build relationships.