By Jennifer Hoyt Cummings
Dec 19 A few rules of thumb for financial
advisers on social media: get personal, like mentioning your
daughter's big soccer win, include pictures in your content
whenever possible and don't bother posting on Mondays.
This is what experts at the social media monitoring firms,
including Actiance, Hearsay Social and Socialware, said is the
best strategy for advisers to make use of social media sites.
These companies analyze and archive the postings of tens of
thousands of the nation's financial advisers. And for wealth
management firms both big and small, they give advice on the
types of posts that get the most retweets, likes, comments and
"A mix of content is really important," said Sarah Carter,
general manager for the social business of Actiance, a firm that
monitors the social media posts of advisers at companies like
Raymond James Financial Inc and Macquarie Wealth
Management, and non-social media communications of advisers at
Wells Fargo & Co.. "We've found that 30 percent
personal, 30 percent business and a mix of news and current
information is about right."
Here's an overview of the trends these companies are seeing.
Don't be afraid to get personal in your posts, said
Socialware, whose clients include Morgan Stanley Wealth
Management. The company has found that lifestyle content
gets significantly more engagement than posts focused solely on
When your posts have a personal feel, prospective clients
will feel like they know you and will be more likely to give you
their business, several content monitoring companies have found.
That said, do not bombard them with comments about your personal
"You wouldn't walk up to someone at a cocktail party and
start talking about yourself," said Amy Millard, vice president
of marketing for Hearsay, whose wealth management clients
include Northwestern Mutual and Zielger. "When you go on social
media the rules of conversation still apply."
Talk about the topics of the day, but avoid politics and
religion, she said. And bring up fun facts that you've heard
friends talking about.
Kim Gaxiola, a Morgan Hill, California-based adviser who
Actiance said gets a lot of social media engagement, mixes in
riddles with her posts.
Gaxiola, who has over 4,600 followers on Twitter and is
founder of TechGirl Financial, said the weekly riddles haven't
directly led to any clients, but they get a lot of comments and
keep her in the forefront of her clients and prospects' minds.
Also include a picture in your posts whenever possible.
Hearsay said pictures double or triple the amount of engagement
a post gets.
MAYBE YOUR BOSS DOES KNOW BEST
Making things personal is tough for the advisers at the many
wealth management firms that require advisers to choose from a
library of company-authored posts instead of ad-libbing their
See if your company allows for some flexibility so that you
can add a personal touch to these canned posts, said Hearsay's
Say your company library has a Tweet with advice on 401(k)
rollovers. Use that as a base and add a sentence about your
state's rules surrounding 401(k)s. This helps the audience
"realize you're not some generic person sitting in corporate,"
And if your firm does not give you the ability to
personalize company-authored posts, don't fret. These posts
actually do quite well, Actiance has found, likely because they
are written by professional marketers and often link to strong
TIME YOUR POSTS
One thing social media monitoring firms disagree on is the
best times to post.
Actiance suggests advisers post when people are more likely
to be on the sites, which is early in the morning and late
afternoons on weekdays. The company also said Monday is the
least popular weekday for social media, likely because people
are often too busy playing catch-up from the weekend.
Hearsay had a different opinion, saying it is best to post
outside of business hours so your comments stand out from the
Overall, there is no hard rule advisers can follow for the
best time to post, said Blane Warrene, co-founder of Arkovi,
which was recently acquired by RegEd.
"Ultimately they're going to find a rhythm that connects
with their followers," Warrene said.