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The 4 biggest social media mistakes advisers make

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Every social media platform has its own norms, rules of conduct and audience.

This is just one of the reasons why so many advisers are hesitant to join. And when they do, they don’t see the results they were expecting.

To help master social media, avoid these four major social mistakes.

1. Worrying about posting too much. A vast majority of advisers worry about overwhelming their audience and saturating their social-media feeds with irrelevant content. Although this is a valid concern in some cases, the majority of advisers aren’t at risk of posting too much.

First, consider what too much looks like. One of the beauties and possible curses of social media is that every user is different.

That means that one individual may think one post a week is too much, while others post several times each day.

As a general rule, Twitter users post continuously throughout the day, as much as several tweets per hour. Facebook and LinkedIn users are more likely to post once each day or a few times per week. That being said, the actual amount posted will depend on how much content exists and how high-touch an advisers wants the outreach to be.

More important is the cadence. Cadence is how regularly one posts and the posting pattern on which followers can count.

It is more important to maintain a rhythm rather than try to stick to social-media rules for posting. Prospects would rather engage with an adviser who consistently posts twice a week on Facebook than someone who posts every day one week and then disappears for the next month.

2. Focusing on gaining followers. We all want to get noticed. Those who have worked hard on their content marketing may assume that the more followers they have, the better.

However, a good content marketing strategy is about more than just the numbers. Greater results will be seen with 50 engaged and active followers than 10,000 uninterested strangers and spam accounts.

This is a relatively easy habit to kick. There are plenty of ways to find followers who are interested in what an adviser has to say.

For example, an adviser can search hashtags on Twitter that relate to the practice, such as #financialadviser or #wealthmanagement. On LinkedIn, advisers can join groups of like-minded individuals who would appreciate posts, such as groups focused on maximizing their company 401(k) accounts, managing a tight budget or retiring early.

Advisers can encourage clients and prospects to connect on social media, and the network will evolve into people who value the adviser’s content.

3. Neglecting a call to action or lead generation opportunity. As gratifying as it may feel to increase one’s number of followers, it is more important to motivate followers to take action.

First, establish what the desired call to action is.

Advisers should figure out if they want their followers to schedule an appointment for a portfolio review, share posts with their networks or read a recent blog post.

Too often, advisers see their social-media feed as the end goal. This may be the case for aspiring thought leaders, but it is more likely that an adviser wants to motivate followers to take action in one way or another.

A simple fix is to make it simple to navigate from an adviser’s social-media profiles to his or her website, which is the marketing hub. A dynamic website houses lead generation forms, a collection of blog posts and other pertinent information.

Once on an adviser’s site, prospective clients can take that next step.

4. Being too self-promotional. Just as an adviser’s website shouldn’t merely serve as an online brochure, his or her social-media platforms aren’t designed to be an extension of the website or a digital billboard. Advisers may be tempted to post content solely regarding their practice, but this will deter followers from engaging and sharing posts.

A compelling and engaging social-media profile should feature a 3:2:1 ratio of evergreen, personal and topical content.

Evergreen content is educational, focused and informative. It never expires and stays fresh longer.

Evergreen content is essential because it makes it easier for an adviser to stay relevant.

Topical content relates to a very timely piece, such as a news event, a legislative change that affects financial planning or another topic that is worthy of exploration.

This is the opportunity to dive deeper into the issues that relate most to an adviser’s specialties or followers’ interests.

And finally, personal content transforms an adviser from a digital stranger into a real person.

By correcting a few common social-media mistakes, advisers will have a stronger understanding of what effective social-media marketing looks like. Instead of drowning in the web of follows and likes, develop a robust social-media marketing strategy, and reap the benefits of increased leads and referrals.

This story is part of a 30-30 series on smart strategies for RIAs. It was originally published on June 10.

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