Many financial advisors regard social media exclusively as a marketing tool, says Geoff Evans, founder of the Social Media Coach in London, Ont.
But in fact, Evans says, social media is a tool that can be used at all points in the client-relationship cycle. It’s what Evans describes as the “three Cs of social media”: connecting, converting and continuing the relationship.
While many advisors use LinkedIn and some use Facebook and Twitter, Pinterestis often overlooked. Pinterest functions as a digital scrapbook on which users upload, save, sort and manage images. You can use your own pictures, or link to images you find on the web.
These images, called “pins,” are posted on “pin boards,” which usually follow themes. Pinterest is an effective tool that can potentially play a role in your client communications.
Here are three ways to use Pinterest in your practice:
1. Tell your story
A key component to closing a sale is building credibility and rapport, Evans says. Pinterest is one way to showcase your personal story and connect with clients on a deeper level.
Highlighting your role in the community, sharing issues you’re passionate about and relating how you spend your personal time are all methods of building trust with clients and prospects. You can use Pinterest to help you demonstrate your interests by posting pictures that show you or your team participating in community activities and hobbies.
2. Post “napkin concepts”
Many advisors are inclined to pull out a napkin while in a restaurant and draw a diagram to explain a concept to a client, according to Evans. “Advisors are the king of ‘napkin concepts’,” he says.
While you would not use Pinterest to promote the sale of products, you can use this platform to describe financial and lifestyle concepts in a visual way, either by drawing the idea yourself or by posting professional images.
As an example, Evans suggests, you might explain permanent insurance by showing the growth of cash value in a policy over time by posting an infographic.
“Advisors don’t necessarily have a vehicle online to share concepts in a compelling way,” Evans says. “Pinterest can be that vehicle.”
3. Use images to inspire discussions
You can use images to illustrate financial planning goals. Encourage discussion about retirement planning, for example, by creating pin boards depicting various retirement activities, such as travel, golf and spending time with family members.
Clients can browse your boards online for inspiration either before or during client meetings, to help them get ideas in determining their retirement goals.
“Get [clients] to connect emotionally to the idea of retiring,” Evans says.
“It’s not about being on every platform,” Evans adds. “It’s figuring out how much time you have, and which aspect of your business you’re trying to affect the most.”