By D. Bruce Johnston, President, DBJ Associates
RIAbiz.com recently discussed the findings of an August 24-25, 2009 Investment News survey conducted on the Twitter habits of the financial-advisory community. Not surprisingly the survey reveals that “a mere 14.9% of financial advisers say they communicate with clients or colleagues through Twitter. Meanwhile, only 44.9% and 43.8% of advisers say they use LinkedIn and Facebook, respectively, the survey found”.
Has RIAbiz.com and Investment News missed the point? It’s not about Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn! It’s about communicating with one’s customers and clients utilizing ALL the tools available!
So, what’s my point?
Practical, functional, and sensible go a long way to enhancing the relationships financial advisors are trying to create between themselves and their customers and clients, with or without social media tools. Social media tools allow financial professionals to enhance and simplify and extend their communication and marketing efforts to customers and clients.
So, how does that work?
Here’s an example to illustrate my point. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure DBJ Associates did play a role in the viral marketing aspects of this program.
I followed up with Charles “Chuck” Steege, CFP,® to see how his three-part webinar program, Uncovering The Fortune That Lies Hidden In Executive Compensation, fared over the summer.
“The program was very successful for us,” Chuck said. He credited John Drachman of The Drachman Group, Inc., which developed the content, with much of the attention the program attracted. “In addition to having wordsmith expertise,” Chuck said, “John is a deep listener, quickly grasps the message you want to convey, and works his intuition to best convey a positive impression.”
Social media strategies: Low cost approach to higher AUM
The following chart shows attendance and results for three-part webinar program: Uncovering the Fortune that Lies Hidden in Executive Compensation.
In summary, the program, aimed at HNW investors with a minimum of $1 million-plus in investable assets, netted approximately $45,000 in new and ongoing annual fees on estimated AUM of some $4 million.
What did the program prove?
I asked John Drachman what these results proved.
“For under $10,000, Chuck was able to put a social media strategy together that used conventional webinars and a press release to springboard his expertise to a new audience that ranged from the United States to Germany and India.”
“We began with establishing Chuck’s thought leadership in the area of executive compensation, especially around the timely topic of the Alternative Minimum Tax Credit Refund – which should be top of mind for anyone who has paid their AMT and would like their money back,” John continued. “Next, we set out to expand Chuck’s message to his target audience of HNW prospects with an e-mail campaign to draw viewers to the webinars, a press release, as well as the webinar links themselves. Then, of course, DBJ Associates took the messaging and put it out on the blogosphere earning a #1 Google ranking for almost two weeks. That’s how Chuck’s program got picked up by Reuters and Smart Money. Then when BusinessWeek picked it up, it really went viral.”
The firm’s abundant appearances in financial blogs were also used for marketing purposes. “Sending a blog posting via e-mail to a client is similar to sending a photocopy of a press clip. It establishes a thought leader’s presence,” John added. “This proves to me that viral marketing can succeed with targeted, smaller numbers of prospects and institutions. Applying these free, readily available public domain tools to an outreach campaign is the short-cut to sales success.”
So, by working closely with Chuck and his compliance department John built a successful strategy utilizing both traditional marketing and social media tools. The three themes driving John’s strategy were: thought leadership, targeted communication plan and measurable results.
And, the entire successful strategy was built utilizing social media but not Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
As always, I welcome your comments and insights. Please leave a comment or send me an email directly and I will personally respond.