A social media success story in the financial services industry [video]Article added by Amy McIlwain on July 1, 2014
Amy McIlwain

Amy McIlwain

Denver, CO

Joined: August 26, 2010

Social media usage in the financial services industry is getting more and more common. Almost half of U.S. financial advisors are interacting with their clients through social media, and many have used it to recruit new clients. According to Forbes, 40 percent said they had gotten new clients through Facebook, 25 percent through LinkedIn, and 21 percent through Twitter.

Steve Savant is one of these financial professionals who has chosen to adopt social media into his marketing practices, and he has seen great success from these efforts. Savant now uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ to share his content, which has helped him gain traction within a highly competitive and highly regulated industry.

Watch my interview with Steve Savant below to learn how you, too, can achieve this success! Don't want to watch the full video? Catch the quick recap underneath.

McIlwain: Social media has been a very active part of your marketing strategy with getting the shows out there and communicating. Can you tell me a little bit about what you're doing with social media?

Savant: I was introduced to this a few years ago, and I knew nothing about it. I didn't even know how to tweet. But now I've been online for almost three years. I've done tons of tweeting and blogging; I've been on Linkedin, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and of course, I’ve been heavily involved in YouTube with our videos, as well as Vimeo. So we decided to get involved, and a lot of that was because you told us this is where we needed to go. It has now become not just an adjunct to our marketing, but the major piece or source of our marketing.

McIlwain: Tell me a little bit about your background in the financial services and some of the obstacles you may have encountered with social media and how you've overcome those.

Savant: Well I've been in the business for 30 years, and I used to write for some of our big trade magazines. Then we took all our writing, all our articles, and put it all online. One of the biggest obstacles we had with social media itself (as we knew we were going to have problems with compliance on FINRA issues) was that we didn't really know how to engage. We didn't know the rules of engagement. That was the hardest thing to learn in the last couple of years with social media. We have all this great content, but we didn't know how to use it.

McIlwain: So what was the turning point in helping your engagement?

Savant: Well actually, you had a huge impact. I went to your university and it was a huge upgrade for us, and it gave me a broader understanding. We are just coming out of what I would call your kindergarten level actually, to be honest with you. There's so much to learn, but there's a lot of integration. And that's the biggest thing I've learned. I thought these were stand-alone platforms, but this is all integrated. This is all correlated.

McIlwain: What is one of the pieces of advice you would give to an advisor who is just getting started on social media?

Savant: It's not a matter just opening up accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. You can do that in about an hour and then you're online. It's not about just putting out content, which everyone can do. We all are asset allocators. We're all going to do something for our client. The biggest issue, I would say, is early entry points. You need help on this. To expedite and accelerate the curve, you need to start integrating your total marketing system with social media and using services like yourself, because it really helped us accelerate the whole issue.
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