Stay ahead of the curve with social media, online and mobile tools, Pt. 2
By Todd Greider
In the first half of this article, we touched upon content organizational tools to help you stay organized both in your office and on-the-go. Now that you have your online and mobile content organized, where do you go from here?
Let me preface my next comment with this statement: Change happens. Most of us are already aware that the mobile and online space is changing more rapidly than ever before. Tools and apps available today may not be here tomorrow. In addition, how we use social media and online resources will continue to change and evolve. At first glance, you may be thinking that social media and online resources may be nothing more than people sharing what they ate for dinner and what shops or restaurants they visit often. I assure you that nothing is as it seems. Never in history has there been a time where so much information is available to us and with the advancement of mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.), it is literally at our fingertips.
I personally feel that in order to get to the top of your profession and be competitive, you must educate yourself and focus on personal development. Above all else, you must listen to the needs of your target audience and provide value-added solutions that meet their needs. Below is a list of tools I use to research, listen to, and engage my target audience (financial advisors who do comprehensive financial planning), as well as research current trends in the financial services industry.
Flipboard: Perhaps one of my favorite tools for online articles, it is according to them “The World’s 1st Social Magazine.” It is completely customizable. I have been able to add many of my favorite news sources and social accounts, creating a mobile resource
catered specifically to my learning needs. I have the information when and where I need it. It also integrates with Pocket (as mentioned
in part one of this article) to store content I do not have time to read now, but would like to read in the future. With this tool, I can efficiently remain up-to-date on content of interest to me.
Zite:This is another useful and customizable social magazine that “understands what you like and gets smarter as you use it.” This app also integrates Pocket to seamlessly compile all your mobile content, allowing for easy sharing once you have read the article. By using this app, you are able to leverage this platform as well to research industry news and trends.
This, in my opinion, is where the real learning experience begins. For the most part, my audience is located on three main platforms.
Twitter: This platform has proved invaluable to me. Over the past few years, I have learned so much from the advisors, consultants and experts in the financial services industry. I have established relationships that have moved beyond the online and mobile world and resulted in live meetings and conversations. For those who are hesitant to jump on Twitter, I assure you this platform is more than celebrities and people sharing what they ate for lunch. For example, FINRA has several profiles to inform advisors and the public (@FINRA_News, @FINRA_Education, and @FINRA_Investor), in addition to the Social Security Administration (@SocialSecurity) just to name a few. This is a great listening tool to see what people are talking about regarding topics important to you and in my opinion, it’s an educator’s dream platform.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn serves as a phenomenal tool to connect with clients and colleagues, share ideas, participate in focus groups, and learn more about people of interest to you. There are countless industry groups to join, professional associations, topic groups, and other features to leverage. For example, you can find the FPA and CFPBoard groups and associations with thriving communities in which to participate. You can simply watch discussions going on and learn from them or dive into the conversations and share your knowledge and expertise. If you are a working professional, you should without a doubt have a presence on LinkedIn. This platform now has over 200 million users.
Google+: This platform is a developmental area for me. I am beginning to learn more about it every day and like what I am learning. The recent addition of “communities” has significantly enhanced the learning and listening experience for me. If you are bold, you can even create your own community and lead the conversation. This will be a focus for me in 2013. Will you join in the conversation?